On Friday, June 23, Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla, the daughter of St. Gianna, visited Lincoln. She was in the United States visiting Atlanta and the Grand Canyon.
This was something she always wanted to do because her father Pietro, after seeing the Grand Canyon while on a business trip, wrote one of his many love letters to his wife St. Gianna about its beauty and grandeur in a poetic manner. It was always her dream to read this very letter while gazing at this magnificent work of God’s creation.
After this, she accepted our invitation to visit before flying back to her home in Italy. She wanted to visit, once again, St. Gianna’s Women’s Home and Gianna’s Java & Gelato.
At 7 a.m. Mass, and breakfast at St. Gianna’s with Sister Bernadette, Sister Carol, the women of our St. Gianna’s advisory board, volunteers and the resident ladies and their children, Gianna had the opportunity to visit with those who are staying at St. Gianna’s because of having escaped the pressures of having an abortion and domestic violence. Most touching was watching her hugging the women, some of whom had moist eyes, and their children, who are always happy to be invited to a party. Also moving was meeting the little 2-year-old who insisted recently that her mother take her to the chapel so she could sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to Jesus.
She then visited the motherhouse of the Marian Sisters and talked to them in their beautiful chapel. It was there she told the sisters that during the life of her mother, St. Gianna prayed a lot for her unborn baby and for herself, but said to her husband, “If you have to choose between me or the baby, choose the baby.” We all know what happened: St. Gianna gave her life for her baby. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). St. Gianna died so her baby could live.
This self-sacrificial love can be seen in Gianna Emanuela because she put her medical practice on hold to take care of her elderly father when he could not care for himself. Now, after his holy death, she travels around the country talking about her mother, St. Gianna, and her father, Pietro.
Then came lunch with Bishop James Conley, Emeritus Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop Robert Finn, our staff and some volunteers. The dessert, of course, was gelato and sorbetto from Gianna’s Java & Gelato. I am happy to say she loves the shop, the coffee, the gelato and sorbetto. Her favorite flavor is lemoncello and says it tastes as good as it does in Italy (as she is already talking about coming here next year for a third visit, I dare say, maybe it’s better!).
I am grateful to all our supporters of St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes and Gianna’s Java & Gelato, which supports it. Please know that not only do we pray for you, but Gianna Emanuela does too! St. Gianna, pray for us!