Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Relics Of Pro-Life Saint At Holy Spirit

Published September 30, 2010

The relics of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a wife, mother and Italian pediatrician who was declared a saint in 2004, will be at Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta on the weekend of Oct. 16 and 17 and available to the public for veneration.

The 20th century “working mother” came to the attention of the church when, after being diagnosed with a uterine tumor, she made the decision to continue with her pregnancy in order to save the life of her unborn child even at risk to her own life. Her decision reflected both her medical understanding and her faith, which, when examined by the church for the canonization process, showed that this selfless act was part of her full life of serving God, her family and her patients.

She has become a saint closely identified with the needs of families and mothers in the modern world and with the pro-life movement. The miracle leading to her canonization was the birth of a healthy baby three and a half months after doctors discovered a total absence of amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb. The mother had been advised to abort the baby, but the parish priest encouraged the mother to pray to St. Gianna for a miracle. She has been associated with answered prayers especially for women with problem pregnancies and women unable to get pregnant.

The relics will be available for veneration after all Masses at Holy Spirit Church that weekend, including 5:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, Oct. 16, and 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Masses on Sunday, Oct. 17. The relics will be in St. Mary’s Chapel following the 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Masses and in the church following all other Masses.

In addition, talks will be given in adult education on Sunday, Oct. 10, and Sunday, Oct. 17, at 9:50 a.m. in Malta Hall by Father Paul Burke, parochial vicar at Holy Spirit, on the first date and Jim Buffler, guardian of the relic, on the second date.

Holy Spirit Church is located at 4465 Northside Drive, NW, Atlanta. Visit the parish website at for more information.