Saint Louis Guanella
The founding of the DSMP’s was entrusted to the charism and work of Saint Louis Guanella. Born on December 19th, 1842, in a small mountainous village in the North of Italy, Fracisio, in the cold of winter, his life began in a faith-filled home. His father carried the newborn baby to the parish Church in the next town to be baptized. Thus, were planted the seeds of faith that blossomed in so many ways throughout his life.
Childhood experiences led him to the priesthood with a goal of serving all, especially the most needy. Eventually, he established homes with educational and vocational assistance for orphans and youth. He recognized the call of Divine Providence to meet the needs of the marginalized persons who were handicapped, sick and elderly.
Saint Guanella established two religious congregations, the Servants of Charity for men and the DSMP’s for women to carry on his mission. He died on October 24, 1915, was beatified on October 24, 1964 and canonized on October 23, 2011.
Our Sisters came to the United States in 1913 at the request of Pope Pius X, a long time friend and confidant of Saint Guanella. Guanella visited various cities in the United States mostly in the East. He chose to begin the works of the Congregation however in Chicago where the first Sisters ministered to the Italian immigrants and their families. They taught school and later started to build a residential home and school with the focus of caring for the mentally and physically challenged.
The works of the sisters moved on to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, British Colombia and recently to Syracuse, New York.
Prayer to St. Louis Guanella
O Saint Louis Guanella, Apostle of Charity, you spread the
treasures of your heart to the poor and suffering whom
you dearly loved, in a world filled with hatred and selfishness.
Obtain for us from Divine Providence an ever increasing
love for God and our neighbors.
Obtain for us also the favor we are asking for ... and the grace
of final perseverance.
Blessed Clare Bosatta
With the collaboration of mind and heart of Mother Marcellina Bosatta, co-founder, Saint Guanella gave life to the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. Mother Marcellina and her sister, Blessed Clare Bosatta, had already formed a group of young women who were teaching catechism and reaching out to the poor of their parish. It was a natural progression when Saint Louis Guanella asked them to carry on his mission in the Church.
These hardworking women from the town of Pianello, Italy, living in need of material goods, were always willing to share all they had and received with the poor. They even began a new foundation in Como, crossing the Lake in a small boat with a table, broken chair and a few other items. Despite these poor belongings they were filled with the zeal and joy of being called to create the humble beginnings of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence.
Mother Marcellina and Sr. Clare were both blood sisters and religious sisters. They spent every extra moment in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. How often, they asked the Pastor for the key to the small parish church so that they could pray when their work was finished. They would pray long into the night and sometimes all night keeping company with Jesus in the Eucharist. They were always ready though for the arduous work of the next day.
Both Sisters contacted tuberculosis, a common disease of the time. Both would probably die but recognizing her sister’s gifts and talents to continue building the Congregation, at the age of twenty-nine, Sr. Clare offered her life to God that her sister would live. God accepted her offer and she died on April 21, 1887. She was beatified on April 21, 1991 as the Church recognized her life of heroic virtue.
Prayer to Blessed Clare
Merciful and provident Father, Blessed Clare Bosatta, Virgin, was filled with Your Spirit of love, uniting it with the contemplation of Christ crucified and service to the needy and abandoned. Grant through her intercession, that we may love you with complete faith and serve you with an active charity among the most needy brothers and sisters. Through Christ our Lord. Amen