the family has the mission to become more and more what it is, that is to say, a community of life and love, in an effort that will find fulfillment, as will everything created and redeemed, in the Kingdom of God. Looking at it in such a way as to reach its very roots, we must say that the essence and role of the family are, in the final analysis, specified by love. Hence the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God's love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church, His bride. - Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, p.17
Although written years after St. Gianna's death, this beautiful apostolic exhortation summarizes exactly what she believed and lived: that the family was an instrument of God to spread His love to the world. She was raised in such an atmosphere, and she and her siblings were taught to build God's Kingdom in their lives by accepting and sanctifying the realities of family life, day in and day out. This meant relating to one another as those made in the image of God and doing good, as Francis Fernandez explains in In Conversation with God :
We have to do good within our own families As disciples of Christ we have to be sowers of fraternity whatever occasions and circumstances life brings with it. When a man or a woman lives the Christian spirit in all its intensity, all his or her activities and relationships reflect and communicate God s love and the surpassing goods of the Kingdom. As Christians we need to know how to make fast and strengthen our relationships each day with our families, our friends and our neighbors, whether we are at work or at leisure, sealing them with the seal of Christian love, which is simplicity, truthfulness, faithfulness, meekness, generosity, solidarity and joy.
Sounds wonderful, no? But it isn't just a dream; St. Gianna proved by her life that a family rooted in Christ can become this living creation of hope and love. Daily prayer, fidelity in small things, sacrifice for one another, all bring these words to life.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, pray for us!Â