Rome (Italy). On 20 October 2022 in the Generalate of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, hosted the round table: Mother Rosetta Marchese: From the peaks of the Aosta Valley to the peaks of holiness”.

“Today we celebrate the birthday of Mother Rosetta Marchese (1922-1984), Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians from 1981 to 1984. The evening also wished to be an opportunity to strengthen our faith, trust in intercession, in particular of the Servant of God,” exhorted the General Secretary of the FMA Institute, Sr. Maria Luisa Nicastro, starting the round table, organized with the aim of “giving thanks for the history of holiness aroused by the Holy Spirit in the life of Institute and to deepen the charism as it was actualized and witnessed by Mother Rosetta” (Circ. 1021).

Among those present in the theater hall were the Superior of the Vice Province Mary Seat of Wisdom of the Salesians of Don Bosco (UPS), Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga; Fr. Carlo Maria Zanotti, SDB; Fr. João Bosco Monteiro Maciel, SDB, animator of the Cause of the Servants of God; Rodolfo Lunkenbein and Simao Bororo; and Fr. Gabriel Cruz, SDB, vice-postulator of the Cause of the Servant of God Akash Bashir; the Vicar General of the FMA Institute, Sr. María del Rosario García Ribas; and the Councilors at home; the Superior of the Preprovince Mary Mother of the Church (RMC), Sr. Maria del Carmen Canales; and the Vicar, Sr. Anna Trotti; the Vicar of the St. John Bosco Province (IRO), Sr. Antonella Terravecchia; the Councilor for Youth Ministry, Sr. Loredana Locci; and some Communities of Rome and surroundings; the Animator, Sr. Carla Castellino; and the Community of Mary Help of Christians of the Generalate.

There were various people and FMA communities connected through live-streaming from all over the world, who participated in a heartfelt and grateful way in this family moment.

The Superior General of the FMA Institute, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, opened the event by presenting the Servant of God in her period as Mother General and recalling the first words spoken on the day of her election, a summary of her itinerary, “I ask Our Lady to say her Fiat and her Magnificat for me because the Institute has always given me everything, but now it gives me all of itself.” Then, referring to a 1978 conference, “The little window open on the tabernacle”, she encouraged us as educators of today, “to embrace the point of view of the Eucharist in implementing the synodal style of being educating communities who want to walk, in communion, together with the young”.

In the first report, the Vice-Postulator, Sr. Francesca Caggiano, illustrating “The life and spiritual profile of Mother Rosetta Marchese”, described the inner world of the Servant of God as it emerges from the study of the correspondence. “Mother Rosetta can be defined as the mystic of realism and balance. She is aware of her own limitations, which she offers gently. She lives everything with serene sweetness, carrying out her chosen program at her Profession, ‘in the simplicity of my heart I offer everything to you’,” Sr. Francesca shared. With her intense and profound spiritual life and with her experience of God, the Servant of God accompanied sisters, young people, priests, and lay people in the ways of the Spirit, so much so that she “represented and still is a spring water with many fountains to draw from, and a fruitful womb, capable of generating faith from its own profound experience of God”.

Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, spoke of “Mother Rosetta in the constellation of the Salesian charism”, giving her an all-around Salesian charismatic perspective and connecting her with other figures of the Salesian Family. After deepening the aspects of a woman who embodies spiritual motherhood, a woman of government, a contemplative woman in the mission, a woman of oblation, he concluded his discourse by bringing back Mother Rosetta’s wishes to her daughters, “The goal is unique: to arrive in Paradise with all the young people for whom we have given and consummated our existence”.

The Carmelite theologian, Fr. François-Marie Léthel, expert in the Theology of the Saints, with the discourse, “The Eucharistic indwelling in Mother Rosetta Marchese”, explained the mystical experience of the Servant of God as the Real Presence of Jesus and the permanent and continuous Presence in herself after Communion, underlining that it “can be communicated to all the faithful who want to live Holy Communion in depth”. “Mother Rosetta teaches us to live the spousal dimension of our vocation. (…) The Visitation is the biblical icon that we see realized in her and that highlights the missionary apostolic dimension of her vocation,” highlighted Father Léthel, who in the course of his talk presented the figure of another Servant of God who had a profound resonance and convergence with Mother Rosetta, Vera Grita, Salesian Cooperator (1923-1969), “another ‘woman of the Eucharist’ in the same family as Don Bosco”.

The round table then offered some testimonies. The first was that of Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Emeritus Superior General of the FMA Institute who, through video, shared some events of her life.  They met in 1978, when Mother Rosetta went as Visiting Councilor to France and told the story of her profound relationship with the Servant of God, tracing a portrait of great humanity, spirituality, and capable governance.

The testimony of her niece, Mariarosa Rosso, daughter of Marisa, the youngest sister of the Servant of God, was emotional. Through a video, she shared her memories of when she came to meet her aunt in Rome and of her confidential ‘little talks’ in the Aosta Valley that were maternal and warm, and that had accompanied her and were a model for her in her personal growth.

The floor was then given to Sr. Gemma Paganini, FMA of Holy Family Province (ILO), who for almost 9 years, from 1975 to 1984, was the personal secretary of Mother Rosetta Marchese. Her ‘daily’ memories and her precious anecdotes gave concreteness and truthfulness to the evening’s contributions. Sr. Gemma left three characteristics of Mother Rosetta’s ‘perfume’ that she was able to breathe in those blessed years: a perfume that smelled of human warmth,  “Mother Rosetta was of an exquisite humanity”, a perfume that came from a heart in love and free because she said, “love does not chain, it frees,”  a perfume that widened the heart and made you breathe an air of family next to her, in simplicity and smiling humility, “With a smile she welcomed God’s plan, that plan which upset all of her plans”.

The moderator, Sr. Maria Luisa Nicastro, concluded the round table by soliciting the collection of testimonies of those who have been spiritually accompanied by Mother Rosetta and encouraged them to invoke her intercession, underlining that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard the holiness of Mother Rosetta, live it and spread it as an instrument of salvation.

At the end, all the participants, in presence and in streaming, expressed a common feeling: it was an evening of high spirituality, an event of Grace for the Institute on this 150th anniversary of the Foundation.

Anyone wishing to share a testimony or a grace received can write to:



Photos: Flickr FMA


  1. Bellissimo incontro. Ho seguito questa tavola rotonda con molta gioia avendo svolto la mia tesi di Dottorato sotto la guida di padre Lethel e ….. Portando in cuore sempre un grande amore per don Bosco, i giovani e le FMA. Ho convinto la mia Superiora a seguire anche lei questo incontro, abbiamo ascoltato tutte le relazioni durante la ricreazione e ne siamo uscite entrambi ricreate.
    Grazie di vero cuore

    Sr. Luigina Ariu


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.