Also known as
Tenth of thirteen children born to Alberto and Maria Beretta, she was a pious girl raised in a pious family; one sister became a nun, and two brothers, including Enrico Beretta became priests. While in college, she worked with the poor and elderly, and joined the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Physician and surgeon, graduating from the University of Pavia in 1949, she started a clinic in Mero, Italy in 1950. She returned to school and studied pediatrics, and after finishing in 1952 she worked especially with mothers, babies, the elderly, and the poor. Active in Catholic Action, and a avid skier. She considered a call to religious life, but was married to Pietro Molla on 24 September 1955 at Magenta. Mother of three, she continued her medical career, treating it as a mission and gift from God. During her pregnancy with her fourth child, she was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst. Her surgeon recommended an abortion in order to save Gianna's life; she refused and died a week after childbirth, caring more for doing right by her unborn child than for her own life. Today that child is a physician herself, and involved in the pro-life movement.
4 October 1922 in Magenta, Milan, Italy
28 April 1962 in Monza Maternity Hospital of complications from an ovarian cyst
6 July 1991 by Pope John Paul II
24 April 1994 by Pope John Paul II in Rome, Italy
16 May 2004 by Pope John Paul II