My big girls and I were blessed tonight to attend the presentation of St. Gianna by the founder of the St. Gianna’s Physician’s Guild hosted by the John Paul II Life Center. There was a first class relic (a lock of her hair–and one of only about 20 in the world) and a second class relic (her fetoscope) available for veneration. Since St. Gianna’s still has living family members, namely her children and two siblings. They have custody over her body. So first class relics are rare. The lock of hair was actually cut by her sister at the time of St. Gianna’s death. Her sister who is also a physician happened to be visiting from her mission work in India during that time. The fetoscope was used by St. Gianna. In those times they would “listen” to a baby’s (in the womb) heartbeat by placing one end of the fetoscope on the mother’s womb and the other end on the doctor’s forehead. The doctor would then be able to observe the baby’s heartbeat by feeling the vibrations on her forehead.
As I was sitting there listening to the presenter tell us about the relics, I realized that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. What a gift to take our little Gianna to learn about her namesake. I was able to bless her and Therese with the relic which was so special for me to do as a mother. St. Gianna is one of my heroes and I hope that she will pray for our family and our Gianna in a special way.