‘This Beautiful Work for Mothers and Children’

The Saintly Background of St. Gianna & Pietro Molla Maternity Home

St. Gianna, patron of mothers and the unborn, is the namesake of the maternity home. Her relics are housed in the chapel.
St. Gianna, patron of mothers and the unborn, is the namesake of the maternity home. Her relics are housed in the chapel. (photo: Courtesy of St. Gianna & Pietro Molla Maternity Home)

The St. Gianna & Pietro Molla Maternity Home is named after St. Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962), with her husband Pietro’s name being added to the name last August. Pietro died at age 97 on April 3, 2010, in his home in Mesero, Italy. 

St. Gianna, a pediatrician and mother of three children followed by two miscarriages, had conceived again when doctors discovered that she had a uterine tumor. “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate; save the baby,” Gianna told them. She felt that “the right of the child is equal to the right of the mother’s life.” Gianna Emanuela was born on April 21, 1962. St. Gianna died eight days later. 

Gianna Emanuela Molla, a medical doctor, has become a frequent guest at the St. Gianna & Pietro Maternity Home during her visits to the United States. She comes to give talks about her holy parents and work on the St. Gianna and Pietro Molla International Center for Family Life, which is planned near Springfield, Illinois, on 25 acres. It will be a place of pilgrimage dedicated to prayer, marriage and the pro-life cause.  

“At present, I am staying at the St. Gianna and Pietro Molla Maternity Home in North Dakota. It is truly a place that I feel to be in a family, and it is here that I am working hard to promote devotion and understanding not only of my Saint Mom but especially of her most worthy spouse, my holy Dad, Pietro,” she told the Register in a statement. “I am deeply grateful that this beautiful work for mothers and children now officially includes my most beloved Dad as co-patron.” 

After receiving the relics of St. Gianna, a shrine was added to the side of the maternity home’s chapel. On the feast of the Visitation, May 31, 2016, a crowd of almost 500 people and 17 priests celebrated the dedication of the Shrine of St. Gianna Beretta Molla.  

Visits to the shrine can be scheduled for private veneration by emailing  [email protected]. Because it also a home, it is not always open to the public. 

St. Gianna, pray for us! 

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray testifies Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

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