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Article: April 28 + Saint Gianna Beretta Molla

April 28 + Saint Gianna Beretta Molla - VENXARA®

April 28 + Saint Gianna Beretta Molla

Gianna Beretta Molla was an Italian medical doctor who lived a life of heroic virtue. She is a saint for our modern times with much to teach us through her life as a faithful Catholic, successful working woman, devoted wife, and loving mother.

Gianna was born in Italy in 1922. She was raised in a large and strong Catholic family; both of her parents were Third Order Franciscans. Daily Mass and a daily rosary were part of her family tradition, and of the 13 children born to her parents there were two priests, a nun, and a saint (Gianna).

Gianna was an adventurous woman who loved skiing and mountaineering. She studied medicine in college while also serving others through Catholic Action and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She earned degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949. After opening her own medical clinic she gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly, and the poor, inspiring her to specialize in Pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952.

She fell in love with Pietro Molla, an engineer, and shortly before their 1955 marriage, Gianna wrote to Pietro: “Love is the most beautiful sentiment that the Lord has put into the soul of men and women.” In the next four years the Mollas had three children: Pierluigi, Mariolina, and Laura. Two pregnancies following ended in miscarriage.

Early in her sixth pregnancy, doctors discovered that Gianna had both a child and a tumor in her uterus. She allowed the surgeons to remove the tumor but refused both an abortion and a hysterectomy despite knowing that continuing the refusal could result in her own death.

Seven months later in April 1962, Gianna Emanuela Molla was born at the hospital in Monza, but post-operative complications resulted in an infection. Seven days later, after much painful suffering, Gianna died on April 28, 1962. She was 39 years old. Among her last words were, “Jesus, I love you.”

Gianna was beatified in 1994 and canonized 10 years later. She is the patron saint of physicians, pregnant mothers, unborn children, and against abortion.

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