8 Reasons to Get to Know St. Gianna
by Lindsay Schlegel
When I was growing up, I didn’t know anyone named Gianna. Statistics show it was something like the 900
most popular girl name in the United States in the late 1980s. Since 2006, however, the name has been in the top 100, and there’s good reason: an amazing and saintly woman named Gianna Beretta Molla, whose feast the Catholic Church celebrates on April 28.
St. Gianna was a wife, mother, and doctor. Her name means “God is gracious,” and St. Gianna knew and understood that in a way our world needs these days.
The more I learn about St. Gianna, the more I admire her. Here are the top 8 reasons why I ask for this holy woman’s intercession:
1. St. Gianna was a woman of our time. Born in 1922 and passing into eternal life in 1962, St. Gianna lived through the challenges and temptations of the twentieth century without wavering in her faith. She ultimately offered her life for the glory of God.
2. She was a working mother. Patron of mothers, physicians, wives, families, and unborn children, she gave new—better!—meaning to the question of having it all.
3. She understood that in caring for the body she could impact the soul. Being a physician wasn’t a job for her; it was her vocation—way she could love and evangelize to those right in her community.
4. She was devoted to the youth. St. Gianna spent a good deal of time outside of work organizing and encouraging young people to follow Christ.
5. She put Christ at the center of her family’s life. In a beautiful letter written before she and her husband Pietro married, she said she wanted their family to be a “
6. She’s popularly known for carrying through with a pregnancy, even when a tumor was found on her uterus, and she had to choose between saving her child’s life or her own. Of course, she chose her child’s (her daughter Gianna is still alive today!). What fewer folks know is that she lost two children to miscarriage as well. She knew that pain that so many of us have suffered through.
7. She submitted her will to God’s in all things. It’s not just in that last pregnancy that St. Gianna gave herself to God. It was in all the little things leading up to that decision that she found the strength and learned to accept the grace she needed to love completely.
8. She’s smiling! In so many of the photos we have of St. Gianna, she’s with her kids and she’s smiling. She knew the joy, the dignity, and the hope of human life lived for God.
I have a framed quoted from St. Gianna in my room: “Whatever God wants.” Indeed, Lord, may Your will be done! St. Gianna, pray for us!