Saint Gianna Beretta Molla was an Italian pediatrician, wife and mother who is best known for refusing both an abortion and a hysterectomy when she was pregnant with her fourth child, despite knowing that continuing with the pregnancy could result in her death. She died a week after giving birth to her fourth child.
One cannot love without suffering or suffer without loving. ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
If one were to consider how much Jesus has suffered, one would not commit the smallest sin. ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
If you must choose between me and the baby, no hesitation; choose – and I demand it – the baby. Save her! ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Also in suffering, let us say: Thanks be to God. ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
The doctor should not meddle. The right of the child is equal to the right of the mother’s life. The doctor can’t decide; it is a sin to kill in the womb. ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
When one does one’s own duty, one must not be concerned, because God’s help will not be lacking. ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God. ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day. ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
God’s Providence is in all things, it’s always present. ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Everyone works in the service of man. We doctors work directly on man himself… The great mystery of man is Jesus: ‘He who visits a sick person, helps me,’ Jesus said… Just as the priest can touch Jesus, so do we touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients… We have opportunities to do good that the priest doesn’t have. Our mission is not finished when medicines are no longer of use. We must bring the soul to God; our word has some authority… Catholic doctors are so necessary! ~Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian pediatrician and devout Catholic, left behind a legacy of profound wisdom through her life and the quotes attributed to her. In this article, we will explore the wisdom encapsulated in her words, shedding light on topics such as love, suffering, the sanctity of life, and the role of doctors in the service of humanity.
Love and Suffering: Inseparable Companions
“One cannot love without suffering or suffer without loving.” This powerful quote by Saint Gianna Beretta Molla encapsulates a profound truth about the human experience. Love and suffering are intertwined in a way that highlights the depth and authenticity of our emotions.
When we love someone deeply, we open ourselves to the possibility of pain and suffering because love often involves sacrifice and vulnerability. Whether it’s the love of a parent for a child, a spouse for a partner, or the love of friends, it is this willingness to suffer for the sake of love that makes our connections with others meaningful and profound.
Saint Gianna’s insight reminds us that the challenges and difficulties we face in our relationships are not necessarily obstacles to be avoided but rather opportunities to grow and deepen our love. In the face of suffering, we can choose to embrace it as an integral part of the human experience, knowing that it is through suffering that we often discover the true depth of our capacity to love.
The Suffering of Jesus as a Moral Compass
“If one were to consider how much Jesus has suffered, one would not commit the smallest sin.” Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s words invite us to reflect on the suffering of Jesus Christ as a moral compass in our lives.
The suffering and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross serve as a powerful reminder of the gravity of sin and the immense love of God. When we contemplate the extent of Christ’s suffering for the redemption of humanity, it becomes clear that every sin, no matter how seemingly insignificant, carries a weighty consequence.
Saint Gianna’s quote encourages us to approach our choices and actions with a heightened sense of responsibility and reverence. By recognizing the magnitude of Christ’s suffering, we can strive to live in accordance with His teachings and strive for moral excellence, avoiding even the smallest transgressions.
The Sanctity of Life: Choosing Life Over Self
“If you must choose between me and the baby, no hesitation; choose – and I demand it – the baby. Save her!” These resolute words from Saint Gianna Beretta Molla highlight her unwavering commitment to the sanctity of life.
Saint Gianna was faced with a life-threatening pregnancy complication, and in her selfless determination, she prioritized the life of her unborn child over her own. Her profound willingness to sacrifice herself for the sake of her baby demonstrates the highest form of love and the deepest respect for the gift of life.
In a world where the value of life is often questioned and where the rights of the unborn can be disregarded, Saint Gianna’s example serves as a beacon of unwavering conviction in the sanctity of every human life. Her quote challenges us to reevaluate our own perspectives on life, emphasizing the importance of choosing life over self-interest and convenience.
Gratitude in Suffering: “Thanks be to God”
“Also in suffering, let us say: Thanks be to God.” These simple yet profound words from Saint Gianna Beretta Molla remind us of the power of gratitude, even in the midst of hardship.
Suffering is an inevitable part of the human condition, and it can be challenging to find reasons to be thankful during times of distress. However, Saint Gianna’s quote encourages us to shift our perspective and recognize that even in our suffering, there are opportunities for growth, resilience, and spiritual transformation.
By expressing gratitude to God in the face of adversity, we acknowledge that He is present with us in our trials and that there is a purpose to our suffering, even if we may not fully understand it. This perspective can provide comfort and hope, helping us navigate life’s challenges with grace and resilience.
The Ethical Dilemma of Abortion: Protecting Life
“The doctor should not meddle. The right of the child is equal to the right of the mother’s life. The doctor can’t decide; it is a sin to kill in the womb.” Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s stance on the ethical dilemma of abortion is unequivocal. She firmly believed in the inherent value and rights of the unborn child, emphasizing that no one, including medical professionals, should have the authority to take innocent life.
In a world where debates about the ethics of abortion continue to rage, Saint Gianna’s words serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of upholding the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. Her unwavering commitment to this principle challenges us to critically examine our own beliefs and societal norms surrounding abortion.
Saint Gianna’s perspective encourages us to advocate for the protection of the most vulnerable members of society—the unborn—and to seek ethical solutions that prioritize both the life of the child and the well-being of the mother.
Trusting in Divine Help: Duty and God’s Assistance
“When one does one’s own duty, one must not be concerned, because God’s help will not be lacking.” Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s quote on duty and divine assistance reminds us of the importance of fulfilling our responsibilities with faith and trust in God.
Many of us face daily challenges and obligations, whether in our personal, professional, or spiritual lives. Saint Gianna’s wisdom encourages us to approach our duties with dedication and a sense of purpose, knowing that God’s support and guidance will be there to aid us in our endeavors.
This perspective invites us to let go of unnecessary worry and anxiety, trusting that when we commit ourselves to doing what is right and just, we can rely on divine assistance to navigate the complexities of life.
Our Bodies as Vessels of Divine Presence
“Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal, the world should see God.” Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s words remind us of the sacredness of our physical bodies and the potential for them to reflect the divine.
In the Christian tradition, a cenacle is a place where the disciples gathered for the Last Supper, and a monstrance is a sacred vessel used to display the Eucharist. By likening our bodies to a cenacle and a monstrance, Saint Gianna underscores the idea that our physical selves can serve as vessels through which the presence of God can be made visible to the world.
This quote challenges us to consider how we care for our bodies and how our actions, words, and deeds reflect the divine presence within us. It invites us to live in a way that honors and magnifies the goodness and grace of God in all that we do.
The Secret of Happiness: Living in Gratitude
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.” Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s wisdom on happiness is both simple and profound.
In our fast-paced and often stressful lives, we may find ourselves constantly looking ahead or dwelling on the past, rarely taking the time to fully embrace the present moment. Saint Gianna’s quote reminds us that true happiness is found in the here and now, in appreciating the blessings that each day brings.
By cultivating a spirit of gratitude and acknowledging God’s goodness in our daily lives, we can experience a deep and lasting sense of happiness. This perspective encourages us to savor life’s small joys and to find contentment in the ordinary moments that often go unnoticed.
God’s Providence: The Constant Presence
“God’s Providence is in all things; it’s always present.” Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s words emphasize the ever-present nature of God’s providence in our lives.
Providence refers to the divine guidance and care that God provides to His creation. Saint Gianna’s quote reminds us that God is not a distant or passive deity but is actively involved in every aspect of our lives. His providence can be seen in the seemingly mundane events and circumstances that shape our journeys.
This perspective invites us to trust in God’s plan and to recognize His hand at work, even in the midst of challenges and uncertainties. It reminds us that we are never alone and that we can find comfort and strength in the knowledge that God’s providence is a constant and unwavering presence.
The Mission of Catholic Doctors: Serving Humanity
“Everyone works in the service of man. We doctors work directly on man himself… The great mystery of man is Jesus: ‘He who visits a sick person, helps me,’ Jesus said… Just as the priest can touch Jesus, so do we touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients… We have opportunities to do good that the priest doesn’t have. Our mission is not finished when medicines are no longer of use. We must bring the soul to God; our word has some authority… Catholic doctors are so necessary!” These powerful words by Saint Gianna Beretta Molla highlight the unique role of doctors in the service of humanity.
Saint Gianna, herself a physician, understood the profound impact that medical professionals can have on the lives of their patients. She saw the practice of medicine as a vocation, a calling to heal not only the physical ailments of individuals but also to attend to their spiritual and emotional well-being.
In this quote, Saint Gianna emphasizes that doctors have the opportunity to bring comfort, healing, and the message of Christ’s love to those they serve. They can touch the lives of their patients in a deeply meaningful way, just as a priest can in a spiritual context.
This perspective challenges medical professionals to see their work as a sacred calling and to approach it with compassion, empathy, and a commitment to the holistic well-being of their patients.
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s quotes offer profound insights into the complexities of love, suffering, the sanctity of life, and the role of doctors in the service of humanity. Her wisdom encourages us to reflect on the deeper meaning of our actions and choices and to live with faith, gratitude, and a profound respect for the sanctity of all human life.
In a world often marked by uncertainty and moral ambiguity, the words of Saint Gianna provide a moral compass and a source of inspiration for individuals striving to live with purpose, love, and unwavering faith in God’s providence. May her wisdom continue to guide us on our journey towards a life filled with love, compassion, and a deep sense of reverence for the gift of life.