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May' 09, 1837 - May' 14, 1881
Maria Domenica Mazzarello : Our Co-Foundress
God’s ways are marvelous. Contemporaneously with Don Bosco, Mary Mazzarello in the hamlet of Mornese, thirsted with the same desire to help girls.
She too did receive a heavenly mandate. While walking down the uninhabited slopes of Borgo Alto she saw a group of girls playing in the non-existent playground and a strong voice firm and steady gave her a legacy “I entrust them to you.” Was it a dream, a hallucination? Yet there she was fully awake, walking in full consciousness.
In 1864, came the momentous meeting with Don Bosco. “He is a saint! I can feel it!” she said to all. Don Bosco too saw something equally precious in her. In Mary Mazzarello a likeminded soul, Salesian by instinct, Don Bosco found a ready, active and creative collaborator.
5th August, 1872 saw the birth of a new religious family, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA). As the feminine branch of the Salesian religious family, Mary Mazzarello sought to do for girls what Don Bosco was doing for boys offering to the ministry of the Institute the particular feminine genius which lends itself so well to nurturing, teaching and encouraging the young girls along the way of salvation and personal growth.
Mary Mazzarello died on 14th May, 1881 in Nizza Monferrato, Italy. She was beatified on November 20, 1938 and canonized on 24th June, 1951.
1875 saw the first expansion of the Salesian work outside Europe. India welcomed the first Salesian Sisters in 1922.
Today Don Bosco’s unique Charism for youth lives on undiminished in its original freshness and dynamism in every corner of the earth. Don Bosco International educates over 15 million students in the world. Where youth exists there Don Bosco is present through his Sons and Daughters for whom Don Bosco is a never tiring Father, Teacher, Founder, Friend and Leader, ever relevant for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.