August 3, 2017

Melania Trump is America’s First Catholic First Lady Since 1963

Melania Trump has been in the public eye for decades, albeit nothing quite like the attention she attracts as first lady. She has successfully kept her personal life extremely private throughout her years as a supermodel and as President Donald Trump’s wife. However, with her recent international trip with the president, more was revealed about the first lady, specifically her faith. Melania is now the first Catholic first lady in the White House since Jacqueline Kennedy.

While most of their time centered on President Trump offering speeches in each country, the president and first lady’s visit to the Vatican was a “personal and memorable” visit for both. When Melania quietly held her rosary out to Pope Francis, she confirmed her faith to the world as a Catholic. The blessing of a rosary is a pinnacle moment for any devout Catholic. This is not a huge shock, considering her Slovenian heritage, a predominantly Catholic country. While she has not discussed her parents’ faiths specifically, family and tradition are essential to her.

The implications of having a Catholic First Lady in the White House are difficult to predict because of Melania’s private lifestyle. Moral issues like abortion are vital to Catholics, however it is unclear what Melania believes. During an interview 2006, she described the miracle of life after giving birth to her only son Barron. Melania stated:

The love. It’s unconditional love. (Being a new mother is) wonderful. Every mother knows this. It’s a miracle almost, I could say, and that two people can create. It’s very, very special. “You can watch the baby, every move he makes. It’s just amazing. A great, great experience. I was very lucky. I had a beautiful pregnancy. Everyone is healthy and happy.

Whether she will be helpful for the pro-life movement is yet to be seen.

So far, Melania does not appear to be as vocal as other first ladies. However, concern for sick children has been an important issue to her. Previously, Melania has donated to American Red Cross, Make a Wish Foundation, and the New York City Boy Scouts; all charities dear to her heart. Melania has also often visited hospitals, offering comforting assurance of prayers for healing.

Traditional family values such as marriage and motherhood are central to Melania’s life. She married President Trump at Florida Episcopal Church in 2005 and Barron will attend St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in the fall. The Trump family attends Florida Episcopal Church for Easter. Her rhetoric, juxtaposed to the president’s, is quite different. On her Twitter page she offers prayers during tragedies and uses religious rhetoric. While it is unclear if Melania is a practicing Catholic, her faith undeniably plays a prominent role in her life.

Recently, Melania opened a rally in Florida for the President with the Lord’s Prayer, a move which many faith leaders, including Billy Graham, applauded. This First Lady has brought her faith to the White House filling a much needed void that her husband cannot seem to quite fill. Melania is classy, humble, and a charitable woman who has the potential to be a great role model for young ladies. Personally, as I have been exploring the merits of Catholicism, I found her public faith proclamation thought provoking.

I look forward to seeing how the First Lady’s Catholic faith evolves in the coming years. Hopefully, Americans will see more little moments such as the one at the Vatican, revealing more about First Lady Melania Trump’s faith.

2 Responses to Melania Trump is America’s First Catholic First Lady Since 1963

  1. Katie Dux says:

    Very nice article, Hannah. Well done!

  2. Kristen says:

    This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.
    -Pope Francis

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