Happy Wednesday All.
"Now, I kneel before her, a marvelous and strong woman, fiancee, wife and mother, who, in her love for life and for the child in her womb, knew how to scale the heights of the greatest love which Jesus showed us." ~ Peitro Molla
I hope and pray your day is good. Before I review the book, I wanted to tell you a little about Saint Gianna. She lived her life in God's domain and it shows in these beautiful letters, her career, her marriage, and every aspect of her life. Deeply spiritual, Saint Gianna is the epitome of Christian Motherhood as she gave her life, so her fourth child could live.
Here are a few websites about her: Saint Gianna; Miracles for Canonization; About Saint Gianna. You really must find out more about her if you don't know her stories.
Around the time of her canonization, Saint Gianna's letters to her beloved Pietro were published. After he passed away, his children allowed their letters to be published together for this book. This book is a beautiful testimony to their love of God, family and one-another.
The Journey of Our Love - The Letters of Saint Giana Beretta and Pietro Molla.
This review has been a long time coming. I have to say, it's a challenging review to write. Let's face it, love letters are personal and though I am so happy to have them, for their great example and gift to married couples (and those who want to marry), it's quite strange to assess them -- according to the more practical part of my mind.
Some people, when reading books, skip the Foreward. This book has a Presentation (by Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Archbishop of Milan), Forward (by Cardinal Angelo Comastri of the Vatican), two Prefaces (one by Gianna Emmanuela (their youngest daughter) and one by Pietro) and an Introduction by Elio Guerriero (editor). Please do not skip any of this. I think without these parts, the letters, though beautiful, would not come to life, as much. It's just my humble opinion.
In the Introduction, Elio Guerriero said this about the letters:
The exchange of letters between Saint Gianna and her husband Pietro intrudes a new and significant chapter in Christian Spirituality. Better than a theological traits, 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 location as a Christian Called to holiness with Christ in married life.In another passage, he says:
In fact, lifting the veil on their private life, they show us that love centered in Christ takes away nothing of the beautify of being in love of attraction toward and passion for the beloved, of loving transports and dedication to the children. On the contrary, in these letters of husband and wife, these sentiments are set before us, fresh, pure and joyful, ever renewed by participation in the Church's liturgy and by communion in prayer which kept the two united during their separations, the birth of new babies and the demands of their professions.This couple worked, prayed, lived apart, struggled with loss, and loved so deeply and tenderly. They complimented each other in every way.
The letters span their dating lives through their mature marriage. They show the love and laughter and perhaps the little things. I am struggling to describe them to you because they are simple and profound at the same time. I can see many of us, if we still lived in the time before Internet, writing the same kinds of letters to our spouses. Some are romantic. Some are childlike. Some are descriptive and longer. Some are very short. All are received with love and treasured.
For me, these letters give insight to a great woman. A Saint that I was introduced to a year or two ago, whom I wish I'd "met" sooner. They also give insight to a beautiful man who remained faithful to her and the family they built and the faith they lived their lives by... until the end of his life. Mostly they give insight to the humanity of marriage and the love that faith builds.
This book is a testimony to how we should all live our lives (and I dare say, examples of the many ways we need to step it up while we have the chance). I am going to read it again.
Thank you Cathy Kinpper for sending me this book six months ago. Please forgive my delay in reviewing it.