NewsThu May 1, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Italian Mother “Lays Down Her Life” for Her Unborn Child
By Michael Baggot
PIEVE DI SOLIGO, Italy, May 1, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an act of sacrifice comparable to that of pro-life patroness St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Italian mother Paola Breda recently died after having declined potentially life-saving cancer treatment that could have harmed her unborn child.
Breda was diagnosed with breast cancer six months into her pregnancy with her child Nicola, but postponed treatment until after Nicola’s birth.
During her funeral, Vittorio Veneto Bishop Corrado Pizziolo called Breda an exemplification of Jesus Christ’s Gospel call "to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
"What Jesus did - the Gospel which He lived for us - this is what we see carried out in the life of our sister," said the Bishop according to the Italian newspaper Avvenire.
Father Giuseppe Nadal told Radio Vaticana that Breda was disappointed that she and her husband Loris Amodei were unable to have a child until a decade into their marriage.
Both Breda’s first child, Illaria, and her second child, Nicola, brought their mother great joy, said the priest. Fr. Nadal also recounted a teary-eyed Breda coming to him during her second pregnancy.
"‘I’ve been diagnosed with cancer, and they are suggesting chemotherapy, but that would hurt the baby. I absolutely don’t want that, because I always asked for the gift of motherhood, the gift of having children," said Breda.
St. Molla was a Milanese pediatric doctor pregnant with her fourth child when she learned of a fibroma in her uterus and declined either the abortion or complete hysterectomy that would have saved her life.
Before surgery to rescue her unborn child, St. Molla told doctors, "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child - I insist on it. Save him."
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Australian Doctor Dies After Refusing Cancer Treatment in Order to Save Her Unborn Child
Mother Dies of Cancer to Save Life of Her Unborn Child
Daughter of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Attends US March for Life
Pope Canonizes Gianna Molla; Secular Media at a Loss