See below for a gallery of photos from the event.
HUNTINGTON — St. Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian pediatrician, was pregnant with her fourth child in 1961 when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening tumor on her uterus. Putting the life of her child before her own, she rejected the doctor-recommended options of an abortion or hysterectomy and chose a riskier surgery to remove the tumor. St. Gianna died seven days after giving birth.
Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla, the daughter whose life was saved, addressed a standing-room only audience at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception here on Sunday, April 2. She spoke of how the gift of life she received from her mother has turned into a mission of evangelization on the value of life. It was one of two talks she gave in the diocese this weekend. The other was at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital, Smithtown, on Friday.
St. Gianna was canonized in 2004 and has become a patron for couples experiencing infertility and mothers in high-risk pregnancies. Her daughter also became a doctor, specializing in geriatric medicine. Dr. Gianna Emanuela left her practice to take care of her father, Pietro, during the last years of his life. Before he died in 2010, her father encouraged Molla to devote her time to speaking about her mother’s life and faith.
Dr. Molla’s testimony at the seminary was followed by Mass, celebrated by Bishop Robert Brennan. After Mass, people had the opportunity to venerate relics of the saint and then attend a meet-and-greet reception.
Photos by Ed Casey.