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Modern Day Hero of Divine Love St. Gianna Beretta Molla

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1 Modern Day Hero of Divine Love St. Gianna Beretta Molla
"The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them." John 15:13. A very special pro-life saint, and my favorite, St. Gianna, give us a strong example of the values and virtues of Jesus Christ and His ultimate sacrifice for us. St. Gianna Beretta Molla Patron Saint of Mothers, Physicians, Unborn Children and Pro-Life Movement

2 Gianna Francesca Beretta was born on October 4th, 1922 in Magenta, Italy, as the tenth of thirteen children to Maria and Alberto Beretta. Her parents set an excellent example in the practice of faith, in sound prayer life, in hard work and honest behavior. As a result, Gianna experienced life as a “marvelous gift from God, and had strong faith in Providence”. She received First Communion at the age of five-and-a-half. Since then, she received Communion every day of her life, considering the Eucharist to be her “essential food” for the day. She started school at the age of six at a nearby Convent school. The Beretta Family On the occasion of her parent’s 25th wedding anniversary, October 12, 1933

3 Gianna at the Nursery School
Gianna at the time she went to the nursery school, San Vigilio, Bergamo Alta, 1928 First Holy Communion St Grata’s Church, Bergamo Alta, April 4, 1928

4 Helping hands… Takin’ A Walk…
Gianna distributing medicine to children, summer camp of Ameno , on Lake Orta, 1950 Gianna dedicated herself to studies during the years of her secondary and university education, at the same time, devoted her time to apostolic service among the elderly and needy as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. As a leader of the ‘Catholic Action’ -a movement to mobilize Catholic laity, to live more intense spiritual life- she organized conferences, retreats and outings for youth, to educate them about the love of God. She listened well and spoke little. One of her friends wrote, “Gianna had a faith so catching that all those who met her, after a short time, felt attracted to the Church”. Takin’ A Walk… Gianna taking children for a walk in the woods at a parish summer camp, Lake Orta, 1952.

5 Catholic Action Gianna with her group of young girls of Catholic Action, Magenta, 1952

6 Hobbies… One of Gianna’s Paintings Hiking… Mountain Climbing… Skiing…
”. In 1949, Gianna finished medical school with honors. In 1952, she gained her specialty in pediatrics. Gianna considered her profession as a mission and lived it as a service. She was a very happy person and enjoyed skiing, mountain climbing, hiking, painting, cooking etc. She was able to accept and appreciate the Lord’s gifts, and life’s gifts, without abusing them, without ever letting them dominate her. Mountain Climbing… Skiing…

7 Wedding Day Wedding Honeymoon Gianna in her wedding dress.
Though she wanted to be a missionary and join her brother in Brazil, through her prayers and of others, she chose her vocation, which she also considered a gift from God. Gianna and Pietro Molla got married on September 24, The Lord blessed them with four children.  They prayed together in the evenings and talked about the love of Jesus. Each evening the children would reflect on their actions of the day and talk about how Jesus may not have been happy about some of the events. Wedding Honeymoon Pietro and Gianna at their wedding, 24 September 1955 In St Peter’s Square on their honeymoon trip, 25 September 1955

8 Children… Gianna with Pierluigi and Pietro, 1957
Gianna and Pietro with Pierluigi, Mariolina and Laura, summer holiday, 1960 In September 1961, towards the end of the second month of her fourth pregnancy, she had developed a tumor in her uterus. Two of the three options involved terminating her pregnancy. The riskiest option was to remove only the tumor, in an attempt to save the child's life. Gianna chose the third option, placing her trust in God. The surgery was successful and the rest of the pregnancy, though difficult, went well. Gianna told her husband and her surgeon before the cesarean section, “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child--I insist on it. Save the baby." On April 21, 1962, a healthy baby girl, Gianna Emanuela was born.  On April 28, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of "Jesus, I love you", the mother died. Gianna Emanuela is now a physician, and involved in the pro-life movement. Gianna with Pierluigi and Mariolina

9 Death… Gianna died on April 28, 1962 at the Age of 39 in Magenta, Italy

10        Little by little, the inspiring story of Gianna’s faith filled life spread. Gianna was beatified on April 24th,  On May 16, 2004 Gianna became the last saint canonized by Pope John Paul II, and the first time in history that a saint’s spouse witnessed the canonization of the saint.  At her canonization Mass, Pope John Paul II called Gianna “a simple, but more than ever, significant messenger of Divine love”.  St. Gianna is a patron saint for mothers, physicians, unborn children and pro-life movement. Her feast day is April 28th. The Canonization Pietro Molla and Gianna Emanuela Molla meet Pope John Paul II at the canonization of Gianna Beretta Molla on May 16, 2004

11 St. Gianna: “A simple, but more than ever, significant messenger of Divine love”
1st canonized woman physician and professional who was also a wife and mother.  Many mothers have been beatified/canonized for their heroic virtues, but they entered religious life after becoming widowed. In the case of St. Gianna, the very condition of her being a spouse and mother is being exalted and highlighted. By: Jianna George

12 Works Cited "EWTN's Saints and other Holy People Home." EWTN's Saints and other Holy People Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan <>. "Pastoral Centre for English Speakers in Wroclaw, Poland.." Pastoral Centre for English Speakers in Wroclaw Poland. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan <>. "Saint Gianna Beretta Molla | St. Gianna | Catholic Pro-Life Saint." Saint Gianna Beretta Molla | St. Gianna | Catholic Pro-Life Saint. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan <>. "St. Gianna Beretta Molla (Google eBook)." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan <>. Prepared by: Jianna George St.Jude Catholic Mission of Northern Virginia I chose St. Gianna as my favorite saint not only because of the name, but also how she lived the Theological and Cardinal Virtues. If St. Gianna was here today, she would have a special message for you and me, “your life is a marvelous gift from God!’. She would also ask, “how are you going to live it?’ Let us ask for St. Gianna’s intercession and pray as she did, “My most sweet Jesus, we come to You to ask You, through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart, the grace to comprehend and to do always Your Holy will. Amen.” Prepared by: Jianna George St.Jude Catholic Mission of Northern Virginia

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