The school is one of the most interesting works of our Institute and as such we take it as a vocation.

st. Magdalena di Canossa

More than two ages of story 1808-2008

Born in Verona the 1 of march 1774 r., in the noble descent “di Canossa”, Magdalene was the third of six progeny. Yet as child she felt desire to consecrate to God and this desire across life experiences (the dead of her father, the second marriage of mother, an illness, incomprehension) gathered form and matured more and more.

As she was immersed in the climate of tragic events of war and political circumstances of French Revolution, Magdalene discover in a deep prayer the most great love of God, revealed in Christ Crucified.
Look at more: knowing of the plan of God

She see the face of Jesus in the poor, discarted and suffering people in the suburb of Verona. Since that time her desire is to dedicate herself in the service of Christ and His poor.

She decide to leave the palace but she meet a strong opposal of her family.

The circumstances costrain her to assume the rule of land-lady and homemaker in the palace Canossa. Magdalene cover her vocation in the depths of her heart, enganing herself entirely to everyday family-ownes duties. In the 1808 she overcome the opposition of her closest and leave the native palace Canossa – renouncing the wealth and a title of the marchioness – and together with the first companions found in Verona in 8 of may 1808 “The Work of Charity”.

See more:catechesis

23 of  decembre 1828 r. obtain the approval from Apostolic See for the Institute of the Daughters of Charity Servants of the Poor, which was present already in Venice, Milan, Bergamo and Trent.

As a “Daughter of Charity”, full of an ardour – while the number of the members od the Work was increasing – 23 of May 1831 Magdalene inaugurate the male ramification of the Institute: the Institute of  “Sons of Charity”. The male members of this ramus dedicate themselves for a service of boys and menfolk. (You are invited to visit the page of the Sons of Charity: Canossian Brothers )

An extremely active and fruitful life of Magdalene came to an end of terrestrial exsistence on 10 of April 1835. She was 61 years old.
The day 8 of December 1941 the pope Pius XII beatificated her in Rome. 47 years later, 2 of October 1988 the pope John Paul II canonized her and included among Saints.

“Love is as a flame”. In the course of the years the number of Sisters and Communities was increasing so that to become Religious family, dedicated  for the service of the Kingdom of God. Today Canossian Family comprise Sons and Daughters of Charity and Lay Canossians.
The spirit of saint Magdalene disveloped in 36 countries of the world.

The first canossian mission

Magdalena who lived in the time when women couldn’t go to the mission, had a heart throughout missionary. She often explained fervent desire to go even to the conrers of the earth to make Jezus know – as she accented  – “Jesus is not loved, because he is not known”.

In 1860 her profound desire became reality. Divine Providence let her sisters reach an Asian continent, because they responded for an invitation from Hong Kong, thanks to the patriach of Venice, Angelo Ramazzotti.
In this way canossian charism from that country spread in the other part of asian countries.

Opening of the school in Verona

In the age of 17 Magdalene enter the Carmel convent but - in spite of her deep desire of prayer was apayed in that place - she felt an appalment of the monastery grating which separated her from people outside who need to be embraced by the work of charity. Magdalene decide to return home and  - under suggestion of wise carmelitan sr Luigia - "place herself trustingly in the hands of holy priest don Luigi Libera". He was Magdalene?s guide for approximately nine years. His delicate spiritual relationship with the young girl helped her to clarify to the full her vocation and to proceed confidently towards her future mission of charity. He met her often at Canossa Palace and they both exchanged many letters. Unfortunately, but understandably, none of Magdalene?s letters have reached us, whereas there are about sixty-eight of Don Libera?s letters to her. Through this correspondence we can reconstruct Magdalene?s spiritual progress from July 1792, immediately following the episode of Conegliano, to December 14, 1799, the date of the director?s last letter. He died, too soon, on January 22, 1800. Don Libera?s method appears to be very different from that of the Carmelites. He used understanding rather than authority, respecting the independence and freedom of the penitent rather than forcing his will on her, giving her orders. His first act was to advise Magdalene to ?lead a very withdrawn life within her own home for a year and pray fervently to know God?s will?, without making any decision as to her future. At the request of her uncle, she was asked to take care of her two younger sisters, Rosa and Eleonora, and accompany them on the first steps of their social life. Don Libera encouraged her and gave her useful advice on how to guide her sisters, urging her to avoid the always harmful extremes of excessive severity and laxity. Don Libera?s realism and optimism were in contrast with Magdalene?s rigor and scrupolosity. The wise director patiently but firmly set about freeing her from this sad excess. He assured her that she was living in the state of grace: ?We should not allow ourselves to be slaves of scruples?; blessed are those who live in the fear of offending God, but let us ensure that our fear be filial and reasonable, because it is born of love.? Magdalene reiterated her fear of not having been understood: she had the sensation that if both her director and confessor knew her well, in depth, they should have realised that she was a great sinner. She was convinced that it was she who did not her true self. Don Libera told her insistently that her conscience should be at peace. With serene irony he wrote: ?Can everyone be wanting to betray you??I know full well how bad you are, but should we despair for this??My daughter, I don?t consider you as an angel from heaven but I cannot bring myself to believe that you could have committed so many sins.? To pacify his penitent, Don Libera frequently cut her short and prescribed ?generous and ready obedience, an effective means of conserving one?s peace of heart?Have trust?in this beautiful virtue of obedience, practise it with all your commitment and in the simplest way possible.? He required obedience also regarding temptations against faith which tormented Magdalene for several years, temptations against the existence of God, against the truths of the Creed: ?To counteract your thoughts against faith, pray to God three times a day expressing your belief in what the Holy Church believes and your will to die in this faith: in peace and quiet, without being scrupulous about your every thought.? Another way of expressing obedience was to renounce completely her desire to go into the convent, which from time to time she continued to feel growing inside her. By the end of the first year of trial, Don Libera told Magdalene that he was certain that God ?was not calling her to be a ?Disclaced? ? and that he could not discover in her ?any certain sign of vocation to the religious state?; likewise ?he did not see her as being called to matrimony?. Instead he urged her to wish only that which the Lord wanted from her, and to continue to be ready to sacrifice her every desire and will to accomplish the Will of God.? This divine Will was expressed in the events concerning her family which, for example, required her to follow more closely her sister Rosa, who was about to be married, and to be an element of peace between the members of her family, divided over questions of inheritance. He advised her to take over the running of the big house, even though with certain limitations, since there was no female hand able to do so. He asked her to give up a consecrated life in the cloister for a service of charity in the family and in the world. Consecration to God did not necessarily involve segregation from the world but loving acceptance of God?s will. He wrote: ?My daughter, I will never cease thanking the Lord for giving me the light to keep you in the world. For you it is hard, but let it all be done to the glory of the Lord and be assured that, in the present circumstances, in the segregation of the cloisters you would not be doing the good that you can do at home.? The wise director, who was familiar with the young Marchioness? need to act, had gradually approved the different charitable activities which she had started in the city. A fairly vast network had developed which was increasingly and carefully analysed and completed, as part of a ?Plan? which anticipated the creation of a permanent institution for the poorest and the forgotten. It was an ?imaginary dream?, for now, jealously held in custody in Magdalene?s heart, but which contained in embryo her future mission of charity. When she illustrated it to the director, she met with his complete approval: ??I urge you with all my strength and, if you wish, I even order you to give your whole heart to the institution? ? Don Libera encouraged her but was, at the same time, careful that her activity should not become activism. He urged her to pray and especially to devote herself to mental prayer which should become simple and true contemplation. He advised her to dedicate much space to prayer, without neglecting her family duties. He recommended the use of ejaculations which favour an attitude of familiarity with the Lord. He encouraged her, contrary to the custom of the time and the general jansenistic mentality, to frequently, even every day, receive Holy Communion: ?the real life of the soul, the food of the strong.? He prescribed repeated visits to the Blessed Sacrament, as vital moments in her day. Eucharistic prayer was, for Don Libera, a source of great spiritual energy. He ardently urged her to grow in the love of the Virgin and to entrust herself to her, as a daughter. Devotion to Mary will be a characteristic of Magdalene?s spirituality and will accompany her whole life in a simple and loving crescendo. The young Marchioness succeeded in overcoming the greatest trial which the Lord asked of her, just when she believed she was free to try to fulfil her ?dream?. In November 1797, the young wife of her uncle Girolamo, the Countess Claudia Buri became ill. On her death-bed, she entrusted to Magdalene?s care her baby, Carlino, who was just a few months old, begging her to be his mother. In the mystery of death, which comes only from God, Magdalene saw clearly His will. She accepted to be ?mother? and to continue to remain at home, awaiting other signs from Above. Her vocation was to give herself to others, to place herself totally at the service of those who were in need. This long and difficult itinerary lead Magdalene to know slowly the plan of God. Her life has to be continue oblation, after the example of Jesus Crucified and Mother of Sorrows who stand under the Cross. INSPICE ET FAC - look at,contemplate and act secundum example. Example is Jesus Crucified, expression of the greatest love that sacrifice oneself to God Father and to mankind.  
Magdalene opened the schools in which she started to educate girls and everybody who could not have partecipate in non tipe of education. She engaged herself in curing sicks in the hospital. She opened the school to educate the future teachers for the villages. She guided and organized spiritual retreat for women from the nobile families to let them deepen spiritual live end engaged them in apostolic activity for needy.  
Hong Kong 12 of April 1860 Re-writing our story in the light of the faith, we can recognize the signs of Divine Providence covered in the events, in the persons  which become in the hands of God the struments of His Divine project. This is visible also at the beginning of the spreading of the Institute over the bordiers of Italy. sorry... in work... Znajdujemy się w epoce odnowy życia zakonnego i misyjnego Kościoła katolickiego XVIII wieku. Także we Włoszech wezwanie do niesienia narodom zbawienia odczuwalne jest w seminariach oraz w zgromadzeniach zakonnych męskich i żeńskich. W 1850 Mons. A. Ramazzotti, ówczesny biskup Pawii, zachęcony przez Papieża Piusa IX i wsparty zgoda episkopatu lombardzkiego, zakłada specjalne Seminarium dla Misji Zagranicznych (aktualny PIME). Z niego wyjeżdżają pierwsi misjonarze do Oceanii (1852), do Indii (1857), do Hong Kongu (1858). Ramazzotti, który w międzyczasie otrzymał od Przełożonej Córek Miłości z Mediolanu (Margherita Crespi) fundację w Pawii (1852) i który mógł doświadczyć zapału ducha Przełożonej nowej Wspólnoty, s. Luigii Grassi, zwraca się do niej, żeby założyć wspólnotę kanosjańską w Indiach i w Hong Kongu, pragnąc współpracy z jego misjonarzami.. Apostolski zryw bez granic, zawarty w charyzmacie kanosjańskim, natychmiast uwalnia energie dyspozycyjności w s. Luigii Grassi. Jednakże nie był to jeszcze odpowiedni czas. Przełożona Domu Macierzystego (w Weronie, której Grassi przedkłada prośbę Biskupa, wyraża się w ten sposób: "... ani o jotę nie gaśnie we mnie pragnienie rozszerzenia Zgromadzenia na chwałę Bożą i dla pomocy duszom, dla którego to celu - wierzę - Opatrzność Boża najlepiej rozporządzi dla stosownej formacji wypraszanych osób". Aprobata Stolicy Apostolskiej dociera dopiero jakiś czas po tym, przyspieszona przez samego Ramazzotti, mianowanego w międzyczasie patriarchą Wenecji. Na początku 1860r. Zgromadzeniu Córek Miłości Kanosjanek otwiera się droga ku ekspansji do narodów ad genteks. S. Grassi zaprasza te siostry, które czują się wezwane przez Pana do przyłączenia się do odważnego przedsięwzięcia, by napisały pisemną prośbę. Pierwsze dokumenty Domu w Pawii poświadczają, że cała wspólnota pisze taką prośbę. Po roztropnym rozpatrzeniu sprawy wybrane zostają cztery młode siostry: 27 letnia Maria Stella, 34 letnia Rachele Tronconi, 29 letnia Giuseppina Testera, 22 letnia Giovanna Scotti. Do nich dołączają z Domu w Wenecji: 40 letnia Lucia Cupis oraz 20 letnia nowicjuszka Claudia Compagnotti. 28 lutego 1860r. pierwsze Córki Magdaleny di Canossa opuszczają Włochy, aby zanieść Dobrą Nowinę o Jezusie oraz dzieła Jego miłosierdzia na misje w Hong Kongu, dokąd to docierają 12 kwietnia tego samego roku. To pierwsze włoskie zakonnice, które dotarły na Daleki Wschód, a z powodu ówczesnego braku generalnego rządu, drugie, co wyjechały na misje. W ten sposób wprowadzają w życie motto ich Założycielki: św. Magdaleny di Canossa: "JESUS IS NOT LOVED BECAUSE HE IS NOT KNOWN. ABOVE ALL, LETS MAKE JESUS KNOW THATS HE WOULD BE LOVED". Brakuje im wszelkiego przygotowania oraz listów, pełne zaufania do swych Przełożonych we Włoszech, ujawniają cierpienia i trudności. Jednak w ich sercu rozbrzmiewa "pragnienie" Ukrzyżowanego i wola naśladowania miłości bez miary, pozostawiając wszystko, będąc gotowe na wszystko, radując się pośród doznawanych udręk. Nawet jeśli jest dobrym trzymanie w ukryciu sekretu króla ... jest rzeczą chwalebną ujawnianie i ukazywanie dzieł Bożych, co wyraża się poprzez pokorne początki naznaczone niedostatkiem rzeczy oraz wsparcia, z przedelikatnej wierności regule i duchowi Zgromadzenia, ze śmiałego zapału, nie bacząc na przeszkody języka czy kultury, daje od razu początek , w wynajętym domu, szkole angielskiego i portugalskiego (1 maja 1860r.) a nieco później, sierocińcowi dla Chinek i Euro - Azjatek. Podobnie jak krew męczenników była zasiewem nowych chrześcijan w pierwotnym Kościele, tak życie radosnej i pokornej ofiary M. Cupis i pierwszych misjonarek kanosjańskich w niedługim czasie wzbudza sympatię owocując współpracą dobrych osób świeckich, dając tym samym zaczyn dla pierwszych żarliwych świeckich powołań. 1868r. Kanosjanki docierają do wielkich Chin, do Han-Kow i dalej, i pozostają tam aż do czasu wygnania w 1950roku.
Maddalena, illuminated by the Word of God, comprehend her mission and in 1799 edited "The Plan" which reveal grandity of her apostolic heart. She present her Plan to the Bishop Avogadro in Verona, who  - oposite to the inclination of Maddalena who desired cure the sick -  inspires her to open as soon as possible the School of the Charity in Verona. At the beginning of 1799 Magdalene gathered two young girls exposed to the dangers of the street and housed them temporalily at her own expense with a companion. In march 1802, she moved them to a house in the Filippini area of the city, along with a third girl, originally   from a noble family, who had ended up in "a place of evil repute". She then managed to convince two others companions to place themselves at the service of the girls and bought a house in the parish of San Zeno, the filthiest and most infamous part of the town, with the intention of opening a school also for external pupils. Unfortunately, Magdalene herself had to continue to lice a Canossa Palace. She was happy  to look after these children and did not disdain to wash them, comb their hair and remove the lice. After some years Magdalena "freed from her ties" (the death of her uncles,  Carol, a small nephew of her brother was entrusted to the cure of one protector) and started looking for a suitable building for the girls. Her eyes fell on the monastery of Saints Joseph and Fidence that is in the rione of San Zeno and which had become State Property after the suppression of the Augustinian Sisters. She had to persevere tirelessly for two years before obtaining the Decree of Assignment, issued on April 1 , 1808. The Marchiones had the most urgent repairs done immediately. In the morning of 8 of May 1808, the third Sunday of the Easter and in the feast of patronage of saint Joseph, a great dream od Magdalena become reality:   she moved her girls and teachers into the house, ex-augustinian monastery. Magdalene reaches 34 years of age. For some years her companion in this house is Leopoldina Naudet, who later become a foundress of the another religious institute of the Nuns of the Sacred Family.