Gianna had just graduated from high school and considered
becoming a medical missionary in Brazil when
her parents died. While waiting for her missionary calling, she
began studying medicine
Despite the hardship of wartime,
Gianna threw herself into her studies. It was often impossible
to attend classes because
was under constant heavy wartime
bombing. Everything was in a state of confusion, the bombings
fled the city for a safer environment.
Gianna endured the tragedy of war with her deep faith in God.
If she were not
able to perform
heroic deeds, she would strive to
do whatever task was set before her as well as she could.
When weary, she went to church: When she was
tired and felt she couldn’t go on,
she revived herself with a little meditation
spoke to Jesus. But her weak points
caused her suffering.
Her readily admitted shortcomings
was her stubborness, she always did what
she wanted when she should have
submitted. As to charity,
she continued to work hard at avoiding
judgment of her neighbor.
When the war ended, she continued her studies in the medical school
in Pavia with her sister Virginia. Gianna believed that
the medical profession was like no other; she had very clear ideas
purpose and sanctity of her vocation, she considered it
more of a mission than work and therefore felt it and lived it
as a service
Gianna wrote various affirmations on the
significance and value of a doctor’s mission on a prescription pad and titled
it “The beauty of our Mission”.
way or another, everyone in society works
the service of humanity.
Physicians have opportunities that a priest does not have,
for our mission does
not end when medicine is no longer of help. There still remains
the soul that
must be brought to God. Jesus says, “Whoever visits the
sick is helping me.” This is a priestly
mission. Just as the priests can touch Jesus, so we doctors
touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients: in the poor, the
the old, and
children. Jesus makes himself seen in our midst. Many doctors
to him. When you have finished your earthly profession, if
you have done this well,
You will enjoy divine life ‘because I was sick
and you healed me.”
Four Norms for doctors
To do our part well.
Study our science well. Today there is a seeking after money.
honest. Be doctors of faith.
Have a loving care, thinking
of each one as a brother. Have a certain delicacy.
forget the patients soul. We who have a right to a certain
confidence must be attentive never
to profane the soul.
would be a betrayal. Take care to use
superficial language. Instead always do well.
The years of
her university studies were a special time for apostolate. Very
active and full of initiative,
won the friendship of young women. She organized
outings, parties, and games with the goal of encouraging
her friends in the love of God and neighbor. She listened well
and spoke little, and answered as though listening to an interior
On November 30, 1949, Gianna finished medical school with honors.
A little over two years later, on July 7, 1952, she gained her
speciality in pediatrics.