Subject: A peek into the love letters of a saint

Strength for the Week
A peek into the love letters of a saint
Let’s face it: we’ve always loved reading other people’s letters.

Perhaps it’s a bit of voyeurism, this glimpse into someone else’s life; but more often than not, reading the correspondence of others—particularly of people we hold in esteem—leaves us with a humble understanding of how they lived in a day-to-day manner, how they expressed themselves to each other, and finally how they came to be the people we admire and strive to emulate.

And when the correspondence comprises love letters—well, so much the better! So we read the letters of Héloise to Abelard, John Adams to Abigail Adams, Joséphine to Napoléon, and we understand from them so much that’s not available in history books or biographies.

The love letters exchanged between Saint Gianna Beretta and her husband, Pietro Molla, are no exception. Better than a theological treatise, these letters are a convincing proof that the way of holiness does not necessarily pass through religious life or the priestly ministry, but can unfold in the midst of the world, living one’s own vocation as a Christian called to holiness with Christ in married life.

We are offering The Journey of Our Love at 20% off February 14 and 15.

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day with chocolates, flowers, and even diamonds, it’s fitting to stop and think about what is behind all these declarations of love: the fact that we can love precisely because of God’s love for us. The union of Christ and his Church is the most basic model of married life, a model of selflessness and courage.

They showed the world the possibility of a life that mirrors the mystical union between God and humanity. Their letters serve to remind us that we, too, are called to sanctity, no matter what path in life we have chosen. 

Read, for example, these words from Pietro, who recounts his prayer after the first time the couple received Communion together:

“Thank you for giving me Gianna as the sweet companion of my life. Make our love grow ever greater, sweeter, and purer. Make me worthy of her, and may our family receive heaven’s blessings; may we and our children be holy”: this was my prayer to Jesus as soon as he had come into my heart, while at the same time I was moved by your devout recollection while you were talking to Jesus.
With greatest affection, I send you an embrace,

Their marriage was not easy. Gianna was a medical doctor; Pietro held a responsible position within a manufacturing company that required constant travel....

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