Caracas (Venezuela). The Embassy of Italy to Venezuela has conferred the Honor of “Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy” on Sister Rina Dalla Costa, 90-year-old Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, a missionary in Venezuela since 1954.

On 18 August 2022, in Caracas, at the Provincial House of the Province of St. John Bosco (VEN), the ceremony for the conferral of the honor took place, because of her missionary work in Venezuela, in the presence of the Ambassador of Italy, Plácido Vigo; of a representative of the Administration of the Apostolic Nunciature; of the Provincial, Sr. María Eugenia Ramos; and of the whole FMA Community of the Provincial House of Caracas. The dedication of the Italian missionaries in Venezuela is recognized in her name.

The Order of the Star of Italy, established by the Law of February 3, 2011, is an honor granted by the President of the Republic, on the proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. With this recognition, we want to reward those who have acquired particular merits in the promotion relations of friendship and collaboration between Italy and other countries and in the promotion of ties with Italy.

The Order is divided into five classes: Knight of the Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, Knight. There is also a special class of Grand Cross of Honor, intended for those who have lost their lives or suffered serious physical disabilities in carrying out activities of high humanitarian value abroad.

Born on 6 December 1931 in S. Ulderico di Tretto, in the province of Vicenza, after an experience in the Boarding School di Bosto di Varese, in 1952, Sr. Rina Dalla Costa made her 1st Profession in the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, at the time Province of Our Lady of the Sacred Mount of Varese, now the Lombard Province of the Holy Family (ILO). Interviewed, she said that she met the Salesian Sisters from a magazine shown to her by a relative and, after reading a book on Don Bosco, she understood that the Salesian charism had both dimensions of educational and missionary, to which she was attracted.

She clearly perceived the call to religious life by observing the dedication of the FMA to the girls of the boarding school. Entering the Congregation, she completed her studies, obtaining the diploma of elementary teacher. In 1954, she left as a missionary for Venezuela. She was happy with the missionary destination she received, “a land that was a garden, with welcoming, generous, cheerful people.” In 68 years of missionary life, she held various positions: Teacher, Novice Formator, Animator, Provincial Councilor, School Coordinator, in charge of the historical archive at the Provincial House.

The FMA Institute congratulates Sr. Rina Dalla Costa for this important recognition and joins the Province of Venezuela in expressing gratitude to God for the sisters who have and continue to generously spend their lives for this country, wishing Sr. Rina to continue with the same passion and dedication at the service of young people, the Church, Italy, and the World.


  1. Carissima Suor Rina,
    Congratulazioni per il ben meritato onore e riconoscimento per una vita spesa per il bene dei giovani e le loro famiglie.
    Anche se non ci conosciamo personalmente mi sento onorata con te sia come FMA missionaria che come Italiana.
    Viva Gesu’ carissima, preghiamo l’una per l’altra unite sotto il manto dell’Ausiliatrice.

    Un affettuoso abbraccio
    Sr. Theresa Sironi, fma

  2. “The Almighty has done great things in your life. Holy is his name”. A hearty congratulations to dear Sr. Rina Dalla Costa, FMA,and we rejoice with you and thank God on the occasion of your good self having been conferred this great honor of “Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy.”

    Sr.Josephine Savarimuthu, INK, Bangalore ( India)

  3. Wow! What a great news!
    Our congratulations to our dear Sister. A great and wonderful FMA! We are proud of her.
    Hope someone will take our greetings to her…from India, the province of Bangalore.


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