St. Gianna Beretta Molla was born to Albert and Maria Beretta Oct. 4, 1922, the 10th of 13 children. The Beretta family was very devout. Both parents and children attended Mass very early each morning, and each evening recited the rosary, then renewed their consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In March 1938, Gianna attended a retreat according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Gianna wrote the following resolutions:
* To do all things for the Lord…. To serve God, I will not go to the movies without being sure that the film is suitable and not scandalous or immoral.
* I prefer to die rather than commit a mortal sin.
* To say the “Hail Mary” every day so that the Lord might give me a holy death.
* I wish to fear mortal sin as if it were a serpent, and I repeat I would rather die 1,000 times than offend the Lord.
* I beg the Lord to help me understand His great mercy.
* The way of humiliation is the shortest way to reach holiness. I pray that the Lord lead me to paradise.
Gianna was involved in Catholic Action and devoted all her free time to apostolic work. She constantly lived out the motto of the Catholic Action: prayer-action-sacrifice. Gianna was a daily communicant. To assist others with their mission, Gianna offered her own program of spiritual life:
* Morning and evening prayers, not in bed but on your knees.
* Holy Mass.
* Holy Communion.
* Meditation, at least 10 minutes.
* Visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
* Holy Rosary: without Our Lady’s help, no one enters paradise.
Gianna studied medicine in Milan and Pavia, both in Italy. She considered the medical profession more as a mission than work. She wrote, “Just as the priests can touch Jesus, so we doctors touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients: in the poor, the young, the old, and children. Jesus makes Himself seen in our midst.”
As a doctor, Gianna specialized in pediatrics. She had continual contact with mothers through their children. She became very close to many of these women and helped them through some very difficult times. She would have long discussions with them about the best way to raise children and about the value of human life.
Wife and mother
In December 1954, Gianna met Pietro Molla. They were engaged the following April and married in September 1955. Pietro wrote, “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.”
Gianna gave birth to three children: in 1956, 1957, and 1959. To thank God after the birth of each child, she took money from her savings to give to the missions, an amount equal to six months of a worker’s salary.
In 1961 Gianna was once again expecting. During the second month of pregnancy, Gianna developed a fibroma on her uterus. Gianna said, “This time it will be a difficult delivery, and they may have to save one or the other; I want them to save my baby.”
Gianna refused a complete hysterectomy, which would have result in the death of the preborn baby.
On April 21, 1962, Gianna’s fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, was successfully delivered by Caesarean section. However Gianna continued to have severe pain, and died of septic peritonitis on April 28.
“If you only knew how differently things are judged at the hour of death!” Gianna remarked to her sister before her death. “How vain certain things appear, to which we gave such importance in the world!”
- 為天主做任何事情。… 侍奉天主，不觀看電影，除非已確實那套電影不涉及醜聞或不道德劇情和景象。
1961年安納再次懷孕，可惜懷孕第二個月，發現子宮纖維瘤，安納明白到眾人要做一項非常艱難的決定 ––– 在拯救母親與胎兒中，只能擇其一。安納斷言：「我要拯救我的胎兒！」她拒絕了割除子宮手術，不願胎兒喪失生命。
安納死前向她的姊妹說：「妳不知道一個人臨死前怎樣看這個世界！ … 在這世界上很多事情，我們當時看得很重，到最後看來還是虛無！」