Saint’s daughter declares, “My mom’s life has been a hymn to life!”

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla began her first visit to the United States with a visit to the New York headquarters of Priests for Life on Monday, July 11th, to enshrine a photo and relic of her mother, St. Gianna Molla, a patron saint of the pro-life movement.

“God loved my mother very much,” Dr. Molla said while addressing the staff of the Catholic, pro-life ministry, but she added that “God chose her among many saint mothers. There must be many saint mothers in Paradise.”

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a physician who grew up near Milan. When she and her husband, Pietro, were expecting their fourth child, St. Gianna learned she had a tumor in her uterus. She decided against a hysterectomy that would have saved her life but killed her unborn child. Gianna Emanuela was born April 21, 1962. Her mother died on April 28.

“I would not be here with you if I had not been loved so much,” said Dr. Molla, who lives near Milan.

Dr. Molla spoke of her mother’s upbringing in a very religious family. St. Gianna was the 10th of 13 children, five of whom died in childhood. Her younger sister became a nun and two brothers became priests. One of them, Father Alberto Maria Beretta, has been declared a “Servant of God” in the cause for canonization.

St. Gianna, born in 1922, was a deeply religious young woman who chose to become a physician because she saw it “as the most effective means of apostolate,” according to her daughter.

“All my mom’s life has been a hymn to life,” Dr. Molla said. “She died in the same exemplary way she lived. Her holiness represents something extraordinary…a holiness in which everyone can feel at home.”

Accompanied by Thomas McKenna, founder of the St. Gianna Physicians Guild, and Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, Dr. Molla hung a photo of her mother holding her sister, Mariolina, in the lobby of Priests for Life headquarters. Below the photo is a relic of St. Gianna – a piece of cloth from a garment worn by the saint.

The St. Gianna Physicians Guild encourages doctors to become pro-life advocates. McKenna said the guild enshrines photos and relics of St. Gianna in medical offices, and encourages doctors to become members. A lapel pin from the guild is often a conversation starter for a doctor and his or her colleagues. If someone asks about the pin “all you do is tell the story” of St. Gianna’s life and sacrificial death, he said. Father Pavone and Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, were made honorary members of the guild.

“We need to show that faith and morality go together” for doctors, McKenna said.

Speaking of St. Gianna during Mass in the Priests for Life chapel, Father Pavone said, “the act of sacrifice she made at the end of her life was not an isolated act,” but the culmination of a life of piety.

In a homily focused on Jesus’ words “This is My body,” Father Pavone said that many mothers today say, “This is my body, I can do what I want, even if it means killing the baby. St. Gianna said, ‘this is my body, given to you.’ “

Dr. Molla said she came to know her mother through the memories of her father, who died last year at the age of 98. She was taught not to feel guilt over her mother’s death, and her siblings were reassured that the mother who was taken from them would have died for them as well.

“My mother chose to risk her life for me, but she always hoped God would save her life, too,” Dr. Molla said. “God prepared for my mother a bigger design. I am happy to share my mother with all those persons who are in difficulty.”

Dr. Molla will speak at events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Nebraska. On July 23, she will participate in a conference in Kansas City, MO, organized by the St. Gianna Physicians Guild to address end-of-life issues.

For more information on her visit, please visit

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit

Blessed Are the Pure of Heart

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. This beatitude impels us to ask ourselves what our deepest longings and desires are, what motivates our choices, and how consistently we want to do what is right. The pure of heart seek to please God before they please themselves, even at the cost of great sacrifice.
Having a pure heart protects us from the temptations of the culture of death. Meeting the needs of a vulnerable child in the womb requires a new and selfless center of gravity. We put the child first and our own plans and conveniences last.

And when we speak up for that child, we stop worrying about the criticism we might receive. The pure of heart don’t care about that. They only care about doing what’s right.

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We give special honor and worship to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in reparation for the sins of the world. This Heart is the core of the pro-life movement, which is a movement of self-sacrificing love. Nothing can stop the love of the Heart of Jesus, which is the meaning of the flame we see. This love is met by rejection and hatred, symbolized by the wound in the heart.

Pro-life activists experience the same thing. Our love for the unborn is met with misunderstanding, ridicule, shunning, and persecution of all kinds, yet nothing can extinguish the flame. We continue to love those who cannot love us back, and cannot even know we are loving them, and that is a gift of the Sacred Heart.

Sunday is the Feast of Corpus Christi

This coming weekend the Church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi. We worship the God Who gives us His very Body and Blood.

An early Christian symbol of Jesus was the Pelican, because of the legend that the mother Pelican wounded herself to feed her children with her own blood. You can still see this on some altars. This makes us think, at the same time, of the Eucharist and of the relationship between a mother and her unborn child, who is nourished in the most intimate way by nutrients carried in the mother’s blood. Jesus gives Himself to us daily on the altars of our Churches so that we can give ourselves to our children – born and unborn – daily on the altars of our lives.

Saint Gianna’s Daughter to visit Priests for Life office

STATEN ISLAND, NY — An image and relic of St. Gianna Molla will be enshrined permanently in the offices of Priests for Life when the saint’s daughter visits the United States next month.

Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla’s July 11th visit to Staten Island will be part of a tour that will culminate July 23 in a daylong conference in Kansas City hosted by the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was canonized a saint in May 2004, the last saint to be canonized by Blessed Pope John Paul II. She was a dedicated wife, mother and physician who sacrificed her life when, pregnant with her fourth child, doctors discovered a tumor in her uterus. She opted for a risky operation to remove the tumor that preserved the life of her child rather than undergo a hysterectomy. Six days after giving birth to Gianna Emanuela, she died from complications.

“It is a blessing for any nation to be visited by the daughter of a saint and to be reminded of a life of heroic virtue,” said Father Pavone. “In this case in particular, however, the visit of Gianna Emanuela is a call to America to recapture its own heart, to rekindle its commitment to the right to life, which it was founded to protect. St. Gianna Molla can teach America what true freedom is meant to be – a gift in the service of life!”

On July 12th at 7 p.m., Father Pavone will be the celebrant of a special Mass at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA. Following Mass Dr. Molla will speak about her mother and several relics will be exposed for public veneration.

To view Dr. Molla’s schedule of events, please visit

Read more about her visit from the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild

There is No Greater Love

The letter to the Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ made the sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross “through the eternal spirit.” This makes sense, because the Holy Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son, a love that is then poured out on us. It is in the Holy Spirit that we, too, have the power to love, which consists in giving ourselves away for the good of the other. “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Such is to be our response to the unborn. We sacrifice our time, efforts, possessions, positions, and reputations, in order to save their lives. By filling us with this love, the Holy Spirit unites the human family, whereas abortion divides it.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

On Monday we observe Memorial Day, a time to remember the U.S. men and women who lost their lives serving their country. “Greater love than this no one has,” the Lord Jesus said, “than to lay down his life for his friends.” Those we honor today laid down their lives for us, that we may enjoy the freedom we have in this country. That freedom is based on the recognition of the dignity of life and the dominion of God. The practice of abortion denies both. Abortion, in fact, is contrary to everything for which America stands and upon which she was founded.

Let us honor those who died for our country, and let us build on what they left us as we strive for a Culture of Life.

We Celebrate Vocations Sunday this Weekend

This Sunday is “Vocations Sunday.” We pray that many will hear the call to the priesthood, the call to devote themselves fully to the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, which is the Gospel of Life. Many young people today are finding their vocation precisely because of the Church’s witness to the sanctity of life amidst the holocaust of abortion. Responding to a vocation requires counter-cultural service, which is precisely the context which the pro-life movement offers. Devoting oneself to the defense of life provides a powerful seed-bed for the flowering of priestly vocations, just as a response to a priestly vocation is necessarily a commitment to the defense of life. Let us pray today for many “good shepherds,” and let us encourage those who have already accepted that call.

We Must Wash Each Other’s Feet

Holy Thursday, a day sacred to all Christians, is the day on which Jesus gave us the Eucharist, the Priesthood, and the commandment of charity. All are symbolized by His washing the feet of His disciples. He told us on this sacred night that we are to wash each other’s feet. We are to do what is unpleasant in order to serve one another; we are to get ourselves dirty in order to love one another.

Tonight, as we all join in the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, let us recommit ourselves to loving and serving the least among us, the smallest and most vulnerable, namely, the unborn children. Let us wash their feet by speaking up for them and working to restore the protection of their lives.

Even Now

Jesus Christ can change us and can change our world. We are people of hope. When Jesus visited Martha and Mary to console them over the death of their brother Lazarus, even though He had been in the tomb for four days, the sisters said to Jesus, “Even now, I know that God will give You whatever You ask Him.” Even now. That should be our theme as we fight the evil of abortion. Some will say it has gone on so long it cannot be changed. Others will voice the objection that was raised when Jesus ordered Lazarus’ grave opened: there will be a stench. But despite the culture of death, we are called to hope in the God Who has not changed, and in His power to defeat abortion. Even now.