Painting: Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Artist: Neilson Carlin
“When I received the commission, I was told only one thing by Cardinal Burke: ‘Think the Sound of Music.'”
Thus, the scene in this painting depicts Saint Gianna in the hills above Magenta, Italy, surrounded by the “Gianna Babies,” children whose births were attributed to her intercession. Saint Gianna is depicted as wearing her lab coat with stethoscope in her pocket, accoutrements of her profession as a pediatrician. What might not be readily noticeable is that she is wearing a maternity top and is, therefore, pregnant.
The design leading up to Our Lady is based on the double-helix, alluding to her position as the Patroness of the Unborn. The flowers offered by the children are pink, a color which is a combination of red (symbolizing the life Saint Gianna offered for her child) and white (purity of spirit).
I wanted the color of the flowers to progress from pink to white – from earthly to spiritual. Thus, the color transitions from solid pink (flesh) to white (purity). The children above who attend Our Lady in purity and bliss hold white flowers.
The three children in the air around Saint Gianna’s shoulders are “Gianna Babies”, born through the intercession of Saint Gianna, as are the children at her side and the child in her arms. In the original design, the child in her arms was supposed to be Laura, Saint Gianna’s third child.