April 28 - Saint Gianna Beretta Molla

Quick Facts
  • Tenth of thirteen children born to Alberto and Maria Beretta, she was a pious girl raised in a pious family; two brothers became priests, a sister became a nun.
  • While in college, she worked with the poor and elderly, and joined the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.
  • Physician and surgeon, graduating from the University of Pavia in 1949, she started a clinic in Mero, Italy in 1950.
  • She returned to school and studied pediatrics, and after finishing in 1952 she worked especially with mothers, babies, the elderly, and the poor.
  • Active in Catholic Action, and a avid skier.She considered a call to religious life, but was married to Pietro Molla on 24 September 1955 at Magenta.
  • Mother of three, she continued her medical career, treating it as a mission and gift from God.
  • During her pregnancy with her fourth child, she was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst.Her surgeon recommended an abortion in order to save Gianna's life; she refused and died a week after childbirth, caring more for doing right by her unborn child than for her own life.
  • Today that child is a physician herself, and involved in the pro-life movement.