Is Saint Gianna Beretta Molla a Martyr

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K-McD

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On May 16, 2004 Pope John Paul canonized Gianna Beretta Molla and gave her the title Mother of the Family. As great as this is I am still wondering is she considered a martyr?

I think her heroic act of virture was the same as St Maximillian Kolbe. They both give up their lives putting their faith in practice. St. Maximillian Kolbe gave his life for a fellow prisoner and St Gianna gave her life for her unborn child. Is there a difference?
 
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K-McD:
I think her heroic act of virture was the same as St Maximillian Kolbe. They both give up their lives putting their faith in practice. St. Maximillian Kolbe gave his life for a fellow prisoner and St Gianna gave her life for her unborn child. Is there a difference?
I see the connection that you are trying to make, but I am not sure if the response that St. Gianna made is objectively at the same level at that of St. Maximillian. I say this because St. Gianna was responding to the natural evil of cancer while St. Maximillian was responding to the moral evil of the Nazis.

I’m not sure if this consideration would have an ultimate effect on the question of whether or not she is a martyr. But it is a significant difference in their cases.
 
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SeanG:
I see the connection that you are trying to make, but I am not sure if the response that St. Gianna made is objectively at the same level at that of St. Maximillian. I say this because St. Gianna was responding to the natural evil of cancer while St. Maximillian was responding to the moral evil of the Nazis.

I’m not sure if this consideration would have an ultimate effect on the question of whether or not she is a martyr. But it is a significant difference in their cases.
St. Maximillian would be considered a RED Martyr…because he died from a direct killing of himself at the hands of a brutal oppressor of the faith and God. He laid down his life for another.

St. Gianna would be considered a WHITE Martyr because she laid down her life for the life of her unborn child. No one murdered her but she also gave her life to save another and to be true to her Catholic Faith.

Similar sacrifice…different cause’s for their death. Hope that helps.
 
I’ve never heard of red and white martyrs before. Can you give us some background or explanation?

Thanks.
 
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Regenhund:
I’ve never heard of red and white martyrs before. Can you give us some background or explanation?

Thanks.
It is a Catholic tradition which as far as I know traces back to St. Patrick and Ireland. Ireland was unique in that Christianity was introduced there without bloodshed (red martyrdom). No Irish martyrs emerged until the time of Elizabeth I. Tradition has it that this lack of martyrdom disturbed the Irish, so they conceived first of a green martyrdom.

Green martyrs left behind the comforts and pleasures of ordinary human society to live hermits’ lives on mountaintops or lonely islands. They went “to one of the green noman’s lands outside tribal jurisdiction.” There they studied Scripture and communed with God after the example of the anchorites in the Egyptian desert. Ireland could not duplicate the barren terrain of the Egyptian desert; thus, this green martyrdom gave way to the more social life of monasticism.

Then came Columcille (“Dove of God”)—also called Columba or Crimthaann. Born in 521, a prince with a title to kingship, he chose to become a monk. By age 41 he had founded 41 monasteries. Because Columba was held responsible for the Battle of Cuil Dremmed in which 3,000 men died, he became an exile. As penance he set out to save the same number of people as died in the battle.

Columba, with 12 relatives, founded a monastery on Iona off the coast of Scotland that became famous throughout Europe. Monks from Iona in turn set out for what they called a white martyrdom: “Henceforth all who followed Columcille’s lead were called to the white martyrdom, they who sailed into the white sky of morning, into the unknown, never to return.” A white martyr thus became known as one who suffers greatly as victim soul to save others. They do not die a bloody martyrdom but are those who give up everything to serve God and help others. Some give their lives not through violence but through pure love and faithfulness to serving God. These are called the White Martyrs to this day.
 
I think that I would call St. Gianna a martyr for the Pro-Life movement. She showed that every life was important, even if that life could mean the end of hers. Her example is one that all women can look up to. If more women hear about the choice that she willingly made and are inspired by it, then legal abortion days may be numbered.

LauraAnn
 
Thanks all for your (name removed by moderator)ut. It helped clarify the difference. And Marie, I thought it might have something to do that (Red/White); although, I could not have said it quite like you did. Thanks

Kevin 👍
 
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lauraannj:
I think that I would call St. Gianna a martyr for the Pro-Life movement. She showed that every life was important, even if that life could mean the end of hers. Her example is one that all women can look up to. If more women hear about the choice that she willingly made and are inspired by it, then legal abortion days may be numbered.

LauraAnn
Yes Laura,
St. Gianna would be considered a WHITE Martyr because she laid down her life for the life of her unborn child. No one murdered her (which would be a Red Martyr) but she gave her life to save another and to be true to her Catholic Faith and the Sanctity of Life. She is truly a Pro-Life Martyr in every sense of the word and deed.
 
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lauraannj:
I think that I would call St. Gianna a martyr for the Pro-Life movement. She showed that every life was important, even if that life could mean the end of hers. Her example is one that all women can look up to. If more women hear about the choice that she willingly made and are inspired by it, then legal abortion days may be numbered.

LauraAnn
Very True Laura. And it is interesting that just last week a very saintly lady (who will never be canonized) passed away at age 98. The church was packed with Bishops and priest’s and others who had been inspired by her life of sacrifice for the Pro-Life cause. She too did just as St Gianna did. She said no to aborting the child even though the Doctors were sure she would die. She did not and lived to raise her children and see several generations grow in love and trust in God. God bless all the un-named Saintly mothers who have done the same as St. Gianna.
 
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K-McD:
Thanks all for your (name removed by moderator)ut. It helped clarify the difference. And Marie, I thought it might have something to do that (Red/White); although, I could not have said it quite like you did. Thanks

Kevin 👍
Your welcome,
I knew what you were trying to say…so it was easy to fill in your blanks. 😉 You had the right thought all along.
 
It’s a little O/T but it’s important to remember that Saint Gianna is not a saint simply because of her no to the suggested abortion. Her whole life was lived in selfless service to others. The humility and charity she lived are what made her a saint. The act of demanding her child be saved over herself was a culmination of that whole life. She is a profoundly beautiful model for all of us to follow!
 
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NancyA:
It’s a little O/T but it’s important to remember that Saint Gianna is not a saint simply because of her no to the suggested abortion. Her whole life was lived in selfless service to others. The humility and charity she lived are what made her a saint. The act of demanding her child be saved over herself was a culmination of that whole life. She is a profoundly beautiful model for all of us to follow!
Amen to that! 👍
 
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