St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center Dedicates Hand-Carved Italian Statue

(PUEBLO, COLO.) The Birth Place at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center recently dedicated a statue of St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of expectant mothers, during a ceremony in front of community leaders, administrators, physicians, associates and chaplains which included music, prayer and a blessing. The hand-carved statue commissioned from Italy was a gift from an anonymous donor in gratitude for their familys remarkable patient experience at The Birth Place and the healthy births of their grandchildren.

We are fortunate to gather here in our common humanity and to offer a means of spiritual support, said Rev. Linda Stetter, director of mission and spiritual care. Our hope is that through the visible presence of St Gerard Majella and through his prayers of intercession, that our mothers and their families will receive a blessing of encouragement, confidence and a special sense of the presence of God in their hours of need.

Born in Muro, Italy in 1726 and the youngest of five children, Majella lived a short life of only 29 years, but he filled those brief years with a humble service to others as a sacristan, gardener, porter, cook, infirmarian, and tailor. However, because of his great piety, extraordinary wisdom and his gift of reading consciences, he was permitted to counsel communities of religious women. He became a professed lay brother of the Redemptorists in 1752 and over time, he earned the devotion of expectant mothers as an ever-present help in time of need.

For more than 130 years, The Birth Place at St. Mary-Corwin has been delivering babies and caring for new moms in southern Colorado and Pueblo, Stetter added. We are especially grateful to have St. Gerard Majella among us, ministering to fortify the spirits and confidence of expectant mothers, their families and all who enter here.

One miracle in particular explains why Majella became known as the special patron of mothers. A few months before his death, he visited the Pirofalo family and accidentally dropped his handkerchief. One of the Pirofalo girls spotted the handkerchief moments after hed left the house, and she ran after Gerard to return it. Keep it, he said to her. You may need it someday."

Years later when the girlnow a married womanwas on the verge of losing her life in childbirth, she remembered the words of the saintly lay brother. She asked for the handkerchief to be brought to her. Almost immediately the pain disappeared and she gave birth to a healthy child.

This was no small feat in an era when only one out of three pregnancies resulted in a live birth and word of the miracle spread quickly. Because of the miracles God worked through Majella's prayers with mothers, the mothers of Italy took him to their hearts and made him their patron. At the process of his beatification one witness testified that he was known as "il santo dei felice parti"the saint of happy childbirth.

Majella was beatified in Rome on Jan. 29, 1893, by Pope Leo XIII. He was canonized less than twelve years later on Dec. 11, 1904, by Pope Saint Pius X. The feast day of Saint Gerard Majella is October 16.

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About St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center is nationally recognized for its award-winning programs in womens services, orthopedics, cancer, cardiology, stroke, trauma and emergency services. St. Mary-Corwins expert team of physicians, nurses and caregivers provide compassionate, quality patient care, with access to the latest in medical technology. St. Mary-Corwin is part of Centura Health, the regions leading health care network.

Wendi Dammann
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, administrative director, business development
719-557-3814 (desk)
719-251-6541 (cell)