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
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.
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.