Lisa Marino is a young doctor of physical therapy and devout Catholic woman, wife and mother who is using her feminine genius to transform the health of families – body and soul – in an authentically Catholic way. In the following blog, she tells the poignant story of how Our Lady laid out her mission in life to be a wife, a mother, and a faithful Catholic healthcare provider.
Five years ago I sat in my chair at the Defending the Faith Conference at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. I had a few moments to journal in between speakers when all of a sudden the words “body and soul” came to me.
At that time I was a graduate student in the doctor of physical therapy program at Ohio State with a recent reversion back to the Catholic Church. I also happened to be at the conference with my future husband, Nick, who I was expecting to propose while at the conference. (FYI, He didn’t. I should have known it would have to wait until after football season as he was a young, passionate head coach).
So these words, “body and soul”, were no surprise to me as I spent much of my time literally studying the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the body in grad school. This was coupled with many Lighthouse Catholic CDs, Dynamic Catholic books, and exciting discussions as Nick and I both became on fire for our Catholic faith again.
I tried many times over the years to figure out what my calling was in healing body and soul. Was it a retreat? A women’s exercise group? A blog? Nothing seemed to come to fruition and I slowly drifted away from praying about it.
Fast forward a couple years past our winter wedding, my graduation, and our first baby. Nick and I had been invited in 2016 to begin Schoenstatt classes at our new parish. Schoenstatt is a lay Catholic Marian movement founded by Fr. Joseph Kentenich in Germany in 1914. Schoenstatt is like a consecration to Mary on steroids, drawing us even deeper into a relationship with her son Jesus. I’m told even Pope Francis has Schoenstatt’s iconic image of the Blessed Mother holding Jesus on his nightstand.
So we made our covenant of love with Mary in 2017. Shortly after we dedicated a home shrine to the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt. It is here that we pray, study, and offer our daily lives as a family. And what about Mary’s title? The title of Mother Thrice Admirable has several meanings and dates back to the 16th century. According to the University of Dayton, “Mary is the Mother of God, Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed…She is also admirable in faith, hope and charity; she was virgin before, in, and after the birth of Christ; Child of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit.”
And like I never saw it coming, Mary, as my mother and educator, laid out my mission before me. First, a call back to my primary vocation as a wife and mother. Then, as a professional, to help my patients heal, body and soul. In 2017 I left my mainstream healthcare job to not only be home more for my family, but to work part-time building my own practice founded on the principles of evidence- based medicine coupled with the need for spiritual healing.
Thus, Victress Health and Wellness [victress means victorious woman] was founded to transform the health of families, body and soul. I started by treating patients out of the office in our home shrine room. I could not believe how much faster patients healed just with the simple act of incorporating prayer at the end of our sessions.
Not long after, my sister and fellow physical therapist, Erin Hazelbaker, started incorporating Christ into her work as a doula, or childbirth coach. She was seeing the same redemptive effects through pregnancy, labor, delivery, and post-partum.
Over the years, Erin and I have shared many conversations on witnessing the power of prayer in health as well as the importance of understanding the evidence and best practice of great medical care.
Erin and I are eager to bring to you our stories and insights as healthcare professionals and moms in a world that rejects the Gospel message. It is our desire to share the very real and practical ways to achieve your family’s best health at a time when healthcare is often insufficient or expensive and religion is greatly threatened.
In addition to blogging for our New Age website from time to time, Dr. Marino has also launched the Victress Podcast which will help the faithful consumer to navigate the New Age-strewn waters of today’s healthcare industry.
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Lisa Marino is a doctor of physical therapy and runs her health and wellness practice out of Anna, Ohio. She strives to be a loving wife and mother to her husband, Nick, and two young boys, Simon and Benedict. Learn more about Dr. Marino here.