Mary Domenica Mazzarello was a contemporary of St. John Bosco. Her parents, Joseph and Mary Magdalene, were proud of their eldest daughter. Mary learned common sense and deep faith from her parents.
One time, when she was a little girl, Mary asked her father, Joseph, “What did God do before He created the world?”. Her question says something about her idea of God. Her father answered, “God contemplated Himself, loved Himself, and was happy with Himself. You see, God is not alone."
Young Mary was known for her cheerful spirit and willingness to help others, but, she had a feisty temperament. Controlling it was something she would have to work at all of her life.
One day, walking home after Mass, Mary saw something strange - a building, where there was an open field, and in the courtyard, she saw Sisters and girls playing and laughing. She heard the voice of a majestic and kind woman, which said, “I entrust them to you.” Mary shared this with her best friend, Petronilla. While they wondered what it all meant, they began caring for young girls.
John Bosco was told of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate of which Mary Mazzarello was a member of. John Bosco went to Mornese to meet the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. From this group, he hoped to fulfill his inspiration to work with young girls as well.
At age thirty-five, Mary donned a habit and made her vows. She was now Sister Mary Mazzarello. She and the fourteen other newly professed brides of Christ that were the founding Daughters of Mary Help of Christians beamed with joy. The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians would care for young girls as John Bosco and the Salesians cared for the boys!
Once in St. Cyr, she collapsed and was diagnosed with pleurisy. Although she felt very ill, Mother Mazzarello did all that she could to be cheerful and alleviate the worry of her Sisters. Eventually, she returned to Italy, even though the doctor advised against it. She said that she wanted to die in her own community. She made her return journey in stages.
In the pre-dawn hours of May 14th, 1881, Mother Mazzarello took a turn for the worse and shortly after, she died at the age of forty-four. She was beatified on November 20, 1938 and canonized on June 24, 1951.
Remember that only one thing is necessary, to save a soul. We must become holy, and through our good works, help others who are waiting for our help to become holy too."