Rome (Italy). On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the arrival of the first Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Argentina, the commentary in Spanish on the letters of Mother Mazzarello “Con el sello del Espíritu” by Ana María Fernández was published, Don Bosco Editions, Argentina (EDBA) Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, 2019.

The volume, published in Italian in 2006, is updated and translated by the author herself.

The result of an accurate historical-spiritual research of Sister Ana María Fernández FMA, she presents the Letters of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello first in the historical, editorial, literary context and then in a theological, spiritual, and pedagogical reading that enhances this source as a privileged expression of the charismatic mission of the Mother towards her daughters.

These pages illumine the historical phase of the first years of the foundation of the FMA Institute, but in particular they highlight the experience of the spiritual motherhood of Mary Domenica Mazzarello.

The only manuscripts of Mother are pages of punctual and meticulous documentation on the value of these writings, which reveal the progressive awareness of her charismatic mission in the incipient Institute founded by Don Bosco for the education of women.

Mother Mazzarello was unable to go personally to visit the missionaries in America as she would have liked, but went there with her letters, with which she accompanied them in the inculturation of the charism in the ‘new world’.

The letters therefore express the awareness of a progressive sense of motherhood and daughterliness, of ‘sisterhood’, and of mutual relationship in the same vocation and in the common educational mission.

They also outline fundamental aspects of the charism such as the centrality of Christ, the relationship with Mary and the Marian profile of the Institute, the contemplative dimension of life, the simplicity and beauty of an ever wider community united by bonds of sincere charity and open to the world, the missionary ardor that overcomes every difficulty for the joy of proclaiming the Gospel.

Through her careful research, Sister Ana María allows us to rediscover the face of a mother, an educator, a teacher of life through life. The letters, as Card. Gabriel –Marie Garrone wrote in the presentation of the first edition of the Epistolary of St. Mary Mazzarello, “are like a sudden entering into the intimate sanctuary of a person who, by reading a biography, allows us a glimpse without making access possible.”


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