Lioi: Tribute to two Roman Catholic saints | Lifestyles
Reverend Frank Lioi special for the citizen
Two saints present themselves: one in this month of April and one next month in May: Saint Faustina Kowalski of Poland, known for promoting the Devotion of Divine Mercy, which we celebrate today at the Church of Saint Hyacinthe; and Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, of Italy, a pro-life saint, who will be presented on Sunday, May 15 at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi. The two churches form SS. Mary & Martha Parish in Auburn.
Maria Faustyna Kowalska (born Helena Kowalska, August 25, 1905 – October 5, 1938), known as Sister Maria Faustyna Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament (usually spelled Faustina), was a Polish Catholic nun and mystic. At the age of 20, she entered a convent in Warsaw but was later transferred to Płock and then to Vilnius. Throughout her life, Faustina reported having visions of Jesus and conversations with him, which she recorded in her diary, later published as “The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in my soul”.
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His appearances of Jesus Christ inspired Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy of Jesus. With the help of her spiritual direction, she commissioned an artist to paint the first image of Divine Mercy, based on her vision of Jesus. Sister Faustina was canonized as a saint on April 30, 2000 by Pope John Paul II, who declared the second Sunday of Easter Divine Mercy Sunday.
Divine Mercy Sunday is traditionally celebrated at St. Hyacinth Church, 63 Pulaski St., Auburn. The celebration of Divine Mercy will take place this afternoon, April 24, consisting of Eucharistic Adoration from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Confessions with four priests will be available from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the event will end at 3 p.m. with the singing Rosary of Mercy and Solemn Blessing. All are welcome at Saint-Hyacinthe Church this afternoon.
Gianna Beretta Molla (October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962) was born in Magenta, Italy, in the Archdiocese of Milan. She was a wife, mother and pediatrician. During her second month of pregnancy with her fourth child, she developed a fibroid on her uterus. She refused an abortion or hysterectomy in an effort to save her unborn child. A week after the baby was born, Gianna died of septic peritonitis. His daughter Gianna Emanuela is still living and is a doctor of geriatrics.
Molla’s medical career followed the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church; she believed in following your conscience while helping others who needed help. Molla also devoted herself to charitable work with the elderly and also assisted the St. Vincent DePaul Society in its efforts to reach out to the poor and less fortunate.
She was canonized in Rome on May 16, 2004 by Pope Saint John Paul II. She is the first active mother and female doctor to be canonized. Her husband and their children were present at the canonization. It was the first time that a husband attended the canonization of his wife. The feast day of Saint Gianna is April 28. She is a pro-life witness in our time.
This year 2022 is the 100th anniversary of his birth and the 18th anniversary of his canonization. In commemoration of these anniversaries, the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi erected an outdoor shrine in honor of Saint Gianna Berretta Molla. The dedication of this shrine will take place on Sunday, May 15, during the regular 8:45 a.m. Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 303 Clark St., Auburn, with a procession to the shrine at the end of the mass for the dedication prayer.
To celebrate the event, a breakfast will then be served in the Nacca room, consisting of eggs, bacon, ham, homemade fries, fresh fruit salad, cake and coffee. The mass, the dedication and the breakfast are open to the public and all are invited.
Rev. Frank E. Lioi is pastor of St. Mary’s Church and SS. Mary & Martha Parish (St. Francis and St. Hyacinth Churches) in Auburn, Our Lady of the Snow Parish (St. Joseph Church, Weedsport and St. Patrick Church, Cato) in northern Cayuga County, and Dean of the Eastern region (Cayuga and Tompkins counties) of the Diocese of Rochester. He can be reached at [email protected]