St. Gianna – Table of Contents
- Early Life
- Road to Sainthood
- Related Saints
- Related Prayers
St. Gianna Overview
- Birth: Oct. 4, 1922
- Location: Magenta, Italy
- Death: April 28, 1962
- Beatification: April 24, 1994
- Canonized: May 16, 2004
- Feast Day: April 28
- Patron Saint of: Expectant mothers, unborn children, physicians
St. Gianna Beretta Molla – Early Life
St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a wife, a mother, and a doctor. In 1942, she began studying medicine at the University of Pavia and later, the University of Milan. She eventually received her degree and became a gifted physician with a special eye towards children and pregnant women.
She dreamed of joining her brother in Brazilian missions, but her health would not allow it, so she practiced pediatrics in a local clinic.
Road to Sainthood
In 1954 she met Pietro Molla, and they married a year later, raising a beautiful family together.
Her fourth pregnancy, however, brought serious complications: Doctors discovered a tumor in her uterus, and they recommended that she abort her child.
Gianna refused, desiring instead to sacrifice her life for her child.
Before the necessary surgery, Gianna insisted that if any complications arose, the doctors were to save her child over her. In April of 1962, she gave birth to Gianna Emanuala via C-section, but suffered terrible pain and died from septic peritonitis a week later.
Her daughter continues her mother’s legacy and practices pediatrics today. Gianna’s family was present at her canonization in 2004.
St. Gianna Miracles
The Church-approved miracle that led to St. Gianna’s beatification occurred in Brazil at a hospital that St. Gianna’s brother helped establish. Nurses prayed for St. Gianna’s intercession when tending to a dying mother who needed emergency care but was in no condition to be transported.
The mother was immediately healed, and the urgent procedure was no longer necessary.
The second miracle helped a mother give birth to a healthy child despite an absence of amniotic fluid in the womb.
Perhaps equally powerful are some of the testimonies shared on the website for the St. Gianna Shrine.
One testimony features a woman describing the loss of her pregnancy and beginning to turn to St. Gianna, wearing her pendant/medal and praying for her intercession each night.
She continues the testimony, saying:
One day, after being out and about in town, I realized the clasp of my old chain had broken, and the pendant had fallen off. I had walked so much that day, I knew there was no way I could retrace all my steps to find it. I was terribly sad, and wondered if it was some kind of sign that I should let go of my dream to have a child. But later that week, I discovered I was pregnant with my son, who is now 1 1/2. I feel St Gianna was telling me to let go, not of hope but of worry, because all was well.
St. Gianna Prayer
God our Father we praise You and we bless you because in Saint Gianna Beretta Molla you have given us one who witnessed to the Gospel as a young women, as a wife, as a mother, and as a doctor. We thank you because through the gift of her life we can learn to welcome and honor every human person.
You, Lord Jesus, were for Gianna a splendid example. She learned to recognize you in the beauty of nature. As she was questioning her choice of vocation she went in search of you and the best way to serve you. Through her married love she became a sign of your love for the Church and for humanity. Like you, the Good Samaritan, she cared for everyone who was sick, small or weak. Following your example, out of love she gave herself entirely, generating new life.
Holy Spirit, Source of every perfection, give us wisdom, intelligence, and courage so that, following the example of Saint Gianna and through her intercession, we may know how to place ourselves at the service of each person we meet in our personal, family and professional lives, and thus grow in love and holiness. Amen. (via the Society of St. Gianna Beretta Molla)
St. Gianna Beretta Molla Quotes
Some of the most beloved quotes from St. Gianna are the most simple.
- “Love and sacrifice are closely linked, like the sun and the light. We cannot love without suffering, and we cannot suffer without love.”
- “Lord, keep Your grace in my heart. Live in me so that Your grace be mine. Make it that I may bear every day some flowers and new fruit.”
- “The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.”
What stands out to you from St. Gianna’s words? Hold this in your heart.
Being open to love means being open to sacrifice. Bring this to God in prayer, and consider how He is speaking to you through this saint and these words.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, pray for us!
- St. Gianna Catholic Church – Wentzville, Mo.
- St. Gianna Beretta Molla Parish – Northfield, N.J.
- St. Gianna Beretta Molla Parish – West Hartford, Conn.
- St. Gianna Molla Pregnancy Outreach Center – Buffalo, N.Y.
- St. Gianna Clinic – De Pere, Wis.
- St. Gianna Beretta Molla Roman Catholic Parish – Winnipeg, Canada
- St. Gianna Shrine – Yorkville, Ill.
- St. Gianna Shrine at Nativity of Our Lord Parish – Warminster, Pa.
- Chiesa di Santa Gianna Beretta Molla (Italy)