Gianna Beretta Molla

CC-BY-NC-SA-2.5-it, Collegamento

Feast Day: April 28
Canonized: May 16, 2004
Beatified: April 24, 1994
Venerated: July 6, 1991

Sometimes saints lead very normal lives. They love sports and have hobbies. They get married and have children. Some, like Gianna Molla, are even modern-day working mothers.

Born in Milan, Italy, in 1922, Gianna was always very religious. She attended college and medical school, married in 1955, and gave birth to three children while working as a pediatrician. Their family was very happy, and Gianna and her husband, Pietro, taught their children that their Catholic faith was the most important thing in their lives.

But when Gianna was expecting her fourth child, doctors discovered a cancerous tumor that needed to be removed from her body. By doing the surgery, though, her unborn baby would die. She insisted the baby be allowed to live.

Gianna died at age 39, just seven days after her baby girl, Giannina, was born in 1962. More than physical pain, she suffered the most at the thought of leaving her children.

Giannina followed in her amazing mother’s footsteps and became a doctor.

Gianna Molla is the first woman physician to have been declared a saint, which was done by Pope John Paul II in 2004. She was the last saint canonized by the pope before his death.

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