Venerable M.Fernanda Riva

Venerable Fernanda Riva

The Canossian Sisters all over the world and particularly in India, rejoice and are grateful to God, who through the instrumentality of His Vicar on Earth, Pope Benedict XVI, has declared the ‘Servant of God’ Sr. Fernanda Riva, “Venerable” on 28th June, 2012.
Sr. Fernanda was born in Monza, Italy on 17th April 1920. She joined the Canossian Missionary Novitiate in Vimercate, Milan,on 19th March 1939. A few months later she was sent to India and arrived in Mumbai, on 30th October 1939. She continued her First Formation at St. Joseph’s Convent, Belgaum, where she pronounced her First Vows, on 24th December 1941.


St. Josephine Bakhita

Bakhita was not the name she received from her parents at birth. The fright and the terrible St. Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869. This African flower, who knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery, bloomed marvelously in Italy, in response to God’s grace, with the Daughters of Charity, where everyone still calls her “Mother Moretta” (our Black Mother) . The experience she went through made her forget the name her parents gave her. Bakhita, which means “fortunate”, was the name given to her by her kidnappers.
Sold in the markets of El Obeid and Khartoum, she experienced the physical and moral humiliations and sufferings of slavery. In the Sudanese capital, Bakhita was bought by an Italian Consul, Callisto Legnani. For the first time since the day she was kidnapped, she realized with pleasant surprise that no one used the lash when giving her orders; instead, she was treated with love and cordiality. In the consul’s residence Bakhita experienced peace, warmth and moments of joy, even though veiled with nostalgia for her own family whom, perhaps, she had lost forever.


St. Magdelene of Canossa

St. Magdalene of Canossa was born the third of six children of a noble family in Verona Italy, on 2 March 1774. Her father died when she was five and her mother remarried soon after, so Magdalene was brought up by an uncle and given a good education. By way of painful events the Lord guided her towards unforeseen paths on which Magdalene tentatively set out.