Friday, January 19, 2007

St Gianna, an Inspiration for Holy, Devoted Vocations

I missed Archbishop Burke's Column last week because I was attending the annual Marian Conference. I was reviewing his Column this week as well as last week's and noticed both of these were devoted to vocations and the life of St Gianna.

Archbishop Burke asks us to pray for our young people that they "will know the will of God for them and respond to it with a completely generous heart, following the example of St. Gianna."

In his column from last week, he explains his meeting with the family and friends of St Gianna and that he has a first-class relic to be placed in the altar of the new St Gianna Parish Church when it is built and consecrated.

In his column for today, Archbishop Burke reflects more deeply on the inspiration and example of St Gianna, and that our vocations in life, in fidelity to Chist, require that we be ready to accept the sufferings and trials that come to us:

St. Gianna, wife, mother and physician, is an inspiration for our young people in responding to their vocation. What is more, she will intercede for them, so that they will unite themselves to our Lord, above all, in His Eucharistic Sacrifice, doing whatever He asks of them (John 2:5).
. . .
St. Gianna is an outstanding example of someone who came to know her vocation through prayer, especially through participation in Mass each day, daily visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the daily recitation of the Rosary. Her parents formed her in the habits of daily Mass, prayer and devotion.
. . .
St. Gianna practiced a life of generous self-giving, especially through her involvement in Catholic Action, a lay spiritual movement which helps its members to follow Christ by the threefold way of prayer, action and sacrifice.

At the end of her life, St. Gianna offered her life in death, to save the life of the infant in her womb. When she was urged to save her life by a surgical procedure which would have destroyed her unborn child, she responded that nothing could justify taking the life of the child. At the same time, she embraced the suffering of her approaching death with serenity, seeing her suffering as a true share in Christ’s Passion and Death.
. . .
When she was dying, St. Gianna was heard praying repeatedly the words: "Jesus, I love you!" Indeed, St. Gianna loved Jesus, doing God’s will with trust in His promise of salvation.

In union with the intentions of Archbishop Burke and for God's blessings of an abundance of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, we pray:

Let us all pray each day that our young men and women will come to know their vocation through prayer and will embrace the sufferings which responding to their vocation inevitably entails. Let us pray that they, like St. Gianna, will trust in God’s providence, doing His will with confidence that He will provide for them in all things.

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