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Rome (Italy). On 1 July 2019, the Postulator General of the Cause of Saints of the Salesian Congregation, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, and the General Secretary of the FMA Institute, Sr. Piera Cavaglià, presented Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar of His Holiness Pope Francis , through the Diocesan Tribunal of the Vicariate of Rome, the official request (Supplex libellus) to open the Diocesan Inquiry on the life, heroic virtues, fame of holiness, and signs of Mother Rosetta. It is the first important step for the ecclesial recognition of the holiness of Mother Rosetta, FMA, Superior General of the Institute.

The date on which the required documentation was completed is significant: June 28, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Mother Rosetta is in fact an FMA firmly rooted in Jesus, eager to let everyone know of His love, especially the young. In her life as an educator, teacher, assistant, formator, Councilor, and Mother General, she traveled a path of conformation to Jesus up to the offering of her life for the sanctity of the Institute, for priests, for the salvation of youth. Like Mary, she made her life a gift of love and spiritual motherhood. In her we contemplate one of the masterpieces with which the Holy Spirit has enriched the Institute and the Church.

Mother Rosetta Marchese was born in Aosta on 20 October 1922, into a family with a deep and fervent Christian faith. From a young girl she met and frequented the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, maturing alongside them her faith and her ideal of total consecration to God. After her first religious profession (1941), she completed her studies at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, graduating in Letters. From 1947 to 1958 she was a teacher and vicar in the missionary house Mother Mazzarello of Turin, where she followed with particular attention the young sisters who were preparing to leave for the missions. From 1958 to 1974, she carried out tasks of animation and government in Sicily, Rome, and Lombardy. Everywhere she proved to be a person attentive to the needs of the local Church and to the signs of the times, arousing esteem and appreciation on the part of religious and civil authorities.

General Chapter XVI of 1975 elected her Visiting Councilor. General Chapter XVII, in the first ballot of 24 October 1981, elected her as Superior General. Only eight months after her election, the first signs of leukemia appeared that would soon reveal its inexorability. In the circular of October 24, 1982, the first anniversary of her election to a motherhood that was now expressed in the mysterious dynamism of suffering, Mother Rosetta concluded her teaching, wishing all her daughters to let themselves be infected by Don Bosco’s ‘ardent nostalgia for the beautiful Heaven’, to enter the path of holiness ‘with a will without regrets’. “The goal is one: to reach Heaven with all the young people for whom we have given and consummated our existence”.

In this year in which the Strenna invites the Salesian Family to holiness, the witness of Mother Rosetta stimulates us to rediscover our vocation to holiness and to tend toward it with all our strength.

Now it is the responsibility of everyone: FMA, educating communities, priests, lay people, the young to study the treasure of holiness of Mother Rosetta, make her well known, loved, prayed to so that her radiant witness to Jesus may spread in the Church and in the Institute that she loved so much and for which she offered her life.


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