Daughter of St. Gianna Plans International Center dedicated to her parents and holy marriages in Springfield
The center will be located near the new Evermode Institute
Springfield, IL-(Radio Effingham)- The daughter of one of the most popular modern Catholic saints has announced her intention to establish an international pilgrimage site and center in Springfield to help spread knowledge and devotion to the virtues of her holy parents and, thus, to promote family sanctity and respect. for the sanctity of all human life.
Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla, the daughter of the Italian saint, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962) and Pietro Molla, will establish the Saint Gianna Beretta Molla and Pietro Molla International Center for Family and Life, which will be a peaceful place of prayer, learning, study and spirituality for pilgrims.
“I learned from my holy mother and my holy father to have deep faith and unwavering trust in divine providence,” Dr. Molla said. “The creation of this international center is one of those moments when I trust God to show me the way and to all those involved in the project. I am humbled to start this international center so that we can promote and help families grow together.
Dr. Molla said she chose Springfield because of the faith-filled leadership of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and his unwavering commitment to defending innocent life. Springfield is in the United States where there is much devotion to its holy parents, and because of Springfield’s central location, especially that it is within driving distance of St. Louis and Chicago. In the end, she said, “God chose Springfield.” Dr. Molla said she plans to live in the field once the center opens and when she is in the United States.
The St. Gianna Beretta Molla and Pietro Molla International Center for Family and Life will be located near St. Francis of Assisi Church and Evermode Institute (4875 Laverna Rd, Springfield, IL 62707), which the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois announced its establishment in March, as part of the transition of ownership and care of the Sisters Hospitallers of St. Francis Convent and associated buildings and grounds. The Evermode Institute, a new center for Catholic spiritual and intellectual formation, will also soon welcome priests from the Norbertine Fathers of Saint-Michel Abbey.
The St. Gianna Beretta Molla and Pietro Molla International Center for Family and Life will include:
- A replica of Gianna and Pietro’s marital home as it stood at Ponte Nuovo de Magenta in Milan, Italy (with help from the original photos and film);
- a pilgrimage center, located between the replica of the marital home and the replica of the Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil chapel, to be built in different phases, and according to the needs that arise;
- a replica of the original chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel with the adjoining presbytery as it was in Ponte Nuovo de Magenta (with the help of the original photos);
- a church-sanctuary of Saint Gianna as an enlargement of the Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil chapel to which it is completely joined;
- a rectory for visiting clergy.
“For years Dr. Molla has searched for a site to honor his holy parents and promote holy marriages and families, and if you want to see firsthand how divine providence can work, the story of how it all gathered is the perfect example,” Bishop Paprocki said. “I happened to meet Dr. Molla while on a carshare ride to a conference at the Napa Institute in California in 2019. That time in the car helped us form a friendship that led Dr. Molla to ask me later to have this international center of Springfield. Then, in January, when a trust under the care of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois took possession of the property of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, we announced our intention to establish the Evermode Institute and to have the Norbertine Fathers of Orange, California. establish a community there. In setting up these faith-enrichment efforts, it was easy for Gianna to decide that this international center should be built near the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Evermode Institute.
“The excitement of what is brewing in Central Illinois is proof that the Holy Spirit is guiding it all. To think, Central Illinois will have Evermode Institute, St. Gianna International Center and Pietro Molla for family and life, our own Venerable Father Augustine Tolton in Quincy who is on the path to holiness, and Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen in Peoria – this part of America will bring so much grace to people around the world who visit her.
The center is expected to bring tens of thousands of pilgrims to Springfield each year from all over the world, as Saint Gianna is known as a saint to mothers, families, healthcare workers and the pro-life cause, as she herself has- even raised four children. , was a pediatrician and died of complications after giving birth to daughter Gianna.
While pregnant with her fourth child in 1961, St. Gianna felt a lot of pain, which led to the discovery of a tumor in her uterus. Doctors discussed an abortion to preserve St. Gianna’s life. Instead, St. Gianna opted to have only the tumor removed, realizing that it might save her child but lead to further, possibly life-threatening, complications for her. Saint Gianna’s faith gave her perfect clarity and confidence at this critical moment of choice.
The baby and Saint Gianna survived the operation, but knowing that she might lose her life giving birth to her child, Saint Gianna prayed to God and told the doctors and her family, “If you have to decide between me and the child, do not hesitate, choose the child. I insist on it. Save the baby.
On April 21, 1962, Gianna Emanuela Molla was born. Over the next week, however, St. Gianna, the mother, faced further serious complications. Despite multiple treatments, St. Gianna died a week after giving birth. Her selfless act of love to choose her child’s life over herself had been another amazing demonstration of her deep faith.
As news of Saint Gianna’s greatest act of love spread, the Catholic Church opened her cause for holiness and faith-filled people around the world began to ask Saint Gianna for her intercession, which led to two Church-approved miracles. She was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1994. At her canonization were her husband, Pietro, and her children, including her daughter, Gianna, whom she saved. They both met the Holy Father. It was the first time that a husband attended the canonization of his wife. Today Saint Gianna is the patroness of mothers, doctors and unborn children. His feast day is April 28.
As Pope Saint John Paul II said of Saint Gianna, she was “a simple, yet more significant than ever, messenger of divine love.”