Rome (Italy). On May 9, 2019, in the Aula Magna «John Paul II» of the Faculty of Educational Sciences «Auxilium», a study seminar was held on Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, on the occasion of the publication of the book by Eliane A. Petri: ‘The holiness of Mary Domenica Mazzarello. Theological hermeneutics of testimonies in the processes of beatification and canonization’.

The event, moderated by Sister Piera Ruffinatto, involved some scholars committed to deepening their spiritual experience from the perspective of spiritual theology.
The date is not random. On May 9, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians commemorate the «birthday» of Mary Domenica, their foundress together with St. John Bosco.

After the greeting of the Principal, Sister Pina Del Core, the first report by Prof. Jesús Manuel García of the Pontifical Salesian University, focused on the importance of the theological-experiential method of spiritual theology to read, contextualize, interpret, and actualize correctly the figure of the saints. Illustrating the stages of the research conducted by Prof. Petri, he underlined how a correct understanding of the sources should dialogue with contemporary questions to let emerge the significance of Christian life even in the face of today’s challenges.

Sister Annamaria Valli, a professor at the Theological Institute of Viterbo, deepened a category, which according to her theological sensitivity unifies and summarizes the entire experience of the Saint of Mornese: docibilitas. Among so many provocations, she highlighted especially the fact that docibilitas embodies an active and passive dimension of the subject in the relationship with grace as theological docibilitas, that is, total openness to and trust in the Holy Spirit, source of courage and engine of a proactive subjectivity, of an adult personality in faith. Rereading the title of co-founder, she highlighted the theological docibilitas of Mary Mazzarello, which recognizes in faith the mediation of St. John Bosco and at the same time, the ability of Don Bosco to recognize in her the right person to fulfill his foundational project.

In conclusion, Sister Eliane Petri, author of the volume, emphasized the educational and spiritual motherhood of Mary Domenica Mazzarello, as a characteristic note of her holiness.

An interesting and evocative moment was the interaction between those present and the speakers.

At the conclusion of the Seminar, the project was presented by Fr. Michal Vojtas, a portal born from the collaboration of the Don Bosco Study Center of the Salesian Pontifical University with the Study Center on the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the «Auxilium» Faculty. The online resource, which will soon be released to the public of the Network, aims to make available an increasing number of sources, studies, researches, and digital resources on the history of the Salesian Family, on the richness of the educational method, and Salesian spirituality.


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