The Founder

The story of the Salesian Sisters begins when Mary Mazzarello met John Bosco in the little village of Mornese in Northern Italy 1864. John Bosco had already founded the Salesian Congregation in the city of Turin, for the education of young men, many of whom were homeless, having come in from the countryside to seek work.

Mary was doing similar work for young women in her home village. So, it seems, John and Mary were inspired by a similar dream for the education and development of young people.

In August 1872 the first group of Salesian Sisters (also known as Daughters of Mary Help of Christians) was formed in Mornese, Northern Italy. When Mary Mazzarello died in 1881 the Salesian Sisters had spread throughout Italy, France and South America. Today there are approximately 16,000 Sisters in more than 80 different nations. Education is still the main focus, covering the broad spectrum of the child through to adulthood, and ministering in the context of home, school, community and parish.