August 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 135


Dr. Frank Joseph's Pro-Life Prescriptions LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL column for August 9, 2000
No Greater Life

    In this day and age, when women are killing their unborn babies, for no reason, other than their babies might inconvenience them, one must remember that this wasn't always the case. There was a time when the expectant mother would protect her unborn baby with her life. There wasn't that self-indulgent request, “my child, you must die, so that I can live as I want to.”

    Such is the story of Gianna Beretta, who was born in Magenta (Milan), Italy, in 1922, the 10th of 13 children. Already as a young girl she willingly accepted the gift of faith and the clearly Christian education that she received from her excellent parents. As a result, she experienced life as a marvelous gift from God, had a strong faith in Providence and was convinced of the necessity and effectiveness of prayer.

    After earning degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and thereafter gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and the poor.

    She married Pietro Molla in 1955. Within the first four years of her marriage, she had three children. With simplicity and equilibrium she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life.

    Gianna Beretta Molla, in September of 1961, at the age of 39, was pregnant with her fourth child. Her physicians diagnosed a large uterine tumor which was causing her pain and pressing on the baby in her womb, which required surgery. The surgeon suggested that Gianna undergo an abortion in order to save her own life.

    Gianna's decision was prompt and decisive: "I shall accept whatever they will do to me provided they save the child." She stated: "Yes, I have prayed so much in these days. With faith and hope I have entrusted myself to the Lord... I trust in God, yes; but now it is up to me to fulfill my duty as a mother. I renew to the Lord the offer of my life. I am ready for everything, to save my baby."

    She underwent the surgery but her fate was sealed. The following year, on Good Friday, April 20, 1962, Gianna was admitted to Monza Maternity Hospital, to deliver her fourth child. Only a few days prior to the delivery she told her husband, "if you must decide between me and the baby, have no hesitation: choose -- and I demand it --the baby, save him." Her daughter, Gianna Emanuela, was born the next day but Gianna expired seven days later, on April 28, 1962 - the Feast of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.

    In 1977 a young woman was in the hospital in Grajau, in Brazil. She had just given birth to a still-born baby and was dying. An unforeseeable yet very serious complication had caused a vaginal abscess which was inoperable in that hospital requiring that the patient be transported to a specialized hospital in San Luis located more than 600 kilometers away. The young woman would never have survived the trip.

    A nurse, Sister Bernardina di Manaus, a Capuchin sister, very concerned due to the painful situation of the patient, turned in prayer to Gianna Beretta Molla in order that, through her intercession, the dying mother be freed from her pain and the dramatic voyage to San Luis be avoided. While looking at a small photo of Gianna, she prayed that the abscess heal and the trip to San Luis be averted.

    Sister Bernardina invited two other nurses to unite themselves in this petition. Immediately, according to the testimony of the patient, her troubles did not only diminish, but they completely disappeared.

    On April 11, 1978, Cardinal Giovanni Colombo and sixteen bishops of the Lombardy Episcopal Conference requested of Pope John Paul II the introduction of the cause of beatification of the Servant of God, Gianna Beretta Molla. In their postulatory letter the bishops implored the glorification of this spouse and mother, describing her as "a model of a complete reality to this world prone to misconstrue and refute the right of life".

    Beatification: took place on April 24, 1994, with her husband and children in attendance.

    Following are quotes of Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla that should inspire all to uphold the Sanctity of Life:

    "If you must choose between me and the baby, no hesitation: choose - and I demand it -- the baby, save him!"

    "Whatever God wants".

    "If one were to consider how much Jesus has suffered, one would not commit the smallest sin."

    "When one does one's own duty, one must not be concerned, because God's help will not be lacking".

    "Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God."

    "The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day."

    "God's Providence is in all things, it's always present."

    "Lord, keep Your grace in my heart. Live in me so that Your grace be mine. Make it that I may bear every day some flowers and new fruit".

    "One earns Paradise with one's daily task".

    "Why do you not succeed in doing good? It's because you do not pray enough."

    "Also in suffering, let us say: Thanks be to God."

    "In order to bring true peace back to my soul, the only way that there exists on the Earth is Confession, because Jesus awaits me with his immense heart."

    "One cannot love without suffering or suffer without loving.”

    "Look at the mothers who truly love their children: how many sacrifices they make for them. They are ready for everything, even to give their own blood so that their babies grow up good, healthy and strong.”

    The story of Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla was not seen in the mainstream media, which is predominately liberal and advocate abortions on demand.

    When you think of her faith in God and the love she had for her children and another baby in her womb and never thinking twice about putting her medical career on hold, your thoughts automatically drift to women, who have their unborn babies killed -- not because their lives are in danger, or even their health threatened, but simply because their babies’ death would somehow make their lives easier -- so they think. See Article: Abortions Vs Childbirth

    It should be clear to all, that facts do substantiate the proposition, that indeed, we do live in a sick society. A society, whose self-indulgence is paramount and human life, other than one’s own, is worthless.

    For more details and pictures of Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla, who is truly is a Saint for our age, visit or the detailed profile on her in the profiles of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY: Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla

Dr. Frank Joseph

August 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 135
Pro-Life Prescriptions column

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