Gianna, Gerard, and Joseph: Three Saints that Inspire Our Work
As a Catholic agency, we have role models that inspire our work here at Good Shepherd. Part of our mission is to respond to the call of Jesus Christ, and we have human examples of those who have gone before us who have done extraordinary work here on Earth.
The first of those Saints that we look to today is St. Gianna. Gianna Beretta Molla was born in Italy in 1922. She became a medical doctor, specializing in pediatrics. She married in 1955, and she and her husband, Pietro, had three children and lost two more to miscarriage. During her sixth pregnancy, it was discovered that Gianna had a tumor. She could have the tumor removed, but it would end the life of the baby she was carrying. She opted against the surgery, and gave birth in 1962 to a daughter. Gianna passed away a week after her baby, also named Gianna, was born.
Gianna’s brave actions to save her unborn baby over her own life make her a hero in the pro-life movement. She was beatified in 1994 and canonized in 2004. St. Gianna is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. Her commitment to life and care for unborn children inspires the work we do with expectant and new mothers.
Another patron of expectant mothers is St. Gerard Majella. St. Gerard lived in Italy in the 18th Century, and became a brother at the age of 23. He is attributed to many miracles and intercessions while he was living. He was most connected to miracles effected through prayers of women in labor. He is the patron saint of expectant mothers, mothers, women in childbirth and unborn children.
In our chapel at Good Shepherd, we have a stained glass window of St. Gerard. He is a natural companion to our work serving moms, babies, kids, and families, and we ask for his intercession.
Finally, St. Joseph is another saintly inspiration at Good Shepherd. St. Joseph was the foster father to Jesus and devoted husband to Mary, the mother of God. St. Joseph worked hard to provide for his family as a carpenter. St. Joseph is the patron saint of foster parents, as he is the biblical model for how to love children who have been placed in our care but aren’t “ours”.
We hope that these three saints who inspire our work can help inspire you, too.