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Every Canossian student pledges to be like Mary, pure and spotless as she journeys through school and later in life with Mary, assured of her guidance and committed to our school motto:
Better Life with Mary
Meliora Cum Maria
The twelve stars in our logo represent Mary – Crowning Glory of God’s creation – who glorified God through her Life.
The letters A.D. in the logo signify Jesus Christ, the foundation of our Institute. M.D. stands for Mater Dolorosa – Mother of Sorrows – who is the dear Patroness of our Canossian Sisters of Charity
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab title=”St Magdalene of Canossa” tab_id=”1420605692-2-7″][vc_column_text]Magdalene Gabriella of Canossa was born at Verona on 1st March 1774. At the age of five she lost her father. At seven her mother remarried leaving all her five children in the Canossa palace.
She was then entrusted to a governess who did not understand her and caused her to suffer much. Her long suffering brought her closer to God and Magdalene decided to consecrate herself wholly to him. She dedicated herself to the care of His dear ones with great love, giving help, comfort and serenity to all those whom she encountered.
In 1797 when Napoleon’s troop occupied Verona, Magdalene sought refuge at Venice, where she experienced the difficulties and sadness of being in exile. After returning to her native city, she was moved by the site of the many miseries which were the lot of the poor. What impressed her most was the frightening state of so many children and ignorant young girls, left to themselves and exposed to numerous dangers. Urged by ardent charity she began to look out for them assist and educate them and act as a mother to them. She was helped in this work by generous collaborators.
In 1808, free at last from all obligations to her family, she finally left her rich palace to live a poor life and serve the poor. In the parish of St. Zeno the most destitute in the whole of Verona.
The sources of her inspiration were Jesus Crucified who showed the most perfect love to His Father and to all people by dying for us, and His mother who stood by her son as he hung on the cross, sharing in his mission.
Magdalene died on 10th April 1835 and on October 2nd Pope John Paul II declared her SAINT.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab title=”St Bakhita” tab_id=”1420605763404-2-7″][vc_column_text]JOSEPHINE BAKHITA was a living example of Christian forgiveness, piety, and charity for all ages.
She was born about 1869 in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, in a well-respected and loving family.
Sometime between the age of seven to nine, she was kidnapped by Arab slave traders, who already had kidnapped her elder sister two years earlier. She was cruelly forced to walk about 960 kilometers on her bare feet, sold and bought several times in the slave-markets of Khartoum and El-Obeid over the course of twelve years and treated very cruelly by owners who would think nothing of hitting, whipping and injuring her with tattooes over the slightest excuse. The trauma of her abduction caused her to forget her own name; it was the slavers who named her ‘Bakhita’, Arabic for lucky.
Finally an Italian official bought her and treated her kindly. He took her to Italy with him and gifted her to a family with a young daughter. Due to war and strife in the country, the family left her in a Canossian convent where she decided to stay and serve God and His people all her life. In 1893, she entered the novitiate of the Canossian Sisters and on December 8, 1896, she pronounced her First Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. In 1902, she was assigned to the Canossian convent at Schio, in the northern Italy, where she spent the rest of her life.
During her 42 years at Schio, her humility, her simplicity and her constant smile won the hearts of everyone who knew her. She was engaged in unassuming duties in the Canossian convent – as a portress welcoming little girls and their mothers, in the kitchen serving her sisters with attention and love, in needlework and embroidery, and as a Sacristan in the chapel. The townsfolk considered her a saint and felt protected by her mere presence. Her sisters in the community esteemed her for her inalterable sweet nature, her exquisite goodness and her deep desire to make the Lord known. She became holy by doing every little thing with great love for God and for her neighbours.
She was always cheerful and smiling, even when afflicted with arthritis in her later years. She never harboured any thoughts of revenge or resentment against her captors. A young student once asked St Bakhita: “What would you do, if you were to meet your captors?” Without hesitation she responded: “If I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands. For, if these things had not happened, I would not have been a Christian today”
Her final years were marked by pain and illness. In the last days, her mind wandered back to her years of slavery and she would cry out in agony and fear recollecting the many traumatic incidents that had marked her life. Finally, she passed away with a smile and the name of Our Lady on her lips.
St Bakhita was beatified in 1992 and canonized in 2000. She is revered as a Saint and a “Universal Sister”[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab title=”Sr. Fernanda Riva” tab_id=”1420605778881-3-2″][vc_column_text]
SR. FERNANDA RIVA
CANOSSIAN DAUGHTER OF CHARITY
Sr. FERNANDA RIVA lived a life rooted in love and selfless service. Her deep love for the Crucified Jesus guided her thoughts, words and deeds.
Fernanda was born on April 17, 1920, in the parish of San Biagio, Monza, Italy. She was the fourth and youngest child. Fernanda was barely three months old when her father died at the early age of 33.
Fernanda was a model student at school; intelligent, modest, sensitive and gentle in her ways. As a teenager, she attended the Oratorio of the Canossian Daughters of Charity in Via San Martino. She excelled in catechism, throwball and drama. She was always neatly dressed, never used bad or unkind language and had the greatest respect for her teachers. Sustained by her faith in God’s will, she cultivated an intense spiritual life and took lively interest in helping others. With her unique blend of enthusiasm and discreet tact, she succeeded in attracting several of her friends to attend Sunday School. She believed in using her talents for the greater glory of God.
She succeeded brilliantly in her studies and though Fernanda would have liked to pursue higher studies at the University, she had to work as a clerk in a dry goods store due to the financial straits of her family. She worked cheerfully, helping her widowed mother bring up the other children. Also, she studied privately, completing a higher secondary course.
Fernanda felt the Lord calling her while in the Cathedral of Monza, when she witnessed some missionaries accepting the charge of taking the Gospel to distant lands. She was struck by this selfless act and the joy of receiving the symbolic crucifix. She confessed her intention of becoming a nun to her mother, who gave her consent. Fernanda entered the Missionary Institute of the Canossian Sisters in Vimercate, Milan, on March 19, 1939. Seeing that she had a balanced personality and was prepared spiritually, she was sent only seven months later to India, where she continued her novitiate in Belgaum. She was an exemplary novice in the fulfilment of her duties, especially in the practice of obedience, charity and humility. After completing her religious education, she took her vows on December 24, 1941. She resumed her studies and obtained a dual degree in both Arts and Education. Thereafter, she devoted herself to teaching.
Sr Fernanda was appointed Headmistress, in 1951, of Canossa High School, Mahim, Mumbai. There were nearly 2000 students on rolls. Here, too, she was very successful in promoting the growth of the school in all its activities, uniting the staff and students, and obtaining obedience from all, through her loving ways rather than using her authority as a headmistress.
Sr Fernanda was transferred to St. Joseph’s Convent, Allepey, Kerala, where the Canossian Sisters had been asked to begin a College for Women. Sr Fernanda supervised the construction of the college and became the first principal of the new college in June 1954. She was much loved and appreciated by all who met her. She gave everyone her individual attention and through her sweet ways united them all into one big family. Despite her many gifts, she was never proud. All were impressed by her great humility, talent of reaching out, openness to listen and readiness to learn from others. She could interact with people from diverse backgrounds, religions, socio-economic status and educational levels with equal ease and get them to co-operate for a single cause. Teachers, students, parents and even the officials in the education department had the deepest respect for her on account of her affable nature and dedication.
Mother Fernanda’s health soon began to decline after that. She was sent to Mumbai in 1954 and operated for malignant stomach ulcers. After some rest, she returned to Allepey and resumed her duties with the same zest she had before. Though she suffered, not a word of complaint escaped her lips. She remained calm, serene, prayerful and concerned only for others. She joyfully welcomed her death and was fully conscious till the end. When the Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Gracias, who had great respect for her, came to visit her in her last hours, M. Fernanda heard him speak with her sisters and whispered, “Everything is done. I am ready to go.” She was only 35 years of age when she passed away in the early hours of January 22, 1956. She was buried in St. Michael’s Church cemetary, Mahim.
Let us pray for the cause of her canonization which was introduced on August 13, 1994, at St. Michael’s Church, Mahim, Mumbai. Mother Fernanda Riva was proclaimed VENERABLE on June 28, 2012, by Holy Father Benedict XVI.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][/vc_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row]