St. Gianna Molla's husband dies at 97
Published: April 5, 2010
MESERO, Italy (CNS) -- Pietro Molla, the widower of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, died at his home in Mesero April 3 at the age of 97. In September 2005, on what would have been their 50th wedding anniversary, the saint's husband wrote, "I've often thought and said that not even eternity would give me enough time to thank the Lord for the very unique gift he gave me" in "seeing my beloved Gianna elevated to the highest honors of the altar." Fourteen months after their marriage, Gianna and Pietro welcomed their first child, Pierluigi. Maria Zita was born in 1957 and Laura was born in 1959. But in late 1961, pregnant with the couple's fourth child, Gianna was diagnosed with a uterine tumor. The couple refused treatment that could have harmed the unborn child. Gianna Emanuela was born in April 1962 and her mother died one week later of an infection. On the 40th anniversary of his wife's death, Molla wrote that he still felt his wife's presence "in the memory of our six months of engagement and our six and half years of married and family life, filled with full and perfect joy with our children." Addressing his late wife, he said, "When the Lord called you to heaven 40 years ago, although we were suffering we continued to feel that you were increasingly present and near, our protector in heaven." Gianna was a pediatrician and Pietro was an engineer. They were married in Magenta, the town outside Milan, where Gianna was born. Pope John Paul II beatified Gianna in 1994 and proclaimed her a saint in 2004.
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