Hope in the Lives of the Saints // Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Saint Gianna Molla had four children in six years. Because of this, I naively assumed that when it came to having children, she and her husband had no struggles. It wasn’t until getting to know her more in the book Saint Gianna Beretta Molla: A Woman’s Life that I learned that she had to pray for patience and hope when it came to her fertility.
While she and her husband Pietro did conceive within the first year of their marriage, she had hoped that they would be blessed with their first child much more quickly than they were. When they did conceive, their first three children came in the first four years of their marriage. Up until recently I did not know that she had suffered two miscarriages in the two years between the birth of her first three children and the birth of her fourth and last child.
During her last pregnancy, a fibroid tumor was found growing in her uterus, putting both her and her baby’s lives at risk. While doctors recommended abortion, she courageously chose to continue her pregnancy and undergo surgery to remove the fibroid while pregnant: a procedure which meant greater complications for Gianna but would not endanger the life of her child.
A few days before her baby was born she said to her husband, “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child—I insist on it.” Her daughter survived, but one week after her birth, Gianna died from a painful inflammatory condition.
Today, this daughter is Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla. Saint Gianna's daughter also speaks of hope, encouraging women to ask for Saint Gianna’s intercession. She also says that her intercession is powerful for those who struggle with infertility. When Gianna Emanuela receives prayer requests for those hoping to conceive she says to them, “If your desire is in accord with God’s will, surely my Mom will listen to your prayers... Nothing is impossible with God.”
Let Us Pray
Jesus, thank You for gifting us with the witness of the Saints who held hope in You. Thank You for Saint Gianna and how she shows us the beauty of sacrificial love. May we, too, be eager to lay down our lives for the sake of others. Amen!
What do you want to ask of God today?
Have you ever thought of hope being connected to courage? Ponder that truth and how it relates to your own life.