St. Gianna Molla is a beloved modern saint who is a pillar and model for so many women, mothers, and health professionals. There’s no doubt why she is such a model for us.
A Mission to Heal
Gianna was born in Italy in 1922 to a large family (she was number 10 of 13 children). She enjoyed being outdoors and was very devout, even from childhood. She began studying medicine in 1942 and received her degrees in medicine and surgery in 1949, and then specialized in pediatrics (what a lady!). During this time, she was also an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Catholic Action, always desiring to give back to others in her community.
She opened her own practice in the early 1950s near her home town in Italy. Gianna ministered both health and charity to women, children, and the poor. Later, she considered going on mission to Brazil, but stayed in Italy due to poor health. She met her Pietro and they were married in 1955. Pietro once wrote in his diary, “The more I know Gianna, the more I am convinced that God could not have given me a greater gift than her love and companionship” (melt my heart!). It is clear that they were both united in mutual love and faith.
A Difficult Pregnancy
Pietro and Gianna had three children and two miscarriages in the next seven years. She was pregnant again when doctors discovered she had a tumor in her uterus. Doctors gave her the option for an abortion or a hysterectomy, which would kill her baby. She opted for doctors to remove only the tumor and also urged them to save her baby’s life first (seriously – what an amazing mama!).
Gianna’s daughter, Gianna Emanuela Molla was born in 1962 by C-section. Her mother survived just a week, but died from complications and infection just a week later. Gianna’s daughter became a doctor and speaks around the world about her mother’s life and sanctity.
A Family Canonization
Pietro and his family were present at Gianna’s canonization in 2004 (how awesome is that!) and Gianna’s feast day is April 28. She is the patronness of mothers, doctors, and unborn children. Read more about her here and here.
Why a Stethoscope?
St. Gianna was a doctor, hence the stethoscope. She was also a mother of 4 and lived in Italy in the mid-20th century. She is a good one for smashing female and saint stereotypes.
Who would be friends with St. Gianna?
- Those discerning the vocation of marriage
- Working moms
- Those struggling with difficult pregnancies
- Missionary doctors
- Children who’ve survived abortions, NICU stays, or premature births
Check out St. Gianna’s collection in our shop here.