La storia

The History

The Mothers

Maria Matilde Bucchi

the origin of a spirituality

The Foundress of the Congregation was born in Agrate Brianza (MI - Italy), on May 18, 1812 and lives, like many other girls, working to help the family. She attends school for a few months and then she is forced to stop, both because there is no money to pay for the school, and because she has to get busy. She works first in the fields, then in the spinning mill, then as a maid while cultivating the desire to consecrate her life to God. In fact, still young she makes a private vow of chastity and cultivates her bond of love with Jesus Crucified, attracted by his Passion which sustains her in her daily toil. He faces the sacrifices of a poor life with the conviction that even this condition, lived by choice and with love, can be a way to reciprocate the love with which the Father gave his Son for us, without sparing. In 1852 she agreed to collaborate with the ¬ Canossian ¬ Daughters of Charity in the education of poor girls, in their Institute in Monza, since she did not have the means to enter the Congregation as a novice. She lives with other girls who share the same ideal, she is entrusted with the education of the poorest girls and begins a long journey of spiritual and religious research that ends a few years before her death, which took place on March 1, 1882. In fact, only on May 17, 1876, Archbishop Calabiana of Milan, notified Mother Maria Matilde and her community of the canonical erection in the Congregation with the title of Sisters of the Precious Blood.

We continue with

Giuseppina Sommariva

She joins the first group of “Canossian tertiary women” in 1869 and lives next to the Foundress as her secretary.

The beginnings of the Congregation are not easy, Mother Bucchi teaches, but she has no diploma and the school risks being closed; it is Sister Giuseppina Sommariva who accepts to remain in this precarious situation and makes her diploma available so that the school (and therefore the community) can go on. We also owe her the drafting of the first rule of life of the community and the biography of Mother Bucchi, which is the only writing that has come down to us about her life. At the death of the Foundress it is she who becomes a Mother in her place.

... And then it comes

Bonaventura Clerici

She too is an elementary teacher and support in the effort to give stability and solidity to the Congregation. Not many years after approval, the community goes through a serious financial crisis, once again there is the risk that the adventure will end, and it is up to her to encourage the sisters, enter into negotiations with the Curia and the debtors and become spokespersons (i.e. prophet) of God's plan.

Once the health of the religious family was restored, Mother Bonaventure began to widen the tent poles and to open up to new territories and new apostolic requests. School and welcome activities start with her; the retreat of Providence opens in Vercelli, a home for girls without a family where her sister, Sister AlfonsaClerici, beatified in Vercelli in 2010, lives for many years. Summer camps are born in Liguria, but also winter schools for children with poor health they need to spend the colder months in a mild climate. In Modena works of charity arise and in Switzerland we open ourselves to welcoming and educating immigrants, while some sisters leave for Calabria ... these are the first signs of the desire to open up to new places in which to bring the announcement of redemption to those who he is more thirsty.

In the story comes

Domenica Ruggeri

During her mandate as superior general, a great desire is fulfilled: on April 23, 1938, the first five sisters leave for Brazil.

For the Congregation this is a courageous opening and even in Brazil the beginnings are not simple: after a short stay in Bragança, the place where we were called, we need to pack up and look for another location. Little by little some girls begin to join us, the communities increase and the Brazilian mission becomes a living and life-giving part for the whole Congregation.
In these same years, in 1942, the religious family becomes a Congregation of Pontifical Right (i.e. no longer linked mainly to the Diocese of Milan, but to the universal Church) and Mother Domenica feels that this approval is like a seal
definitive place on the authenticity of everyone's journey and on the spiritual gift that has been given to us.

And it still follows

Gabriella Barale

She became a mother in 1952 and led the Congregation until 1964: these were important years in which the life of the religious family was consolidated and some signs, even external ones, speak of this ``stability`` after many years of research and, at times, of concern for survival.

The construction of the new school begins in Monza, the headquarters of the “mother house”, that is the place where we recognize our origins. Even in Pallanza and Milan there are schools and boarding houses to welcome girls who come from further afield.
In 1957 the remains of Mother Bucchi arrive in the chapel of the Mother house which becomes, more and more, a place of prayer and memory; This is how not only the Italian sisters who are fond of this ``house of all`` feel it, but also the sisters of Brazil who wish to come to Italy at least once to draw from the spring and stop in front of the tomb of this strong woman who gave us life. In 1962 the Second Vatican Council opens, the house in Rome hosts 13 Bishops and all follow this moment of extraordinary vitality of the Church with extreme attention and prayer.

The story continues with

Maria Viganò

She was superior general for only two years, but at a crucial moment in history, from 1964 to 1966, the year of her death.

Mother Mary has the task of accompanying the Congregation ``through`` the Council and of implementing what it has asked of every religious family: the passage from devotional prayer to liturgical prayer, from Latin to Italian, the revisitation of the sources, of the charism of foundation, of the Constitutions.

Always ahead with

Giannina Viganò

It accomplishes what Mother Mary began and accompanies the Congregation in the implementation of the indications of the Council; some changes are more external, others more profound, but all have a significance in the direction of a new apostolic impulse and a lively participation in the ecclesial journey.

The habit begins to simplify, the Constitutions are revised (i.e. the fundamental reference text that describes life and mission), a completely new way of praying comes into force with the liturgy of the Hours that makes the language of the psalms more familiar. and the Word of God.
1976, in particular, is the year of renewal of the covenant, as was the assembly of Shechem for the people of Israel. The Congregation celebrates its first centenary with a year of prayer, studies, meetings, memory. The richness of spirituality is deepened by drawing on theological, biblical and liturgical sources.

Then comes also

Luisa Giovenzana

In Italy, admissions begin to decrease, the communities dedicated to the older sisters increase in number, but there are also new ferments that lead the Congregation to question itself on how to respond to the signs of the times. The most significant opening is that of a presence in the world of drug addiction that makes us experience a new face of education with attention to emerging poverty and also a more open style of presence and sharing with the laity who support us.

Something similar happens in Brazil: schools are flanked by small communities ``inserted`` into the social fabric of very poor areas and there is growing attention to a whole series of specific ``pastoral`` for malnourished children, those who cannot access traditional care , mothers in need and more. 1976, in particular, is the year of renewal of the covenant, as was the assembly of Shechem for the people of Israel. The Congregation celebrates its first centenary with a year of prayer, studies, meetings, memory. The richness of spirituality is deepened by drawing on theological, biblical and liturgical sources.
In the meantime, the Church invites us to cultivate the missionary dimension and for us this call takes concrete form in the request to be present in Kenya with a community of nuns at the service of the Parish: on 4 July 1987 the first 5 missionaries leave. A few years later, some young Burmese women arrive in Italy and become part of the religious family: we do not yet know the culture, history, political situation of the country, which opens up before us, with unexpected horizons, only a little at a time. Today we can say that through these 4 girls we come into contact with a new continent and a new history.

In history with

Maria Vilanì De Araujo Moreira

With Mother Vilanì we arrive at the present, but we can already say that her election marks a new step of openness: for the first time the Mother General does not come from Italy, but from Brazil, bringing among us, definitively, the bond with others cultures and the turn towards an international perspective.

In the years of his mandate, not only Italy and Brazil become closer, not only does Kenya grow, but also new horizons open up; The Bishops of East Timor to help the reconstruction of a country devastated by the conflict with Indonesia, ask for help from the Bishops' Conference of Brazil and a project is born that involves various religious Congregations: a community is born in Timor which also includes a nun of the Precious Blood. Three years ago the project ended, but we remained and Mother Vilanì is currently leading the new missionary opening.

The story goes on

Giovanna Villa

With Sister Giovanna Villa, a significant period of development of the project started by Mother Vilanì opens.

Through the institutional restructuring we orient ourselves on a world horizon and we try, through a new path of the Congregation, to give an adequate response to the times with the richness of the charism. We are invited to rethink ourselves in an intercultural perspective, as an apostolic body in the dynamism of the covenant.


Donatella Zoia

Mother Donatella Marcella Zoia began her government with the aim of carrying out the project begun, focusing on the mission of the congregation where each one is called, in the church and in the world, to work as a family for the kingdom of God.

The gaze is turned to this time of intense violence and transformation. In it, the presence of true fraternities, which seek the good of the religious family and of all men, can be a response to what the Lord will continue to ask of us.

Where to find us

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Where are the missions of precious nuns in the world
Sisters of the most precious blood in the world