Pietro Molla, the widower of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, died at his home in Mesero, Italy, April 3. He was 97.
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, Mr. Molla wrote that he still felt her 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.”
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. Pietro was present at the canonization in St. Peter’s Square with the couple’s three surviving children; Maria Zita had died in 1964 of kidney disease. —CNS