(Article written by Fabio Cittadini) Gianna Beretta Molla was born in Magenta, near Milan, on April 4, 1922. His parents, devout people and committed Christians, based their life on the loyalty to the love of God. Gianna lived in this climate of intense spirituality, serenity and prayer. She was unsure about her vocation. One day, committed to a spiritual retreat, she understood that being mother and doctor was the way by which she could realize her sanctification.
1942 was a dramatic year for Gianna because within a few months, he lost his beloved parents. She managed to overcome those events holding on to the faith that she had received from her parents, also choosing to become an animator of Catholic associations and devoting herself to the studies. In 1949, in fact, he managed to graduate in medicine and surgery.
In the years after World War II, Gianna knew Pietro Molla, an engineer with whom he had a lot of things in common. She loved music, she liked to ski, going to concerts and to travel. She had refined tastes and he lived with joy, looking at the future with hope. Pietro was on his own wavelength. Their relationship was sealed with the marriage in 1955. From their union were born three children. But in their big house there was room for another child, and so, in 1961, Gianna was pregnant again. But things got complicated because a large fibroid was found in the uterus. Things to do were two: either a total hysterectomy with removal of both the uterus and fibroid or the termination of pregnancy. Gianna decided to undergo a myomectomy, safeguarding the child, but with serious risks for her life. “She didn’t act in this way to go to Heaven – confessed her husband – but because she was a mom.”
Gianna underwent a first surgery, which went well and allowed her to return home and work. She took care of herself the difficulties and sufferings of the dangerous pregnancy, without burdening anyone. She didn’t want to disturb the serenity of the children and the husband. He lived the last days of waiting calmly, arranging the house, tidying closets and drawers as if preparing for a long journey.
The Good Friday of 1962 – the April 20 – she was admitted to hospital in Monza and the next day, with a Caesarean section, she gave birth to a girl, that Peter called Gianna Emanuela. A few hours after birth she was seized with intense pain and she began a long and unrelenting agony that lasted a week. She spent the time praying and asking to remain conscious. April 28, 1962, when he was forty years old, Gianna died from a septic peritonitis, murmuring: “Jesus, I love you!”. May 16, 2004, John Paul II proclaimed her a saint.
We can highlighted two aspects of her life. Every patient was for her a suffering person. In the face of every patient Jesus himself revealed himself . Therefore the physician’s work was a mission. Gianna was fully aware of the myomectomy’s consequences, but the creature in her womb, although small and unformed, had the same rights as other children; first of all the right to be born and to be loved.