From her childhood,
she bore in her heart the admiration and love of missionary work.
Her mother and
Catholic Action instilled
this love. Often her mother sewed clothes for her own children
instead of buying them so she could send the money that she
saved to the missions. Gianna’s first wish was to be a doctor
but she never hid the wish of becoming a lay missionary.
She had hoped to join her brother Alberto, a missionary in Brazil
and offer her medical services, which were badly needed. However,
obstacle after obstacle prevented her from carrying out her wish.
The necessary permissions were slow in coming, Gianna could not
find anyone to replace her at the clinic, and her spiritual advisor
advised her to wait. Gianna also came to a realization that her
health was not sufficient for her to endure the rigors of the
Gianna spent many years in the uncertainty of the choice of her
state of life. She interiorized her longing: she prayed often,
asked others for prayers and repeatedly sought advice. She suffered
much because she was really convinced of her vocation as a lay
Her disconcertment caused her a great deal of unrest; not on
the faith level but in the planning of her life. She felt called
by God for a particular vocation and then at the very moment
of responding, it seemed that He prevented her from doing so.
Was it perhaps a way of leading her to an even higher purpose…….?
Instead of losing heart, she intensified her prayer in order
to know God’s will better. She went on a pilgrimage to
Lourdes where she prayed at great length. Through spiritual direction,
she finally understood that she was being called to God to form
a family. At that point she directed her thoughts to the married
state, secure in the knowledge that this was God’s will
This decision corresponded perfectly with what she thought and
was taught: life is a vocation to do well. A vocation, which
from the beginning is open to every form of good, grows with
the inspiration of the Lord and becomes a personal call and a
a particular end and obeys a law. Everything develops toward
a predestined end. God has traced a way for each one of us, our vocation
and a life of grace together with our physical
The day will come when we will
become aware of others around us, and when this happens we will become new
persons. It is a sacred and also a tragic moment in the passage
from childhood to adolescence.
The problem of our future is posed at this moment… not that we must resolve
this problem at fifteen years of age, but at least we are able to orient ourselves
along the path to which the Lord is calling us. Both our earthly and eternal
happiness depends on following our vocation very carefully.”
“What is a vocation? It is a gift from God and therefore comes from God.
If then it is a gift from God, it is up to us to do all in our power to know
will. We must
go along that way, if God wills it, not forcing the door; when God wills it,
how God wills it.”
Every vocation is a “call” from God for a particular mission of good
and for one’s own sanctification. To those who marvel at her having abandoned
the thought of missionary life in Brazil, she replied:
“All the Lord’s ways are beautiful because their end is one and the
same:to save our own soul and to succeed in leading many other souls to
heaven, to give glory to God.”