Novena To Obtain Graces Through Saint Gianna Beretta Molla

Today is Day 1 of the Novena to St. Gianna! Won’t you join me in prayer? The novena ends on St. Gianna’s feast day, April 28.

Santa_Gianna_Beretta_Molla

© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / , via Wikimedia Commons

God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters.

Glory be …

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You.

We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.

Glory be…

God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.

We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.

Glory be…

O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for …………. and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others.

Hail Mary…

77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids & The Little Flower – Book Reviews

77 Ways to Pray with Your KidsIf one of your Lenten commitments this year is to pray more with your kids, or to pray more as a family, then I have a wonderful resource to share with you.

77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids by Jerry Windley-Daoust, and published by Peanut Butter and Grace Media, is an excellent resource for families of all shapes and sizes.

It has suggestions for incorporating different spiritual practices into your family prayer life, labeled by age-appropriateness. The three categories are ages 3+, ages 7+, and ages 13+.

3+ are practices that are appropriate for children between the ages of 3 and 6.

7+ are practices that are appropriate for children between ages 7 and 12.

13+ are practices that are appropriate for teenagers.

Many suggestions are appropriate for all three age groups, but it’s handy to to have a quick guide so you can tailor certain practices to certain ages. I also love that some practices are marked with an “E” for “easy” — meaning that they’re simple to implement without any prior preparation!

There are also short “talking points” included with many of the suggestions, such as “Why do Catholics Pray Before Sacred Images?” and “Why We Pray for the Dead.” These paragraphs provide brief, child-appropriate suggestions for many points of Catholic doctrine, which make them invaluable for the parent who struggles with how to distill deep theological concepts down to child-appropriate nuggets of wisdom, especially minutes before bedtime after a long, tiring day.

If you’re new to family prayer, and/or new to the Catholic faith, the book includes a compendium of common Catholic prayers, such as the Angelus, the Hail Mary, the Mysteries of the Rosary, and many others.

 

The Little Flower by Becky ArganbrightAlso from Peanut Butter and Grace Media is The Little Flower, a parable about St. Thérèse of Liseux by Becky Arganbright. I bought two copies as Christmas presents, one for my 5-year-old daughter and one for my 3-year-old goddaughter, and the book was a BIG hit with both girls (in fact, my goddaughter’s older sisters, as well as my older daughter, were just as excited about the book as the recipients were!). The artwork is gorgeous, and the story is simple yet profound. It’s a lovely retelling of St. Thérèse of Liseux’s “little way.”

This book would make a terrific addition to any child’s Easter basket, or as a First Holy Communion/Confirmation present. It’d also be a wonderful gift for a baptism. You can view a PDF copy of the book on their website (scroll down to the red box at the bottom) if you’d like to see it before you buy, but as a satisfied customer I can highly recommend the hardcover version.

As an added bonus, St. Thérèse of Liseux’s parents are the newly-canonized St. Louis and Zelie Martin. St. Zelie is one of the patron saints of working mothers, as she worked as a lacemaker prior to and during her marriage. In addition to teaching your children about this wonderful saint, you can teach your children about her mother!