Maria Riley describes her new initiative to help us pray for, remember, and console women who have lost children during pregnancy.
There are no words to explain the grief of a mother who loses her child during pregnancy. For those of you who know, I do not need to elaborate. For those of you who have been spared this cross, my words would not begin to do it justice.
There are many pains and sorrows of suffering the loss of a child through miscarriage, and one of the most challenging is that no one else has the privilege of meeting and knowing your child. It is such a beautiful gift from God that, as mothers, we know and love our children from the moment of conception, yet that makes our pain when we lose them so much greater than that of people around us. Even our husbands don’t experience these losses in the same way. Because of this, grieving after a pregnancy loss can feel extremely lonely.
I write as a woman who knows. I have nine children: four amazing daughters here on earth and five who have preceded me to heaven. My pain and suffering has been intense. There were days when I was not sure I could go on. God carried me when I could not walk myself, and I am now ready to speak openly about my children. God has given me the strength to use my suffering to help other women who also suffer.
As I grieved, I always prayed for my children, thinking of them as little souls who needed my prayers. Recently, I realized I was wrong. Without sin, our children get an express pass to heaven, which makes them saints! I can pray to them, as saints, to pray for and intercede for me and my family, and for all of the other women who know this pain.
There is an entire army of Itty Bitty Saints in heaven, tiny souls who are called back to heaven before their time on earth. While I miss my children, I am overjoyed knowing that they are rejoicing in Jesus’s perfect love. When I think of my children in this way, my tears are turned into dancing (cf. Psalm 30:11).
I love that I personally know five Itty Bitty Saints in heaven, and I don’t want to stop there. I have created a list to keep track of these saints, and I would love to be able to add your Itty Bitty Saint to the list. With this list, I hope to accomplish three things:
- A compiled list so that I, and anyone else who wants to, can pray for you and your children so they won't be forgotten.
- A place for women who are hurting to turn their grief into prayer. When you feel alone and in pain, you can bring your hurt to this list and offer up prayers for all of the other women who know your pain.
- Most importantly, this will be a list of known saints, and we can pray to them to pray for us!
If you would like to add your Itty Bitty Saint to the list, please email Maria Riley at email@example.com with the saint's name, heavenly birthday, your (and your husband's) first name and last initial, and city/state. I will then send you the list of Itty Bitty Saints so you can pray for them to intercede for us.
While nothing can remove the pain of losing children, for me, recognizing them as saints has brought so much healing and peace. I hope and pray that it can help you too.
Itty Bitty Saints, pray for us!
Copyright 2022 Maria Riley
About the Author
Maria Riley is a passionate Catholic author and speaker who loves volunteering or playing board games when she’s not writing or mom-ing around with her four daughters. Her Catholic children’s chapter book series, Adventures with the Saints, has won awards and is endorsed by her bishop. Maria and her family live in Kansas. Visit her at MariaRileyAuthor.com or on social media @mariarileyauthor.