Our show is based upon the idea from the French word construct: Catholic Vitamin J for Joie De Vivre. The Urban Dictionary tells us that the words mean a delight in being alive; keen, carefree enjoyment of living. Hearty or carefree enjoyment of life. A love of life. From French, meaning “joy of living.” Joie de vivre, as one scholar has written, “can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… And joie de vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life.
In our Catholic construct, we would understand Joie De Vivre to mean a great and profound happiness in our faith, in the Lord’s love for us, and in our love for Him and His Mother. When we have Joie de vivre, we can accept trials and tribulations, even face serious, perhaps life-threatening situations knowing that God has a plan for us that is life-giving — not threatening.
And so we introduce our listeners to St. Gianna Beretta Molla and to our guest Robert White who is President of the St. Gianna Molla Institute. Let’s find out a bit about Gianna. Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962) was an Italian Pediatrician. She was a joyous and highly esteemed wife and mother, known in posterity as a woman who refused both an abortion and a hysterectomy when pregnant with her fourth child. She continued the pregnancy knowing that continuing with the pregnancy could result in her death. She was a practicing Catholic and was canonized a saint by Blessed John Paul II in 2004.
In 1961, Gianna was pregnant once again. During the second month, Gianna developed a fibroma on her uterus. After examination, the doctors gave her three choices: an abortion, a complete hysterectomy, or removal of only the fibroma. Knowing that our Catholic faith forbids termination or ending a pregnancy before viability, Gianna chose the fibroma operation. After the procedure, complications continued throughout her pregnancy. Gianna was quite clear about her wishes, expressing to her family, “This time it will be a difficult delivery, and they may have to save one or the other — I want them to save my baby.”
On April 21, 1962, Good Friday of that year, Gianna went to the hospital, where her fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, was successfully delivered via caesarean section. However, Gianna continued to have severe pain, and died of septic peritonitis 7 days after the birth.
Gianna’s husband Pietro, and their child Laura, were present at the April 1994 canonization ceremony, the first time in the history of the Church that a husband witnessed his wife’s canonization.
The miracle recognized by the Catholic Church to canonize Gianna Molla involved a mother, Elizabeth Comparini, who was 16 weeks pregnant in 2003 and sustained a tear in her placenta which caused amniotic fluid to drain from her womb. Because a normal term of pregnancy is 40 weeks, Comparini was told by her doctors the baby’s chance of survival was “nil.” Comparini said she prayed to Gianna Molla asking for her intercession, and was able to deliver a healthy baby despite the lack of amniotic fluid.
In his homily at her canonization Mass, Pope John Paul II called Gianna “a simple, but more than ever, significant messenger of divine love.”
ST GIANNA MOLLA INSTITUTE
The mission of the Society of Saint Gianna is to promote holiness in the family and respect for the sanctity of all human life by spreading devotion to St. Gianna and the virtues she extolled through presentations, literature distribution, maintenance of the St. Gianna Shrine in Warminster, PA, including the facilitation of pilgrimages to the shrine and by providing opportunities for the veneration of her relics by the faithful.
Our guest, Bob White tells us of two gloves which were owned and worn by Gianna during her life in Italy. These gloves were donated by her husband to the St. Gianna Institute and are brought by Bob when he comes to parishes to speak about Gianna. After Masses, people are invited to come forward and venerate these second class relics.
QUOTES FROM THE LIFE OF ST GIANNA
“Love your children. In them you can see Baby Jesus. Pray for them a lot and every day put them under Holy Mary’s protection.”
“What is a vocation? It is a gift from God, so it comes from God. If it is a gift from God, our concern must be to know God’s will. We must enter that path: if God wants, when God wants, how God wants. Never force the door.”
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.”
“Love and sacrifice are closely linked, like the sun and the light. We cannot love without suffering and we cannot suffer without love.”
“Let us love the Cross and let us remember that we are not alone in carrying it. God is helping us. And in God who is comforting us, as St. Paul says, we can do anything.”
OTHER CV SHOW NOTES
Marianna Bartholomew and several friends and associates have befriended a priest in India — his name is Fr. Varghese. He is serving in a very isolated and far-flung parish situation. During this week’s show, we read an email from Marianna that tells of Fr. V getting ready for a first visit of Fr. V’s Archbishop in ten years. The Bishop is coming for the sacrament of Confirmation to be done for some 200 parishioners ranging in age from 12 to 45. This is a very big, very important event in this low income parish.
Marianna has started a blog to follow the news and with some pictures as the people prepare to welcome their bishop. The web address is www.dalitjournal.blogspot.com Please take a look.
And we closed with Justin Stroh’s joyous – some might say rollicking rendition of I LOVE BEING A CATHOLIC. You can find Justin and his music at his website: http://justinstroh.webs.com/