Culture

Bella Santorum Turns Seven and Points the Way to Beauty

On May 13, 2015, Isabella Maria Santorum turns seven years old. Our family and a few dear friends will gather to celebrate with her. However, we will be the ones who receive the real gift: her infectious smile. It will light candles in every heart. 

The smile of our daughter not only makes our hearts leap, it seems to light up the whole world. 

Isabella means consecrated to God — and she is. The shortened version of her name, the one we use, is Bella. Bella means beautiful — and she is so very beautiful. Bella is wise beyond her years, teaching our family and the many others she’s touched what matters most in life. 

Bella makes life in the Santorum home an experience of love, hope and beauty in a way that we could never have imagined. She has also touched many other lives, helping people focus on what really matters most: love. 

She is also named after Mary, the Mother of the Lord Jesus. Mary’s yes to the invitation of God’s Love speaks loudly to an age which is increasingly barren, though it claims to be enlightened. Bella teaches us about love’s invitation to always say yes on a daily basis. 

Bella makes life in the Santorum home an experience of love, hope and beauty in a way that we could never have imagined.

We vividly remember the advice of some who, in the name of a profane counterfeit of compassion, counseled us to end her life. First, they advised us to reach into the first home of the whole human race by procuring an abortion. Then, after her birth, they repeatedly suggested that we cease giving her the air, water, and nutrition she had a right to receive. In many cases, they even tried to deny her such care.

Fortunately, we have the gift of faith and a conscience formed by the Sacred Scriptures and the teaching of a Church which will never deny the truth that every single human life has dignity. 

We also have the gift of a loving family — because it really does take a family. And we have a circle of friends who have stood in solidarity with us all along the way. Through Bella we are learning how to love and finding the kind of hope which never disappoints and shines its light into every area of human life. 

Many people we meet tell us they are praying for Bella. In many instances, these are people who either never prayed, or had stopped believing that it did any good. She has changed more lives than most of us have or ever will. 

She has helped every member of her family — and all who have received her as the gift she truly is — to make their lives a place of love, hope, and beauty. 

So, this little treasure of a girl who was given little chance to survive outside of the womb, is now the center of attention in the Santorum home today. The seven candles on the cake will not generate nearly the light which her smile will. 

Just as the great Hebrew prophet Isiah promises, “a little child shall lead them,” Bella points the way. Bella is called, in contemporary social language, a special needs child. Yet, she has taught us to understand the most basic human need, the need to love. 

In the days ahead, we will have much to say about future plans, dreams, and hopes for this nation we love. 

But, for today, we invite you to join us and our children in wishing Bella Santorum a happy birthday. In an age which has such a deep need for beauty, we have been given beauty in this little girl we are so happy to have, to hug, and to love.  

The great C.S. Lewis wrote in The Weight of Glory that:

We do not merely want to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.

We offer Bella to all of you. So many people, when they encounter her, are left without words. There is good reason. Words alone can never capture the real meaning of life and communicate the power of love. Bella Santorum turns seven and points the way to beauty.

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