Daughters of Mary Help ofd Christians
Our religious family has its origin in the heart and mind of St John Bosco and in the creative fidelity with which St Mary Domenica Mazzarello and her Sisters assumed the project he intended, that of being called ‘Daughters of Mary Help of Christians’ (Salesian Sisters), a living monument of gratitude to his Madonna.
At the persistent request of many people in Turin, and as a result of his own perceptions, Don Bosco resolved to take steps in setting up an Institute that would reach out to many poor and abandoned young girls.
He was inspired to do so, through his contact with various female institutes, his deep Marian devotion, the encouragement received from Pope Pius IX and the many inspirations he had in this regard, through ‘dreams’ and significant happenings.
It so happened that in the township of Mornese, situated in the hills of Monferrato, a young woman by the name of Mary Domenica Mazzarello was accompanying a group of young women who together with her, were dedicated to help young girls to learn a trade and while doing so, these girls were also guided in their Christian development.
There were two significant signs that conveyed the same message: that an educative environment similar to the one for boys at Valdocco,Turin, should be set up for children and young girls. It was Mary Domenica Mazzarello who, as co-founder of this Institute gave life and form to this newly founded Institute.
On August 5th 1872, the first group of young women, following the example of Mary, in declaring their “Yes” to God’s Call, committed themselves to be ‘helpers’ of young people.
"Through a gift of the Holy Spirit
and the direct intervention of Mary,
St John Bosco
founded our Institute
as a response of salvation
to the profound hopes of young girls.
He endowed it with a spiritual heritage that had
its inspiration in the charity of Christ the Good Shepherd,
and imparted to it a strong missionary impulse."