St. Steven’s Respect Life Ministry is observing October, Respect Life month, with several different activities.
The first event will take place on October 2, 2018, directly after 7:30 a.m. mass and will be held in the Fitzpatrick Center Great Hall starting at 8:15 a.m. featuring a program honoring Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, a modern-day saint. All are invited to attend, hear an oral presentation and view a film and learn about this saint who was canonized on May 16, 2004, and who is the Patron Saint of Mothers, Physicians, Wives, Families and Unborn Children.
Saint Gianna was born on October 4, 1922, in Magneta, Italy, as the 10th of 13 children (just eight survived into adulthood) to Alberto Beretta and Maria de Micheli. She received her medical diploma on November 30, 1949, from the Pavia College in Milan and specialized in pediatrics. As a physician, surgeon and pediatric doctor, her work in the medical field was a “mission,” and she worked especially with mothers, babies, the elderly and the poor.
In December 1954, she met Pietro Molla, an engineer, and the two became engaged the following April 11 and married on September 24, 1955. The couple had three children: Pierluigi, born November 19, 1956; Mariolina, born December 11, 1957 and died February 12, 1964; and Laura, born July 15, 1959.
In 1961, during the second month of her fourth and final pregnancy, Molla developed a fibroma on her uterus. The doctors gave her the choice of an abortion or hysterectomy to save her life, but she chose just to have the fibroma removed, for she wanted to preserve her child’s life; she told the doctors that her child’s life was more important than her own. On the morning of April 21, 1962, Holy Saturday, Molla delivered her fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, via Caesarean section. She died of septic peritonitis one week after giving birth on April 28, 1962. Her daughter still lives and is a doctor of geriatrics.
Also, a very special presentation and program will take place honoring “St. Steven’s First Respect Life Family of the Year” (2018-2019) at this event, and those in attendance will hear about the good works that they have humbly performed for multiple years for so many in the community. Please plan to attend, celebrate and acknowledge this couple and family and become enlightened and inspired.
For information, contact Anne at 480-802-9127 or Karen at St. Steven’s at 480-895-9266.