|The house where Maria Mazzarello was born at the Mazzarelli|
Oh what a joy to be in the place of our Origin!!! We, the FMA from the 14 provinces of the world, who commemorated our dear Mother in our home lands on every 13th of the month, were here this day in her home land!! This 13th of September 2012 will leave an indelible mark in our memory.
The day began with a meaningful prayer, coming around the earth (soil, mud) that we carried from our home lands. We admired the different colours, the form, the beauty of this earth and praised the creator God for His wonderful creation.
|The room where Maria Mazzarello was born|
House of Main at Mazzarelli: this was bought by Maria Dominca’s grandfather in the ‘near Mazzarelli’. Here was our saint born, lived her childhood. Being the eldest, she got all the attention needed. As we walked around the house our minds went down to the memory lane of our own childhood days. Here was it that Maria Domenica said her ‘yes’ to life, ‘yes’ to faith, and ‘yes’ to sufferings. She said yes to life, life that was a free gift of God. We recalled her question to her father, a question of faith and innocence – ‘what was God doing before he created the world?’ Equally faith-filled was the answer of her father –‘He contemplated Himself, loved himself and adored himself’. She said ‘yes’ to sufferings when called to assist typhoid stricken relatives. As we walked through this ‘family home’, room by room, step by step we were also reminded of her childish cunningness, laziness, childish lies, vanity and pride. We were consoled that she was no different than us.
The Sisters of the retreat house & the Centre of spirituality which is close to the Mazzarello Home provided for us with great hospitality. Our joy found no bounds to dine with Mother Marinella and the missionary sisters.
The little chapel dedicated to Mary Help of Christians was built in thanksgiving to Mary for her protection during a serious cholera epidemic that raged between 1835-36. This was blessed on 24 May 1843. Maria Domenica was only 6 years then. As a child, before she met Don Bosco, she was devoted to Mary under the title Help of Christians.
|Church of St Maria Domenica Mazzarello|
The Church dedicated to St. Maria Domenica Mazzarello was built with the help of Past-pupils of 57 countries and consecrated on the occasion of the centenary of the Institute (4th August 1972). We as pilgrims celebrated the Holy Eucharist in this Church. The INB province animated the liturgy. The ‘Aarathi’ was performed to the priest at the entrance procession, as a sign of welcome, to the ‘Word of God’ before the Gospel reading as a sign of reverence, and triple Aarathi (light, incense, flowers) during the elevation as a sign of adoration. In Indian tradition, Aarathi means waving of plates either of flowers, light and incense from left to right. All three together are called triple Aarathi, which is performed only to God.
|The Missionary Museum|
After visiting the Missionary Museum (a marvel in itself), we gathered in front of the Mazzarelli home for an extended prayer. Extended prayer because, for us the entire day was a prayer. During this prayer moment the symbolic gesture of mixing up of the earth (soil, mud from our homelands) with the Mornesian earth, where Main was born, brought tears of mixed sentiments into our eyes. To continue our pilgrimage on this earth, we will be carrying this earth back to our lands …
- Sr. Cecilia Crasta