Today, the Coptic Catholic Church celebrates the memory of Saint Maria Domenica Mazzarello, the Virgin. On this occasion, Father William Abdel Christ, ofm Children, her parents are Joseph and Maddalena Calcagno Mazzarelli. Where she worked in the fields with her father.
She grew up in the family with a deep sense of God and tireless diligence. When she was fifteen years old, she joined the Association of the Immaculate Daughters of Mary, known for its charitable work, and run by her parish priest, Father Domenico Pistarino. When she was 23 years old, an epidemic of typhoid struck Mornaise, causing the death of many villagers.
Soon her uncle and aunt fell ill and volunteered to look after their children, and she too fell ill. Weakened by the after-effects of the disease, she had to devote herself to the skill of sewing: with her friend Petronella, she set up a workshop which provided work for local girls. As Maria was walking through her village she was suddenly surprised Seeing in front of her a large building with a courtyard and many girls playing and laughing. A voice said to her: I entrusted them to you. Education for girls was a special need in the nineteenth century, and Mary decided to devote herself to this work.
The town streets were filled with hostesses, farm girls from the country or work girls, factory workers and street sales girls; All are at risk of juvenile prostitution. She wished to educate and teach them a trade to save them from the dangers of street life.
She persuaded some of her friends to join her in this project. Fifteen young daughters of Mary Immaculate were now formed. Father Pistarino was preoccupied with training them in the spiritual life and was able to secure a place for some of them to live in the community, and thus was the beginning of the religious life in Mornez. The daughters took in a few young girls and housed them, schooled them in the faith and handed over their knowledge of the garment industry.
Don Bosco was told about the daughters by Father Pistarino, and Don Bosco decided to meet them. He went to Morenes with his orchestra under the guise of raising funds for his speech, but his real intention was to investigate the possibility of founding the Salesian Sisters of the Immaculate Daughters of Mary. In 1867, after they met and received the girls’ enthusiastic response to his proposal, Don Bosco laid down their first rule of life for them.
Mary Mazzarello was the first president. At the age of thirty, after much upbringing and struggle, the fifteen young women, led by Marie Mazzarello, made their solemn vows in the presence of the Bishop of Acqui, Mgr. Giuseppe Sciadra, their spiritual father, Don Bosco, and Fr. Pistarino.
July 31, 1872 was the birthday of the new order. At the age of thirty-five, in monastic dress, she was now Sister Marie Mazzarello. She and the fourteen other newly professed sisters formed the fledgling order.
The Daughters of Mary Auxiliary Christians were formally established. Don Bosco asked Mary to temporarily assume the role of abbess so that he could call all the sisters together to a council to elect a female abbess general for the Salesian family. Salesians, Mary Mazzarello felt it was important that she and the other sisters knew how to read and write, it was a skill you never had the opportunity to acquire.
Her devotion to her sisters was not limited only to their intellectual development. In every way she was an attentive mother, which is why she is still to this day fondly referred to as “Mother Mazzarello” by the Salesian sisters. The first Missionary Sisters set out for Uruguay in 1877. Mother Mazzarillo accompanied them to their port of call in Genoa, Italy, then took a boat to France so she could visit the sisters there. In Marseilles their ship broke down and had to be repaired.
All passengers were forced to disembark while the dock was dry. Although the sisters had been told lodgings had been prepared for them, there was a commingling who had let events such as that discourage her, so she took the sheets which they had brought with them, and stuffed them with straw, and made a mattress for them to sleep in, but they could not sleep after all this trouble, but the mother Mazzarello could not get up.
A fever was wracking her body and she was in terrible pain. Next morning, out of concern for her already weary companions, she was able to rise, see the messengers, and thence travel with her remaining sisters to their home and orphanage at Saint-Cyr.
Once St-Cyr fainted and was in bed for forty days the diagnosis was pleurisy. Eventually she returned to Italy, though the doctor had instructed her not to. She said she wanted to die in her convent and among her sisters, the nuns. She made the return journey in stages, as she did not want to push herself too far; She was painfully aware of her delicate condition.
Fortunately, Don Bosco was nearby at one of her stops and we were able to meet for the last time. And in early April. Towards the end of the month death seemed to be approaching. Finally, in the pre-dawn hours of May 14, 1881, Mother Mazzarrello began her death throes. After receiving the last rites, she turned her attention to those around her and whispered weakly, “Goodbye. I’m going now. I’ll see you in Paradise.”
Shortly after she passed away at the age of forty-four. She was beatified on November 20, 1938, and canonized on June 24, 1951. Her incorruptible body is enshrined in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Help of Christians in Turin, Italy. A church in southeast Rome bears her name, Santa Maria Domenica Mazzzarello.