“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.”
Gianna Beretta Molla was the first married laywoman to be declared a saint. (though there are many sainted widows). She was also the first canonized woman physician — a professional woman who was also a “working mom” four decades ago, when this was unusual.
She considered her work in the field of medicine as a “mission”. She was also very active in her Catholic community. With simplicity, she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor, and her passion for life.
Gianna and her husband, Pietro, had two children. When expecting their third child, complications arose. A few days before the child was due, she told her husband and the doctors: “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child—I insist on it. Save the baby.”
Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of 28 April, among unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you,” Gianna died. She was 39 years old. Her daughter, Gianna Emanuela, is today a physician herself, and involved in the pro-life movement. Gianna’s husband and their last child, Gianna, were present at the canonization ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 2004.
Our work can also become our “mission”; by asking the Lord to sanctify it and imploring the Holy Spirit to guide us in all decisions and actions. This can also bring true happiness. Gianna was a Wife, Mother & Physician; let us learn from her life and, with the help of God, we, too, can bring harmony into our family life and friends.
Feast Day: April 28