374 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived
Stefania, who became Sr. Maria Cecilia, a cloistered Benedictine nun,
died in 1963.
The Quattrocchis were a middle-class family whose home was a wel-
coming place and even became a shelter for refugees during World War II.
The couple went through a crisis in 1913 when Maria became preg-
nant. Doctors told her that she would not survive the pregnancy and
that the child also would die. They said that an abortion could save her
life. Maria and Luigi knew that if they followed the doctors’ advice, they
would be guilty of a grave sin. They simply put their trust in God’s protec-
tion. Maria ultimately delivered Enrichetta safely. The whole experience
brought the family to a new level of living their faith and trust in God.
In his homily at the beatification of this couple, Pope John Paul II cited
this question of Jesus, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on
earth?” (Lk 18:8). The pope said that Luigi and Maria were an example of
a positive reply to Christ’s question. The husband and wife lived in the first
half of the twentieth century, a time when faith was severely challenged.
In this setting, they always said “yes” to Christ.
Throughout those difficult years, Luigi and Maria kept the lamp of faith
burning and passed it on to their four children. Acknowledging the pres-
ence of three of them at the beatification, the pope quoted a line their
mother had written about them: “We brought them up in the faith, so that
they might know and love God.”
The beatification was held on the twentieth anniversary of the publica-
On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World
; FC), a document from Pope John Paul II.
asks couples to follow the path of holiness by virtue of the sacramental
grace “which is not exhausted in the actual celebration of the sacrament,
but rather accompanies the married couple throughout their lives” (FC,
Blessed Luigi and Blessed Maria walked that journey of holiness in
the light of the Gospel and in a deeply human way. Their son Fr. Tarcisio
remembered that “the aspect that characterized our family life was the
atmosphere of normality that our parents created in the constant seeking
of spiritual values.”
No family is without its steady dose of disappointments and trials.
Many are tempted to discouragement. There are those who face illness