Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Feast of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla - April 28
St. Gianna Beretta Molla was an Italian pediatrician born in Magenta in the Kingdom of Italy on October 4, 1922. She was the tenth of thirteen children in her family.
At three-years-old, Gianna and her family moved to Bergamo, and she grew up in the Lombardy region of Italy.
She grew up viewing life as God's beautiful gift and found the greatest necessity and effectiveness in prayer. In 1942, Gianna began her study of medicine in Milan. She was a diligent and hardworking student, both at the university and in her faith. As a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Gianna applied her faith in an apostolic service for the elderly and needy.
In December 1954, Gianna met Pietro Molla, an engineer who worked in her office. They were officially engaged the following April, and married in September 1955, making Gianna a happy wife.
Gianna wrote to Pietro, "Love is the most beautiful sentiment that the Lord has put into the soul of men and women."
In November 1956, Gianna became a mother to her first child, Pierluigi. Their second child, Maria Zita, in December 1957, and their third, Laura, in July 1959.
Gianna handled motherhood with grace and was able to harmonize all aspects of her demanding life.
In 1961, Gianna became pregnant with her fourth child. Toward the end of her second month of pregnancy, Gianna was struck with an unimaginable pain. Her doctors discovered she had developed a fibroma in her uterus, meaning she was carrying both a baby and a tumor.
Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, and officially canonized as a saint on May 16, 2004. Her husband and their children, including Gianna Emanuela, attended her canonization ceremony, making this the first time a husband witnessed his wife's canonization.
St. Gianna is the inspiration behind the first pro-life Catholic healthcare center for women in New York, the Gianna Center.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. Her feast day is celebrated on April 28.