St. Gianna Molla

Do Not Be Afraid of Sainthood


Happy All Saints’ Day! Today’s Feast Day encourages us to take a look back at the holy people who led lives that inspire, challenge and guide us today. As Saint John Paul II often said to young people, “do not be afraid of sainthood!”

At Options United, we take today to think of the saints who have come before us and inspire us in our mission to protect the unborn.

Saints like Gianna Beretta Molla inspire us with their great love for the unborn. St. Gianna was a courageous woman who, as a doctor, worked with mothers and babies and found deep contentment in her vocation. While pregnant with her fourth child, she was diagnosed with cancer. The only chance of survival was to abort the child and begin cancer treatments. Gianna joyfully embraced her child in-utero and refused to treat her own cancer.  Accepting the consequences of not treating her cancer, Gianna died several days after giving birth. Incredibly, she was canonized in 2004 and her husband and her children were able to attend the ceremony.

St. Gianna is an example of fertile love, a love that gives.

Chiara Corbella is another example of a mom with a deeply enduring love for her child. Like St. Gianna, Chiara was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with her third child. Chiara’s first two children had died soon after birth due to severe birth defects. She was determined not to start chemotherapy while pregnant with her son because she wanted to protect him. There was no question of whether or not to have an abortion. Chiara and her husband radically embraced life.

Their son Francesco was born completely healthy and immediately afterwards Chiara began chemotherapy. Sadly, she died a year after Francesco’s birth, in 2012. She has officially been named a Servant of God and her case was officially opened this September in Rome.

Chiara is an example of eternal hope and undying trust in God’s plan.

And then of course there are the saints who walk among us, calling us all to join them in their defense of life. These saints show us that sainthood is attainable. While they may not be canonized, they still are saints.

“Saints” like the call center staffers who reflect on how God’s grace enables them to listen without judgement and advise with love women in crisis pregnancy situations.

“Saints” like the professor who offered to help a young student volunteer with Options United who was discriminated against for her pro-life beliefs.

“Saints” like the pro-life doctors who offer ultrasounds and kind words of acceptance to vulnerable woman.

“Saints” like those who pray daily and give financial support to Options United to be able to continue the work defending the unborn.

Today on All Saints’ Day, we think of all those who came before us, inspiring us on our journey, and all those who accompany us today. Let us all pray with and for one another and for the souls of those aborted and the babies in danger today.