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May 3, 2024

Gianna Molla: Parenting and Sacrifice

May 3, 2024
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Ordinary Holiness

Italy, 1951. Young Doctor Gianna Beretta ran a successful medical practice with her brother, Ferdinando. She spent the best of her time praying and leads a very active life in the time that remains. Between work, ski trips with her friends, the arts, and volunteering, she had little time for anything at all! However, she still felt she could be doing more, and a deep desire to work as a missionary in Brazil. God’s plans for her, however, were far more beautiful than she could have ever imagined. 

After an extended sickness prevented her from traveling to Brazil, Gianna prayed to learn patience in following God’s plan. She resolved to seek God, moment by moment, in her own ordinary life, knowing that he was watching over her. So she continued her practice, her friendships, and her volunteering. Rather than going all the way to Brazil, she decided to remain in Italy and focus on her work. One evening, however, she was introduced to a young businessman named Pietro Molla - a meeting which changed the course of her life forever.

An Italian Romance

Gianna and Pietro quickly fell in love and are married a few months after their first meeting. As husband and wife, Pietro and Gianna learned to focus on the small, the ordinary, and the unexpected issues of life. While taking care of children, changing diapers, and doing laundry, Gianna and Pietro strove to never lose their high ideals of sanctity and their desire to transform their little world into God’s kingdom. 

Gianna and Pietro at their wedding.

As their family grew, they learned to face new challenges together. Yet a greater challenge than they ever expected appeared the family was on vacation and Gianna was pregnant with her fourth child. Gianna was diagnosed with a uterine fibroma, a tissue growth that threatened both her life and the life of her unborn child if left alone. Gianna's doctor suggested options that would save her but kill her unborn child as a side effect. If Gianna opted to have the fibroma removed, her own life would be placed in danger. Faced with this heartbreaking decision, Gianna and Pietro were at a loss. Yet Gianna knew that God would not abandon her, and decided to carry on, eventually giving birth to a daughter. 

Becoming Saint Gianna

Gianna Beretta Molla died of an infection a few days later, always firm in her belief that she had made the right choice and given her life, from beginning to end, to God. She was beatified in 1994 and canonized in 2004. Her Husband Pietro was able to witness her canonization, the first time in history that this had taken place. 

This week on The Saints: Adventures of Faith and Courage, hear how Gianna Molla discovers God’s call in her own ordinary life, in and through her family life. Discover her story of love, sacrifice, and joy, as she gives her life - even to the point of death - to her family. Hear all the episodes this Monday morning at!

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