.- Margarita Occhiena, mother of Salesian founder St. John Bosco, was declared venerable by Pope Benedict XVI through a decree that was published Thursday by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The news came a few days before the 150th anniversary of the death of Mama Margarita, as she is referred to by the Salesian family. “The Salesians recognize that the Salesian Congregation was born in the lap of Mama Margarita, as everyone knows, giving her maternal and feminine presence to the Preventive System,” the website donbosco.es indicates.
“Be it known that the Servant of God Margarita Occhiena Bosco, mother, heroically practiced the theological virtues of faith, hope and love, both towards God and towards neighbor, as well as the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, and temperance and other virtues connected to these,” the declaration states.
After the ceremony, the Salesian Superior General, Father Pascual Chavez called it a “memorable day for the Salesian Family” and “a long-awaited event.”
“A strong woman with clear ideas and robust faith” is how the donbosco.es website describes Mama Margarita. When she was 58 she decided to leave her quiet town and follow her son “in his mission among the poor and abandoned young people of Turin.”
“Here, during ten years, mother and son united their lives with the beginnings of the Salesian Congregation. She was the first and principal cooperator of Don Bosco, and with her kindness of life, she gave her maternal presence to the Preventive System,” the website states.