Rome (Italy). On the occasion of the Triduum in preparation for the Solemnity of Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, on 13 May 2022, on the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute, the Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, and her Council share the animation proposal developed by Sr. Eliane Petri Anschau, as part of the Spirituality Course of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

In the presentation, it is emphasized that “Mother Mazzarello lived the prophecy of presence, with all the nuances of the Salesian charism interpreted in Mornese in a genial and typically feminine way.”

Sr. Eliane recalls that with her ‘maternal presence’ and her ‘educational presence’ at the origins of the FMA Institute, Mother Mazzarello collaborated in forming communities that generate life and in proclaiming the Gospel of joy to many young people. We can describe Mother Mazzarello with her own words, a woman with a “big and generous heart” (L 47,12), a woman who generates life.

But what was Mother Mazzarello like? What did those who lived next to her notice about her?

You will be able to get to know her better “by looking at her through the eyes, mind, and heart of those who knew her in life, of those who lived next to her, saw her in action, and shared a stretch of the journey with her”.

For this, 4 witnesses were chosen, one for each day of the Triduum and one for the day of the Feast:

  1. John Cagliero: Director General of the Institute from 1874 to 1884;
  2. Enrichetta Sorbone: Seconda Assistent and Vicar General of the Institute;
  3. Catherine Daghero: Vicar General of the Institute, and at the death of Mother Mazzarello, successor in the government and animation of the Institute;
  4. Petronilla Mazzarello: Intimate friend of  Mary Domenica Mazzarello.

All four, in addition to having lived next to Mother Mazzarello, were witnesses of the process of beatification and canonization. The word will be left to them, so that they may help to grasp some elements of the Holiness of Mary Domenica Mazzarello, to enter more deeply into the secret of her educational motherhood.

“Petronilla Mazzarello, in chronological order, should be the first witness, but we propose her for Mother Mazzarello’s feast day. She is the close friend and the one who from the very beginning shared Main’s dream of dedicating herself totally to the education of girls. She is also a privileged witness to the canonization process because she lived alongside Mother Mazzarello for a long time,” explains Sr. Eliane.

It is an agile proposal, which offers food for thought through short videos accompanied by cards with the text.

Mother and the General Council suggest using this proposal of the Triduum in the desire to make the sense of belonging ever more alive, gratitude joyful, and fruitful the creativity that makes the FMA a ‘presence’ to the ends of the earth.

Video of the Triduum

Cards for the Triduum and the Feast

Studies and biographies, collected on the website of the Study Center on the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, can be useful for further information on the testimonies in the canonization process:

SACRA CONGREGATIO PRO CAUSIS SANCTORUM, Beatificationis et Canonizationis Servae Dei Mariae Dominicae Mazzarello. Positio super Virtutibus. Summarium, Roma, Tipografia Guerra 1934.

ANSCHAU PETRI Eliane, La santità di Maria Domenica Mazzarello. Ermeneutica teologica delle testimonianze nei processi di beatificazione e canonizzazione = Il Prisma 34, Roma, LAS 2018.

MACCONO Ferdinando, Suor Petronilla Mazzarello. L’amica intima della Beata Maria Domenica confondatrice delle Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice, Torino, Società Editrice Internazionale [s.d.].

MAINETTI Giuseppina, Madre Caterina Daghero. Prima Sucessora della Beata Maria Mazzarello nel governo generale dell’Istituto “Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice”, Torino, Società Editrice Internazionale 1940.

DALCERRI Lina, Madre Enrichetta Sorbone. Vicaria Generale delle Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice, Torino, L.I.C.E.- Berruti 1947.


  1. Thank you so much! It is beautifully prepared, simple and understandable. May Mother Mazzarello from Heaven intercede for us.
    Thank you

  2. Grazie mille…molto fresca e interessante, ci aiuterà a conoscere evivere di più come Main

  3. Grazie mille carissima sr.Eliane! Poco fa, ho ricevuto quello della lingua Coreana. Prepariamo la grande festa nella Madre Mazzarello colla gioia e la speranza!

  4. Thanks a lot for the reflection offered in celebrating Mother Mazzarello this year. It will also be used in our different ministries. It is a great knowledge of Mother Mazzarello

  5. Gracias por esta riqueza de información que nos hace sentirnos más salesianas más apegadas a nuestros orígenes y más cercanas a nuestras superioras.

  6. Muchas gracias por esta propuesta, que a traves de los medios actuales llegan a todo el mundo! Muy feliz triduo y fiesta de la Made Mazzarello.

  7. Grazie della bella e ricca proposta in preparazione alla festa di Madre Mazzarello molto ricca
    Dal cielo guardi e benedica il nostro amato Instituto specialmente tante nostre sorelle che soffrono e sono perseguitate dalla guerra


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