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Official Miracle

The official miracle required for Gianna’s beatification took place at the hospital founded by Gianna’s brother, Fr Alberto.

In 1977 a young protestant woman was in the hospital in Grajau, in Brazil, dying shortly after giving birth to a still-born baby. An unforeseeable yet very serious complication had caused a vaginal abscess which was inoperable in that hospital requiring that the patient be transported to a specialized hospital in San Luis located more that 600 kilometers away. The young woman would never have survived the trip.

A nurse, Sister Bernardina di Manaus, a capuchin sister, very concerned due to the painful situation of the patient, turned in prayer to Gianna Beretta Molla in order that, through her intercession, the dying mother be freed from her pain and the dramatic voyage to San Luis be avoided. Looking at a small photo of the Servant of God, she prayed "you who are the sister of Father Alberto (who founded the hospital), make this fistula heal and keep this woman from having to travel to Sao Luis…”.

Sister Bernardina invited two other nurses to unite themselves in this petition. Immediately, according to the testimony of the patient, her troubles did not only diminish, but they completely disappeared.

On April 11, 1978, Cardinal Giovanni Colombo and sixteen bishops of the Lombardy Episcopal Conference requested of Pope John Paul II the introduction of the cause of beatification of the Servant of God Gianna Beretta Molla. In their postulatory letter the bishops implored the glorification of this spouse and mother, describing her as "a model of a complete reality to this world prone to misconstrue and refute the right of life".

The decree of heroicity of virtues was issued in July 1991 and in December 1992; the proclamation of validity of the miracle was issued.

The Ceremony

On Mother's Day in 1994, the Year of the Family, Pope John Paul II beatified Gianna Beretta Molla in the presence of her husband, siblings, and children. He proposed her as a model for all mothers saying,

"A woman of exceptional love, an outstanding wife and mother, she gave witness in her daily life to the demanding values of the Gospel. By holding up this woman as an exemplar of Christian perfection, we would like to extol all those high-spirited mothers of families who give themselves completely to their family, who suffer in giving birth, who are prepared for every labor and every kind of sacrifice, so that the best they have can be given to others."

Pietro remembers the most touching moment as when Cardinal Martini read the decree, the Pope proclaimed her Saint and her tapestry was unveiled. The Molla family presented the gifts at the offertory and The Holy Father recognized Pietro and he told him Gianna was a very beautiful person. The Pope kissed Gianna Emanuela as if to recognize her beatified mother in her face.

During the hand kissing ceremony, Gianna Emanuela offered the Pope a little crown made of Gianna’s rosary.

Gianna's daughter, Gianna Emanuela, herself a medical doctor, gave the following testimony at Maracana Stadium in Brazil during the Second International Celebration of the Family (1997).

"Dear Mom, thank you for having given me life two times: when you conceived me and when you permitted me to be born… My life seeks to be the natural continuation of your life, of your joy of living, of your enthusiasm, and it finds its full meaning in the engagement and dedication to whoever lives in suffering. Dear mom, intercede always for all mothers and all families who turn to you and entrust themselves to you."

Reportedly, her words brought tears to the eyes of Pope John Paul II.

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