Italy – 1872 - August 5 - 2022: 150th anniversary of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Institute

04 August 2022

(ANS - Mornese) - The date of August 5 is a date of grace and an event of powerful communion for all the world’s Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), especially so this year. This is because on August 5, 1872 - that is exactly 150 years ago tomorrow - in Mornese, Piedmont, a group of 11 young women, led by Maria Domenica Mazzarello pronounced their "yes" before Don Bosco to give life to a religious congregation that would be inspired by the example of Mary Help of Christians and would be dedicated to the education and evangelization of and of young people, especially those from poor families.

The name of the new Institute is today a symbol of identity: Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a living monument of gratitude to Our Lady of Don Bosco.

"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. He endowed it with a spiritual heritage inspired by the charity of Christ, the Good Shepherd, and imparted to it a strong missionary characteristic," states the Constitutions of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (No. 1).

150 years have passed and the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is celebrating a prolonged and extremely rich history of love and care for young people. The celebrations, organized over the past three years, have had to cope with the difficult context of the Covid-19 pandemic, but all of this has been an even more opportune time to look back over the history of the Institute and to seek in its own origins and charism the inspiration to face the challenges of the present.

As the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, said, "In this situation that still surprises and persists, we are called to accept the challenges of the contemporary world to design the future with boldness and, in this context, to live the 150th anniversary as an opportunity for renewal and vocational and missionary revitalization."

From the small village of Mornese to the whole world, in its first 150 years of existence, the FMA Institute has transported the educational passion of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello to the four corners of the world and is today one of the Church's major women's religious congregations.

Tomorrow to celebrate the 150th anniversary there will be 11,225 professed FMA and 310 novices, scattered in 97 countries on five continents, and organized in 69 Provinces and 5 Vice-Provinces. They animate their mission through 122 centers for the promotion of women, 274 social works (for migrants, refugees, ethnic minorities), 440 boarding schools and hostels, 475 Technical and Vocational Training Centers, 142 social works for children and young people in difficulty, 2,793 oratories, and youth centers, and 3,175 schools of various orders and grades.

For each of these FMA communities or centers, what the motto chosen for the 150th anniversary says applies: "Mary walks in this house."

For more information about the anniversary and proposals to celebrate it, visit: 


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