St. Gianna Molla

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla | Wife, Mother, Pediatrician

Gianna Beretta Molla was born on October 4, 1922 to Alberto and Marie Beretta.  She was baptized in the Basilica of S. Martino in Magenta, Italy.  At the age of five, she made her first Communion and at the age of 27 she received a degree in medicine and surgery.  Gianna met her husband Pietro at Mass and within four months they became engaged.  Five months later they were married.  Gianna was age 34 when she had her first child.  She juggled a career as a medical doctor with being a wife and a mother.  Amongst their three living children (Pierluigi, Laura, & Mariolina), they also experienced the loss of two babies through miscarriage.

At age 38, Gianna had to undergo surgery to remove a uterine tumor while pregnant with their fourth child.  Seven months later she gave birth to her daughter, Gianna Emanuela. However, several days later St. Gianna passed away from an infection. Nearly two years after her death, her husband Pietro experienced the loss of their child Mariolina due to illness (age 6).  Pietro writes, “she passed away while praying the Hail Mary.”

St. Gianna is often referred to as a “pro-life saint”.  During her life she was involved in many ways with Catholics in Action.  She was beatified in 1994 during the International Year of the Family and 10 years later was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2004 for having put her unborn child’s life before her own.  He describes her as “a model of virtue, holiness, motherhood, professionalism, and devotion to the faith.”  She was consecrated to Mary and often attended daily mass.  She was a modern day hero of divine love.

Con Pierluigi e Mariolina in Val Veny, Courmayeur,settembre1958

St. Gianna Prayer

God, our Father, we praise You and we bless You because in Saint Gianna Beretta Molla You have given and made Known to us a woman who witnessed the Gospel as a young person and bride, as a mother and doctor. We thank You because, through the gift of her life, we learn to accept and honour every human being.

Lord Jesus, You were for her a privileged reference. She was able to see You in the beauty of nature. As she questioned her choice of life, she was searching for You and for the best way to serve You. Through her married love, she became a sign of your love for the Church and for all men and women. Like You, Good Samaritan, she stopped at the side of every sick person, of the small and the weak. Following your example, she lovingly offered up her life, while giving new life.

Holy Spirit, source of all perfection, give also to us wisdom, intelligence and courage so that, following Saint Gianna’s example and through her intercession, we may serve every person in our personal, family and professional life, and thus grow in love and holiness. Amen.

With ecclesiastical approval + Angelo Mascheroni, Auxiliary Bishop of Milan