ST. GIANNA’S PATH
A year after Gianna’s death, a friend of Gianna & Pietro,
Fr Marella wrote and published a pamphlet declaring he was convinced
of Gianna’s sanctity. At the time, Pietro requested that
the pamphlet not be distributed too widely due to the fact that
he didn’t want a lot of publicity,
In the spring of 1970, eight years after her death, Bishop
Carlo Columbo requested the approval of Pietro for the Church
the cause of
Gianna’s beatification. Pietro was reluctant because it would mean
that he and his children’s lives would be made public. This would
include their affection, and their suffering. Her sacrifice would be
admired by some and resented by others. The Bishop reminded him of Pope
interest and that Gianna could serve as an example for so many mothers
and families in general. After considering Gianna’s apostolate
work and her desire to do good for others, Pietro gave his approval but
that the process not take too long so as to not place the children under
too much stress.
The Postulatory Letter dated April 11, 1988,
signed by Cardinal Giovanni Colombo and 16 bishops of the Bishops' Conference
of Lombardy, asked for the glorification of this wife and mother "[w]ho
lived as an example of the highest order in this world [which is] unable
to understand and inclined to deny the right to life."
Extracts of the Postulatory Letter also
" Such a mother and martyr who, out of love for God and in obedience to
His commandment 'Thou shall not kill,' bears witness and exalts the heroism
of a Christian wife and mother, sacrifices her life to say 'yes' to the Christian
duty of love, and out of her respect for life, God's gift to men. This example
of wife and mother is what we, Archbishops and Bishops of Lombardy, as well
in the name of the faithful, would like to propose today to the whole Church,
at a time when egoism and violence are rampant. It has become very easy to
kill, in both hidden and blatant ways. In this our world prone to introduce the
of abortion, the Servant of God, Gianna Beretta Molla has become a courageous
example of Christian behavior.
July 6, 1991, The Congregation for the Causes
of Saints confirmed and Pope John Paul II decreed that the
heroic virtues of
the Servant of God Gianna
Beretta Molla be recognized. Gianna Beretta Molla now receives the title
March 5, 1992, The medical consultants pronounced unanimously on the
validity of the miracle. During 1992, it was further examined and on December
21, 1992, the Holy Father issued the Decree of Validity of the miracle.
When the Church proclaims a person “Saint or Saint” she solemnly
declares that this person now lives in the glory of the Saint. At the
same time, the church proposes the life of this person to the faithful
as a model to know, appreciate, and imitate because it is in itself, a
realization of the Lord’s command.
After an extensive examination of the person’s
life, it must be determined that the person in question
has lived a full
Christian life and has practiced
in an exemplary manner in all of the Theological
All of the material is presented to 2 Commissions:
1) Consultants – expert theologian
2) Cardinals & Bishops
They express their personal vote (either negative or positive), responding
to the following questions:
-Is there certain evidence that this woman practiced in a heroic way the
Theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity toward God and his neighbor.
-The Cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance and
other virtues to which they are linked.
The response in the case of St Gianna was unanimously “yes”.
In view of this declaration, the Holy Father signed “The degree of
St Gianna’s manner of living the Theological
and Cardinal Virtues is as follows:
The role of St Gianna’s family was
instrumental in her Christian formation. They were outstanding
for their deep Christian
faith, expressed not
only in worship but in private prayer and family devotion. St Gianna
followed their example.
St Gianna’s parents instilled
these same virtues in all of their children:
-A brother who is a Medical Doctor, missionary and Capuchin
-A brother who was an engineer and priest
-A sister who was a Medical Doctor and Canossian nun
her 1st communion at the age of 5, St Gianna attended Mass
and received Communion everyday until her death.
She did the Lord’s will each day
in whatever situation she found herself.
She accepted whatever
happened to her as a gift from the hands of God.
the rosary every night with her family as a young girl and
with her husband and children after her marriage.
and Pietro celebrated their official engagement with Holy
Mass and Communion
St Gianna had full confidence
in Divine Providence and in the effectiveness of prayer.
St Gianna received the spirit of Evangelical charity from her parents.
Her entire life was enriched by her charitable actions with Catholic
Action, St Vincent DePaul Society, her patients, etc.
The element of charity was an essential and dominate element in
St Gianna’s life. Her constant and pressing search, through
meditation and prayer, for the Lord’s
will, fulfilling this element
day, under any circumstances.
St Gianna’s spirit and charitable
works led her to dream, to aspire, to feel
the calling to a missionary life in Brazil
Fortitude was the dominant moral virtue in St Gianna’s
She always felt strongly of her duties, commitment and responsibilities
since a child.
St Gianna always gave her best
in school, work and charitable work, often pushing
herself beyond her strength.
St Gianna was truly strong when she suffered and she always did everything
to make sure her loved ones would never suffer because of her.
St Gianna would rather serve than be served.
She was able to accept and appreciate the
Lord’s gifts, life gifts
without abusing them, without ever letting them dominate her.