Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Infertile couples praying for a baby miracle

Road trip to Rome. Yeah, right.

I can't locate the video again. Here's the transcript from CNN's Anderson Co.oper 360 Degrees:

CO.OPER: Infertility affects about six million people in the U.S. alone. The problem, of course, is heartbreaking for a lot of couples who are desperately trying to have a child. Most people turn to modern medicine for help conceiving, but there are those who are willing to travel thousands of miles in search of what they hope will be a miracle.Here's CNN's faith and values correspondent, Delia Gallagher.


(voice-over): Hundreds, even thousands of faithful come to this church in Rome each week. Many are women who have all but given up on having a child. And they are desperate for a miracle.

From the outside, the Church of Sant'Agostino looks like so many in Rome. Built in the 13th century, its facade is said to be made of stones from ruins of the Roman Coliseum.

Inside, there's the tomb of St. Monica, Mother Sant'Agostino, and this, the Madonna dei Pellegrini by Caravaggio, a once controversial painting depicting the Virgin Mary in a less than sacred setting. But look at this. This is why these women come. It's Iacopo Sansovini's Madonna del Parto, the Madonna of childbirth. Often accompanied by their husbands, they are drawn to the statue. They sometimes cry and always pray. Father Bernardino Pinciarolli is the friar of Sant'Agostino. He says he has seen the sorrow and the hope in the eyes of couples who ask for something that appears to come so easily to others but for them is so elusive.

FATHER BERNARDINO PINCIAROLLI, FRIAR OF SANT'AGOSTINO (through translator): This is the most beautiful thing, to see these women and next to them their husbands with the same sadness, but at the same time seeing that there is joy in the request.

GALLAGHER: For 500 years believers have come here to ask for their tiny miracles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I have always prayed to this Madonna. I prayed to her every time I've been with child, and now I'm a mother of three. So I've become devoted to her.

GALLAGHER: So many of the women who came to pray wouldn't speak to us on camera. But Louisa, here to give thanks for her three healthy children, told us there are many stories of how the Madonna helped women whose only wish was to have a child. There's no question that those who visit the Madonna believe in miracles, perhaps with good reason. Father Bernardino says the church doesn't keep count of how many babies have been born after parents came to pray at the statue, but he does know how many have returned through the years to show their gratitude. From the thousands of photographs kept carefully in albums. Overjoyed parents with their newborns and baby booties, ribbons, toys pinned to the walls. Tokens of thanks from thousands of grateful mothers and fathers.

PINCIAROLLI (through translator): I've seen and heard extraordinary things. Sometimes they come here from baptisms and say, "Lord, this child was given us to by Mary." It's a beautiful thing.

GALLAGHER: The Madonna and her child, bringing hope to couples who seem to have so little. The miracle of childbirth has a special meaning here.

Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.


DD said...

Damn. Link's not working.

Cricket said...

It's a video. I thought I got it off of CNN, but it is buried now. I'll keep looking.

Anonymous said...

We were there in 2001. No, we didn't go especially but we were in Rome and we heard about it and had already been trying for a bit and figured it couldn't hurt. No kid until 2005, and then it still took nearly 40 K over 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Dang, I knew I was missing something by not being religious, let alone Catholic. A visit to Italy probably would have cost me a lot less than all the fertility treatments. Oh, but then I didn't have a "father" and wasn't married... I wonder if that Madonna works for single moms too?? After all, wasn't she still single when she conceived?