Rome (Italy). In the context of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in July 2022, a study was published entitled: Fr. Ferdinando Maccono official biographer and Vice-Postulator of the cause of canonization of Mother Mazzarello, at the LAS Publishing House, in the series Small Library of the Salesian Historical Institute.

In the Introduction, the author Eliane Petri, FMA, motivates this publication, elaborated from the material and documentation of her doctoral thesis: “Fr Ferdinando Maccono seems to be a little-known Salesian in the Salesian Family. If nothing else, he is known as the biographer and Vice Postulator of the Cause of beatification and canonization of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello.”

The research reveals an exceptional personality not only for what he has done, but above all for his human and spiritual character, for his multifaceted figure: man of faith, profound seeker of truth, passionate priest-educator, appreciated writer, competent Vice Postulator of some causes of canonization promoted by the FMA Institute.

In addition to dedicating time and energy to the mission of a priest, Ferdinando Maccono also distinguished himself for his fruitful work as a writer. One can, with good reason, also define him as the apostle of the pen. Like Don Bosco, he too firmly believed in the value of good reading and good books for formation. More than fifty volumes of small or large size are due to his pen. His works are of an ascetic, pedagogical, and hagiographic nature; they are entirely the fruit of an apostolic need.

The text particularly highlights his important and qualified role as Vice Postulator and official biographer of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello, Co-founder of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. In this mission, he gave the best of his years, his energies, his intellectual, relational, and faith abilities. He worked for the Cause of the Saint of Mornese for twenty-seven years, with diligence, prudence, constancy, and self-giving. He wrote biographies, circulars, leaflets, printed images to make her known. His vast work as a biographer and Vice Postulator of Mary Domenica Mazzarello remains a point of reference and a real source of the knowledge about the Saint.

A life dedicated to a vast apostolate could not be without crosses, which Fr. Maccono knew how to welcome and carry with faith and with a generous heart. He worked for the cause of the beatification of Mary Domenica Mazzarello until the year 1937, when he was dismissed from the role of Vice Postulator due to his advanced age, poor health, and above all, because of some difficulties and misunderstandings that arose between him and the Superiors for having held that the title of Co-founder be attributed to Mary Domenica Mazzarello who, according to him, was due to her for “justice and truth”.

2022 is a year that brings with it a happy coincidence: the 70th anniversary of the death of Fr. Ferdinando Maccono and the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the FMA Institute are celebrated. In this context, remembering and knowing a little more about this figure and his work is a duty of gratitude.


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