Yonkers Woman Has 16 Kids After Praying for Intercession

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Prayer, Pregnancy, Queens, NY

Family was always at the center of Josephine Spano’s life, even in her final days, as she passed away in December.

“My mom, she impacted our family’s life so much,” Victoria Smith, Spano’s daughter, said. 

That family began on July 12th, 1952, when she married her teenage sweetheart, Leonard, at just 18 years old. However, their marital bliss would soon end with incredible loss. 

“After Nick was born, she had the twins. Unfortunately, they passed,” Smith said, “She had two miscarriages after that.” 

It was always Josephine’s dream to have a big family, but when her dream wasn’t coming true, she turned to her doctor, who gave her something that went beyond modern medicine. 

“He had given her a St. Gerard card. “And he said, ‘Here, this should help you,'” said Smith.

Josephine prayed for the intercession of the patron saint of motherhood every chance she could get. 

“Give me whatever child you want to give me, but just don’t take any away. And she stuck to her word,” said Rosemarie Gannon, Spano’s daughter.

She went on to have eight boys and eight girls. 

For the past 53 years, she held a small service to honor St. Gerard, doing everything she could to spread the saint’s help to those who needed it.  

“If you wanted to have a baby, she would touch you,” said Smith. “She put you in her prayer box.”

Her son, Lenny, helped his mom create a website dedicated to the saint. 

He was moved by the emails he would get from people nationwide.

“Some of the stories were so uplifting, and some of them were very, very tragic and sad,” said Lenny Spano, Josephine’s son. 

When the time came, that devotion also benefited her own family, such as her granddaughter Dana Pellegrino. 

“Before I said my last goodbyes to my grandma, I tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘Grandma, make sure you get me,'” Pellegrino said. 

“And then a month later, we actually found out on St. Joseph’s day that it was two.”

Through her prayers, Josephine’s family grew to include 16 children, 42 grandchildren, and 28 great-grandchildren, but her kids say her legacy reaches far beyond that. 

 “I don’t think she ever realized how many lives she really touched,” Lenny said.

And they feel Josephine is still helping moms in need up in heaven.