A statue of St. Gianna Molla was blessed by His Excellency Bishop Joseph Siegel during Mass at St. Patrick Church in Yorkville this Sunday as the next step in an exciting new project, and Eric Scheidler and I were blessed to be a part of the celebration.
The statue is the centerpiece of the St. Gianna Shrine on St. Patrick’s grounds, which aims to be place of hope and healing for women who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage or abortion, or just want to find hope in the life and intercession of this holy and courageous woman.
The shrine will consist of a gazebo covering the statue set in a beautifully landscaped garden, and a pathway leading from the church to the shrine paved with bricks donated by supporters of the effort.
St. Gianna was a wife, mother and physician who lived in Italy in the early 20th century. When she was pregnant with her fourth child, St. Gianna was found to have a large tumor growing inside her. Rather than accept treatment for the tumor that could harm or kill her unborn child, St. Gianna chose to forgo treatment. Her child was delivered safely and St. Gianna died shortly thereafter.
Her incredible courage and sacrifice in a circumstance when so many would have chosen to protect their own life is a testament not only to her character, but to the love of Christ that inspired her to do what she did. Fr. Matt Lamoureux, pastor of St. Patrick, and Achim Klaas, the sculptor of the statue, discuss the shrine and the meaning of the statue in the video below:
You can learn more about the shrine and St. Gianna at the St. Gianna Shrine website or buy a brick for the pathway to support the effort right here. Thanks to all the folks at St. Patrick for a wonderful Sunday of pro-life fellowship, and to the St. Patrick Knights of Columbus Council for their tireless work in making this beacon of hope for the community possible.