Nizza (Italy). The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the Piedmont Province (IPI), the Parishes of Nizza M. and Vaglio Serra, and the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy in collaboration with the Municipality of Nizza M. and the Academy of Nicese Culture L’Erca Onlus, organized a series of presentations on three “Social Saints”:

  1. Venerable Paul Pius Perazzo, Franciscan tertiary
  2. Venerable Sr. Teresa Valsè Pantellini, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians
  3. Servant of God, Mother Maria Teresa Camera, Daughter of Our Lady of Mercy.

The aim is to make known the spiritual path and the social work of which they became promoters, while enhancing the local cultural heritage.

These three figures have a common denominator: they are three figures on the path to holiness and are linked to the Nicese territory: Paolo Pio Perazzo was born there, Sister Teresa Valsè Pantellini accomplished her dream there: her consecration among the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; Mother Maria Teresa Camera is the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.

For this reason, it was decided to give life to a series of meetings to get to know these figures of Nizza social saints better: witnesses of holiness.

The appointments will be held at the Auditorium of the Church of the Trinity in Nizza Monferrato, on the first three Mondays of March: 5, 12 and 19.

The presenters are:

  1. Father Pier Giuseppe Pesce, Franciscan of the Order of Friars Minor, Postulator of the cause of Paolo Pio Perazzo
  2. Sylwia Ciezkowska, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, Vice Postulator of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians
  3. Emma Guidolin, Daughter of Our Lady of Mercy, Superior of the Daughters of Mercy of Nizza M.

Sr. Teresa Valsè Pantellini, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians

She was born in Milan in 1878, in a wealthy family, a condition that allows her to receive a heterogeneous formation and to travel a lot. Despite her frail health, she crowned her dream of consecration by entering the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and becoming an apostle among the poor. She was admitted to religious profession in Nizza Monferrato in 1903, after a valid apprenticeship as an educator among the oratorians of Trastevere; in the Institute of Nizza Monferrato, she deals in particular with the education of poor girls of the people.

On September 3, 1907, at only 29 years of age, Sister Teresa died in Turin, where she had been transferred, hoping for an improvement of her health conditions.

She is buried in Nizza Monferrato at her request, as the land of the charismatic origins of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Now she rests in the Church of the Sacred Heart, at the “Our Lady of Grace” Institute.

Mother Maria Teresa Camera, Daughter of Our Lady of Mercy

Maria Teresa Camera was born in San Lorenzo d’Ovada in 1818. Of modest origins, she tries to be useful among the children and families in difficulty and the sick of the country.

She moved to Ovada and continued her activity with other young people who together with her constitute, even if not officially, a first community called “the Teresians”. They work at the small hospital in Ovada and continue to take care of the neediest. In 1889, Monsignor Giuseppe Marello was appointed Bishop of Acqui. The new pastor is interested in the work of Maria Teresa Camera. In collaboration with the vicar Monsignor Pagella, he draws up the constitutions of the new Teresian Institute that will become the Sisters of Mercy.

On March 24, 1894, at the age of 76, Mother Maria Teresa Camera dies.

Paolo Pio Perazzo

Born in Nizza, in 1846, a railway man, one of the founders of the first railway union of the railway workers, formed to deal with the abuses of working environments without rights, for which he also prints a periodical, “Il Direttissimo”. He places his pen at the service of the Catholic press and his wallet was available for the poor. Soul of the Catholic associations of the second half of the nineteenth century Turin, he comes in contact with the excellent figures of Catholicism of the time: Don Bosco, Don Murialdo, the sisters Comoglio, Giuseppe Toniolo, and Faà di Bruno …He endures the abuses due to his social commitment, drawing strength from the Eucharist, and promotes its daily adoration, founding and presiding over an archconfraternity that is still alive and active today. He died at 65, November 22, 1911, and is buried at first in Nizza M., in the family tomb, and 40 years later, the “Saint of Porta Nuova” returns to Turin in triumph.


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