(France-South Belgium). The approach of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians urged the France-South Belgium Province Our Lady of the Nations (FRB) to write the text “With Mary Domenica Mazzarello. Two young FMA, Sr. Sandrine Gilles and Sr. Marie Vaillant, joyfully embarked on a journey of study and deepening of Mother Mazzarello.
Mary Dominica is austere, with her big black veil, yet when we get to know her small village of Mornese perched on a hill, it is surprising to see the enthusiasm that arises from the youngest for this Woman, a next door Saint, as we would say today, who never stopped asking: “Are you joyful?” And then, it is obvious for the young sisters that Mary Domenica has something to say to the young people, parents, and educators of today.
The mission of Sister Sandrine and Sister Marie is carried out in youth ministry, one in the Salesian Spirituality Center of Farnières and the other in Don Bosco Ganshoren College – Brussels.
It was very beautiful to work together. I am Sister Sandrine from Belgium, a scholar of classical literature, I learned Latin and Greek. Sister Marie is from France, of scientific culture, an engineer. We met Mary Domenica in the Novitiate of Castelgandolfo in Rome, replies Sister Sandrine, who said she felt herself “both of Mary Domenica and of Don Bosco“.
At the beginning, the idea was to choose 15 words that evoke the spirituality of Mary Mazzarello, continues Sister Sandrine. But praying for 15 days also means embarking on a spiritual journey with Mary Domenica. Thus, with Sister Marie, we took up Mother Mazzarello’s letters and started from her profound relationship with God. Sister Sandrine calls it “the search for God in daily life, the horizon that is given to life”.
One aspect that we considered important to share was the inner journey made by Main, working on herself, recognizing that life is a struggle, and that from there one is educated to look, re-reading events, without judging. We learned from Mary Domenica that her vocation was first of all that of a laywoman consecrated to God.
Education, trust, love for work and, of course, joy are the key words that will accompany the prayer in these 15 days. “The saints are living Gospels. We can therefore pray through their life, we can let ourselves be touched by the Lord through the way in which Mary Domenica lived”, emphasizes Sister Sandrine.
“Pray 15 days with …” series, from the Nouvelle Cité Edition, is presented in a small white format with a dark blue border. About 215 works have already been published, which help to pray and walk with so many witnesses of Christ. From 29 October, it is possible to pray with Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, Foundress with Saint John Bosco of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco.