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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 to promote 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 Paul’s 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 requested 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 state:
" 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 as 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 legalization 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 of “Venerable”.
  • 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 and Cardinal Virtues.

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 the
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 Beatification”.

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
  • Upon receiving 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.
  • She prayed the rosary every night with her family as a young girl and with her husband and children after her marriage.
  • St Gianna 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 by 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


  • Feeling that everything was a gift from God, St Gianna was understanding, sincere and patient with everyone she came in contact with.
  • St Gianna never sat in judgment of others; she would assist them through their problems and provide solutions that were in compliance with her faith.

Fortitude was the dominant moral virtue in St Gianna’s life:
  • 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 she could 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.

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