“Cowards!” the girl in the field chided. “Thank you,” she said gratefully, attempting a light laugh and failing miserably.

But then she blushed at the thought as she always did when it came to her in the hours of prayer. The little incidents of her life, cherished by the Sisters as a precious heritage, have long become a byword in their communities and, when looked upon as a whole, form a marvelous portrait of a woman who had the heart of a mother and the soul of an angel. Finally, in a soft undertone, she sighed. Beato Buenaventura de Potenza, La Alegría del Evangelio del 26 de octubre de 2020. The Gumbo community celebrated the feast of our co-foundress St. Mary Mazzarello with our women who, in spite of the lockdown, came to do their daily duties in the agriculture and the catering sections. Her heart leaped for joy! Through those crucial days, only one thing kept the new community together and gave them a charm that gradually won the hearts of even the most skeptical of the villagers, and that was the love of God. This is a deeper level in the spirituality of work. Today is a very special day for the women of the Centre –Mazzarello Promotion Centre. Noticing her host’s utter confusion at having the Sister walk in on him to find no accommodations, Mother Mazzarello speedily assured him they could care for themselves. “Oh, Mary, what are we going to do?” the child whines. MM believed that it is not teaching embroidery or any other fine work that earns merit in God’s eyes, “but that done with the most upright intention, no matter how common place in itself or according to the world’s judgement it might be.”. God deserves the best.

Then, kindly taking her hand, he told her firmly: “Mother Mazzarello gave me a message for you this morning: ‘Tell Catherine that she is to receive the habit and make her vows. Those hands could work for God! She was dizzy with thought.
“. So be prepared also for a lengthy homily – giving me time to show that I have tried to read the “cart-load of books”! A hot Italian sun beat mercilessly on the handful of workers in the rocky field.

Wash day was not a private affair in Mornese; everyone did her laundry in public at the mountain brook that skirted the village.

It is this love that makes us smile (at least try to smile) even when we are tired and fatigued:  “Always be cheerful and in good humour,” MM used to say. Hope At Marseilles, bitter disappointment waited them. A serious attack of typhoid, at the age of 23, had a profound spiritual effect on her. At the end she looked at the priest and asked cheerfully, “Now that all my papers are in order, I suppose I may leave at any time at all?”. But at the age of forty-four, she had lived a complete life, had carried out all the work God had assigned to her, and was ready to return her Divine Master. Her only comfort in the long days and nights of pain was the thought of our Blessed Lady, to whom she would pray aloud or even sing hymns in a soft undertone. Oh believe me,” she pleaded. Her remains are venerated in the Basilica of Mary Our Help in Turin. May 14. In 1872 Don Bosco chose her to begin the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters). Those hands, roughened and cut by pebbles and briars, were meant to be helpful hands, to labor for others – hands of tender mercy to comfort and heal, to lift and strengthen.
In 1879, writing to Sr Angela Vallese, the community animator of a house in Uruguay, MM says : “Work is the father of virtues…[but] while I recommend you to work, I also recommend that you take care of your health” (L 25,5).


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