Rome (Italy). On 27 June 2024 in Rome, at the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, the Diocesan Inquiry into the Servant of God Sister Antonieta Böhm, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, was opened. Together with Dr. Federico Favero of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, were present Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, Salesian of Don Bosco, Postulator General for the Causes of the Salesian Family; Fr. Gabriel Cruz, SDB, Portitore of the Cause, or custodian of the acts that he handed over to the Dicastery; and Sister Francesca Caggiano, FMA, representing the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

Six dossiers containing the Transunto and the Public Copy were submitted and the seals were removed for the subdivision of the Acts of Inquiry to be made available to the competent office of the Dicastery in order to arrive at the validity of the Acts. It must be verified that all the procedures required by canon law have been correctly and integrally carried out during the diocesan phase.

On 28 June, at the Generalate of the FMA Institute, Mother and the Sisters of the Council had a meeting with Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni and Sister Francesca Caggiano to discuss the progress of the current causes.

From the beginning of his mandate, it was the first time that the entire General Council met Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni. The Postulator explained the procedure to arrive at the official recognition of holiness: beatification and canonization.

Benedict XIV in his text De Servorum Dei Beatificatione et Beatorum clarifies that, “Beatification is […] an act by which the Supreme Roman Pontiff allows that some servant of God can be venerated in some province, diocese, city or religious family with a specific cult of the blessed, until the solemn canonization is reached” and thatcanonization is a definitive sentence of the Supreme Pontiff, with which he decrees that someone, first inserted among the blessed, must be brought into the catalogue of saints and be venerated throughout the Catholic world and in the universal Church with the cult that is given to others canonized.”

Fr. Cameroni affirms that, “The preparation and celebration of a Canonization has an extraordinary relevance in the pastoral and spiritual life of the universal Church, of the local Churches particularly linked to the new saint, of the Congregation and of the Charismatic Family. The Saints represent the mature fruit of a Christian community, of a territory, a form of inculturation of the faith and the Gospel. […] At the end of the long work of the Cause there is, therefore, a goal of prayer, as an authentic context of participation and sharing in the spiritual riches of the Saints, that impose admiration, contemplation, and imitation, as new and convincing models of the virtuous realization of the Gospel.

As a special gift of the Holy Spirit, if well prepared and well lived, a Canonization opens boundless and unpredictable horizons. It is a grace provoking renewed commitments and intentions of holiness both for the Christian community as a whole and for different categories of people depending on the aspects that the Saint has embodied and proposed in an exemplary and effective form. Moreover, it is an event of a social and civil character because the witness of the Saints marks the life of a people, especially in the exercise of a multiform and varied charity.”

Fr. Pierluigi recounted the experience of the Salesian confreres for the organization of the canonization of Artemide Zatti and the spiritual fruits received from this great gift for the Congregation and the Salesian Family. “It is a matter of valuing the Causes as extraordinary events of evangelization, of increasing the Christian life, of promoting vocations, of witnessing in social and civil life because the saints mark the passage of a people’s history,” highlighted the Postulator.

He also invited the highlighting the anniversaries and celebrations. For example, the year 2025 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Sister Maria Troncatti with the painting of Our Most Pure Lady in Macas, an ecclesial and civil event for all the Machense people.

Recognized holiness is an exceptional event of evangelization; a grace that arouses new yearnings for the good. The expression remains true and valid of Augustine who, looking at the saints who had accomplished a journey of conversion, said, “If this one and that one became saints, why can’t I?”

Therefore, everyone is called to holiness. The candidates to the honors of the altars of the Institute remind the FMA that the goal of Salesian life is “to walk with young people on the path of holiness” (cf. Cost no. 5). Mother Chiara Cazzuola in the message on the occasion of the online prayer moment Holy Ween of 30 October 2022, stressed that “for Mother Mazzarello holiness is almost an anxiety, clearly a positive anxiety, but when she writes to the Sisters, she often emphasizes this vocation to holiness: this living day by day with courage, because we must make ourselves holy and rich in many merits, because life passes quickly, because our life is not long, lasting, and in Mornese this was an everyday experience.”

As Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, we can then hear addressed to each of us the words that Mother Mazzarello wrote to the Sisters of Las Piedras in 1879, “Courage my good Sisters, be well and make yourselves holy!”


  1. Viva Gesù! Carissima Madre e Care Sorelle del Consiglio. Grazie per la notizia dell’incontro con don Pierluigi Cameroni e sr Francesca Caggiano sull’importanza di curare i processi verso la beatificazione e cannonizzazione dei membri della Famiglia Salesiana e di ricordarli nelle nostre preghiere. Grazie per il ricordo che anche noi siamo chiamate ad essere sante come ci invitava Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello. Veramente il pensiero che la vita passa infretta ci spinge a ricordare in ogni momento: come vivo il mio rapporto con Dio? e con gli altri? Veramente amo Gesù e Maria? Amo quelli che incontro ogni giorno…. GRAZIE!


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