Saint Gianna Beretta Molla is the patron of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation. She was selected early in the organization's history by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, who saw in Saint Gianna a powerful role model for the Church and the world today. She clearly represents the Gospel of Life in an extraordinary way. At the time of her beatification in 1994, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, then Archbishop of Milan described her as a “woman, doctor and lover of life.” Gianna Molla was canonized on May 16, 2004 by Pope John-Paul II - the last person to be canonized by Blessed John Paul II, who is the great inspiration in the founding of Salt and Light in Canada.
Born the tenth of thirteen children, four of whom would not make it to adulthood, Gianna saw life as a marvelous gift. She nurtured a strong faith and conviction in the necessity and effectiveness of prayer. She later earned degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949 and would go on to open a medical clinic in Mesero, Italy in 1950. She specialized in Pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and eventually would give special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and poor.
Like many saints, Gianna's story entails tragedy and heroic sacrifice. She provides to us a strong example of the values and virtues of Christ and his ultimate sacrifice for us. Against the advice of doctors, Gianna sacrificed her life to save her child's, fully aware that she could die if she gave birth to her baby. A few days before the baby was due, she said "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child - I insist on it. Save him".
In 2010, Father Rosica commissioned an icon of St. Gianna to be written by Mr. Ted Harasti, a sacred artist (sculptor, muralist, and iconographer) based in Canada. The icon (pictured here to the right) was blessed and installed in the Holy Cross Chapel of our Salt and Light Broadcast Centre for the Feast of All Saints Day 2011. It is the first icon of St. Gianna and has the Molla family approval. The icon also features Gianna’s husband, Pietro, who died in 2010. Gianna is portrayed holding her daughter, Gianna Emauneula. Ted's original work is in the Greek Byzantine style.
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Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation – Born on the wings of World Youth Day 2002 in Canada, Salt + Light is a unique instrument of the New Evangelization. It is dedicated to being – and helping others become – the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Our mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ and the joy of the Gospel to the world by telling stories of hope that bring people closer to Christ and the Catholic faith.