Wisconsin shrine to install St. Gianna Molla relic

.- The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin announced the upcoming installation of a first-class relic of St. Gianna Molla that will take place following a Mass which will honor the saint.

On April 25, the shrine will hold Mass along with a prayer service, veneration and installation of the relic. A blessing for mothers and married couples will also be given.

The local La Crosse Tribune reported that the relic consists of three hair strands from the Italian saint.

“We’re very, very honored to have that here. It’s through the graciousness of the family,” said Sister Christa Marie, executive director of the shrine. Sister Christa Marie told the La Crosse Tribune on March 27 that she had asked the saint’s son, Pierluigi, if the family would provide the relic after he spoke at the shrine last July.

St. Gianna died in 1962 shortly after giving birth to her fourth child. The pediatric surgeon developed uterine tumors while pregnant and was advised by doctors to terminate the pregnancy. She refused, and chose to give birth, dying a few days later at the age of 39.

“One person’s life and one person’s death has had such an impact on so many lives,” Sister Christa Marie said. “She lived a beautiful, Christian life. She did live ordinary in an extraordinary way.”

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which opened in 2008 under the direction of  Archbishop Raymond Burke, recently installed a first-class relic of St. Faustina Kowalska on Divine Mercy Sunday. The relic of the Polish saint who died in 1938 consists of bone fragments which were brought to the La Crosse diocese from Rome by Archbishop Burke. 

Sister Christa Marie spoke to the La Crosse Tribune on the importance of relics, saying, “It's an ability to connect. It just reminds us that we are one big family.”

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