Feast day: April 28
Patron of mothers, physicians, and unborn children Birth: October 4, 1922 Death: April 28, 1962 Beatified By: April 24, 1994 by Pope John Paul II Canonized By: May 16, 2004 by Pope John Paul II
April 28th will mark the Feast Day of Italian pediatrician St. Gianna Beretta Molla.
In 1961, Gianna became pregnant with her fourth child. Toward the end of her second month of pregnancy, her doctors discovered she had developed a fibroma in her uterus, meaning she was carrying both a baby and a tumor. After examination, the doctors gave her three choices: an abortion, which would save her life and allow her to continue to have children, but take the life of the child she carried; a complete hysterectomy, which would preserve her life, but take the unborn child's life, and prevent further pregnancy; or removal of only the fibroma, with the potential of further complications, which could save the life of her baby.
Gianna opted for the removal of only the fibroma, and the child's life was saved, for which Gianna graciously thanked the Lord. After the operation, complications continued throughout her pregnancy. She recognized she may lose her life during delivery, but Gianna was quite clear about her wishes, expressing to her family, "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child. I insist on it. Save the baby." On April 28, 1962, a week after the baby was born, Gianna passed away from septic peritonitis.
She is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. Her feast day is celebrated on April 28. Find out more about this saint through her daughter's presentation at the 2017 MaterCare Rome Conference.