Rome (Italy). January 6, 1872 is a significant date for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, which this year celebrates the 150th anniversary of Foundation (1872-2022): on the day of the Manifestation of the Lord to the people, Don Bosco confides in Fr. Pestarino, guide of the Daughters of the Immaculate of Mornese (AL), the desire to give rise to the Congregation of the FMA.

The 1st volume of the Cronistoria of the FMA Institute, edited by Sr. Giselda Capetti, narrates the visit of a group from Mornese to Don Bosco who after his illness, was resting in Varese, in the province of Savona (Italy). Left alone with Fr. Pestarino, Don Bosco expresses his will:

“So, we could begin what we talked about this summer in Turin. And if you believe in this, on returning to Mornese, gather the Daughters and ask them to vote to form the Chapter (Council) …. Tell them to pray, to take courage; everything should be done for the greater glory of God and for the honor of the Virgin.  I will pray for them to the Lord and the Virgin here from my bed so that they may desire to bless the new Institute.”

The Cronistoria continues:

“In the Father’s mind, therefore, the Institute had already arisen, since he called heaven to bless it and revealed it on the feast that commemorates the manifestation of God to the Gentiles through the Magi.

Epiphany of 1872! Let’s write this date in letters of gold that marks the birth of Don Bosco’s second family! Everything is done in silence, in the shadows, but it is no less important for this. … The world knows nothing about it, just as it knew nothing of the miracle of God in the heart of the Magi. Only later will it see the external forms, the modalities necessary to establish such a beautiful work among men; but the Daughters of Don Bosco arise today and bring to the heart of the Father just convalesced, the smile of so many hopes that will not vanish.”  (Chron. I 270-271).

Upon returning to Mornese, Fr. Pestarino gives the Daughters of the Immaculate the notebook of the first Rules, recommending that they read them with faith and decide whether or not to accept the call to be part of the Institute that Don Bosco was about to form with the intervention of the Holy Spirit and of Mary, as stated in article 1 of the Constitutions of the FMA:

“Through a gift of the Holy Spirit and with the direct intervention of Mary, St. John Bosco founded our Institute as a response of salvation to the profound hopes of girls and young women.”

Since 1872, with St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello and the first Daughters of the Immaculate Conception, there are 33,977 young women who, “in an attitude of faith and gratitude to God”, have accepted the missionary call to be a “sign and expression of his foreseeing love”, light of hope through the educational mission.


  1. Che bello! Noi non eravamo ancora, ma nel Cuore di Maria SS. eravamo presenti! Amate! Chiamate per nome! D.Bosco con Main tesseva la Storia , l’Ausiliatrice disegnava e generava la nostra Famiglia: magnificat!


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