By Andrea Gagliarducci
Pope Paul VI’s love for life, highlighted in his encyclical Humanae Vitae, is at the center of the miracles that paved the way to his beatification and canonization, both of which involved unborn children.
Because of these miracles, “Paul VI might be invoked as the protector of the rising life,” Fr. Antonio Marrazzo, the postulator of his cause of canonization, told CNA.
As noted, both of Pope Paul VI’s approved miracles were performed for unborn children. In neither of the two cases was the mother ever in mortal danger. In both cases, it was not a first pregnancy. In both cases, the pregnancy could have ended with an abortion, a miscarriage, or a significant deformity for the child. In both cases, the possibility of a therapeutic abortion was suggested. Both the baby were born and are still in good health.
All of these circumstances seem designed as reminders Bl. Paul VI is the pope of the Humanae Vitae.
Humanae Vitae 14 reads: “Therefore we base our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when we are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.”
An abortion was, in fact, suggested to Mrs. Vanna Pironato, wife of Alberto Tagliaferri, in 2014, while she was pregnant with her second baby.
A note from the postulator of the late pope’s canonization explained that “on Sep. 23, 2014, Mrs. Vanna Pironato, during her 13th week of gestation of her second pregnancy, was hospitalized because of a threat of abortion, due to the premature break of the amniochorial membranes, which caused the consequent leak of amniotic fluid.”
Doctors informed Pironato that she could miscarry, though she didn’t, and she was discharged from the hospital Sep. 29. Her pregnancy continued, despite a continual loss of blood and amniotic fluid.
Doctors suggested that Pironata undergo an abortion, but she and her husband refused to do so. A friend reminded her that Pope Paul VI was going to be beatified shortly thereafter, on Oct. 14, and that he had worked a miracle for an unborn child.
She, along with her husband and their son went to a shrine that the Paul VI used to visit, St. Mary of the Graces in Brescia, on Oct. 29, 2014.
From that day forward, Pironato prayed daily for Bl. Paul VI’s intercession, throughout a very difficult pregnancy.
Despite a series of hospitalization and the continual loss of amniotic fluid, Amanda Paola Tagliaferri was born on Dec. 25, 2014, prematurely, at a gestational age of 26 weeks. Amanda was immediately taken to the neonatal intensive treat unit. Discharged Dec. 27, 2014 in stable condition, she was later hospitalized for further cares at the Legnago hospital. She was discharged Apr. 11, 2015, in good health.
The postulator noted that “baby Amanda Tagliaferro was constantly monitored and she is still in good health.” It was a miracle prolonged over three months, as for those three months, the child had practically no amniotic fluid, and so a malformation or even a miscarriage were considered almost certain.
This miracle is similar to the one that initially paved the way for Bl. Paul VI’s beatification. That miracle took place in the United States in 2001. In that case, an unborn child was in critical condition, after suffering ruptured organs.
Again, in that case, miscarriage or a serious deformity was expected. Again, in that case, an abortion was suggested, and the mother refused. She prayed for the intercession of Paul Vi thanks to the suggestion of an Italian nun. The baby was born in good condition at his 8th month of gestation, and he is now doing well.
The miracle of Amanda Tagliaferro was not forwarded to the postulator of Bl. Paul VI’s cause. Instead, he learned of the miracle after reading an interview with the mother in a local newspaper, and he asked for further clinical data based upon that interview.
According to the postulator, it was as if Paul VI wanted to give a sign: you do not have to look so much for the miracle, because it is already there.