The Servant of God, Frei Alberto Enrico Beretta, was born in Milan, Italy, on August 28, 1916, the seventh of thirteen children, of which two are still living, Monsignor Joseph, 89, an engineer, still working in different offices of the Curia, and residing in Borgo Canale, and Mother Virginia, 85 years of age, a Canossian missionary and physician.
After attaining a degree in medicine in 1942, began the novitiate at the Capuchin Friary in Lovere, but had to interrupt it due to the arrival of a letter ordering him to come to Florence for a course for official cadets. The chaos that followed the fall of the regime brought him back home. He was ordained to the priesthood on March 13, 1948 by Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster OSB., (1880 - 1954), Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Milan, who was beatified on May 12, 1996 by Pope John Paul II.
The following year, Padre Beretta left for the Capuchin Missions in the Prelatura of Grajaú, in the Brazilian State of Maranhão, where he opened a clinic with an operating room. From Grajaù, Beretta, certainly not only saved lives in the operating room, but also succeeded in cultivating a well developed network of relationships and friendships, among whom with Marcello Candia, the "Marcello of the Lepers", founder along with Monsignor Aristide Pirovano PIME., (1915 - 1997), of the hospital of Macapà in Amazonia.
In 1981, after 33 years in Brazil, Beretta was stricken by an ictus, which deprived him of his speech and movement. He was recovered in the capital St. Luis, then in the clinic of Ponte S. Pietro, and finally in the house of his brother, Monsignor Joseph in Borgo Canale, where he lived for another twenty years up until his death on August 10, 2001.
One of Frei Alberto's sisters, was Gianna Beretta Molla (1922 - 1962), an Italian pediatrician, wife and mother who is best known for refusing both an abortion and a hysterectomy when she was pregnant with her fourth child, despite knowing that continuing with the pregnancy could result in her death. She was canonized by the named Pope John Paul II, in 2004.
On June 18, 2008, at the Curia in Bergamo, Monsignor Roberto Amadei (1933 - 2009), opened the diocesan process for the beatification of Friar Alberto Beretta.
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