In the hospital of Sant’Orsola in Bologna, small gestures like the gift of a holy card can open to way for hope and prayer.

Recently, at the hospital of Sant’Orsola in Bologna, some facts happened that testify how, through small gestures, the Lord and His saints can work miracles. Sunday morning, I make the rounds in the department of Obstetrics, in order to bring communion to the mothers that are about to give birth or who have given birth.
A month ago, I entered the room where the women are recovered for natural pregnancies that did not have complications. A girl who had just given birth called to me from her bed, inviting me to come closer. “Father, don’t you remember me? You came to visit me last February. I was in tears because I had an at-risk pregnancy and was seriously in danger of losing my child. You gave me the holy card of St. Gianna and told me to entrust myself to her. I did as you said, I kept the holy card with me at all times, I even brought it into the delivery room: and the birth went right as rain!” As she told me this, tears of joy ran down her face. Beside her, there was the baby, as fit as a fiddle. This struck me because I had only given her a holy card and told her to pray. However, my simple presence in that moment of difficulty had given hope to a mother and worked a miracle: I feel that I am bringing to fruition that which the Lord, through the priesthood, has called me to.
The second fact is similar: Cecilia was recovering in pathology, where there are the more complicated pregnancies. The first time that I went to visit her, she struck me immediately for her smile and her positivity. I gave her communion and then gave her a holy card of the Archangel Gabriel, just because I had it in my pocket! She told me about how her pregnancy was at risk: she had damage in her placenta and the child wasn’t able to receive nutrition properly. Many doctors had encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy. “But I am going forward,” she said, with a force of will and faith that moved me. I went many times to visit her, and, in addition to becoming my friend, she became friends with other doctors of the Movement who work in that floor, gynecologists and pediatricians.
One day, I asked her what she was going to name her baby. “Gabriella,” she responded, “because of that holy card that you gave me.” Then she added: “Gabriel announced a miracle to Mary and now I am waiting that he will announce a miracle to me as well.” She recounted to me again how some doctors had invited her to have an abortion, and the smile that never lacked was transformed in tears which became prayer. She received communion almost every day, and every time I was there I would bless her.
Monday, once I finished saying the Mass, I saw a message on my telephone. “Fr. Santo, come because I am about to give birth.” In fact, the birth seemed to have some sort of complication. I ran over: everything is ready, but the doctors decided to put it off until the next day. This happens again, and the date became Friday the 29th: the feast of St. Gabriel! It was clear that our prayers had been heard and that Providence was guiding this event.
And so, Friday morning, I went to the hospital, straight to the delivery room, in order to baptize the baby as soon as she was born, as she was in danger for her life. Providence wanted also that in that moment in the delivery room there were our gynecologist friends! After some minutes, the first verdict: Gabriella weighs only 430 grams but she seems to be otherwise well!
I baptize her in the incubator with a cotton swab: some of the pediatrics welcome me, a nurse leaves in a huff, murmuring that there are other more important things to do. After some hours, the confirmation: Gabriella needs to grow still, but she is doing fine. No one (except the mother) had expected it would go this way. But, in the end, we need to give in in front of a fact and a series of coincidences that, at a certain point, cease to be coincidences.

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