MOTHER SAVINA PROVINCE – INDIA
A brief history
The Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of St.Catherine of Siena was founded on 8th September 1873 at Siena, Italy by Blessed Savina Petrilli. Her parents were Celso Petrilli and Mattilde Vetturini. Since her childhood, she was very eager to know what God wanted of her. At the age of 10, she read the biography of St.Catherine of Siena and was inspired by her heroic life. She showed much interest to imitate her great love for the Crucified Jesus, devotion to the holy Eucharist, compassion towards the Poor and filial respect to the Holy Church. She wanted to share the best of her talents and abilities for the poor and the suffering, and with that dream in her heart together with her 3-companions, in 1873, she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of St.Catherine of Siena. On 17th of June 1906, it was elevated to the Pontifical Status. Strengthened by her childhood desire to become a saint, a great saint, she consistently practiced the heroic virtues and as a result she was proclaimed Blessed by His Holiness late Pope John Paul II in St. Peters square on April 24, 1988.
VISION –MISSION- CHARISM
Like Jesus, the priest and the victim, who was anointed to proclaim the good news to the poor, each SdP by incarnating the spirit of the congregation becomes a bearer of divine love and mercy to the poor, the abandoned, the sick and the aged.
The growth and the expansion of the congregation founded by Blessed Savina was quite amazing. Besides Italy, she was invited to Brazil to continue the mission of Christ. Thus she realized her dream to serve the Universal Church. Soon after, the new mission fields were opened to the Sisters of the Poor in Argentina, Philippines, Paraguay, Ecuador, India, and Germany. Today, it has grown and flourished all over the world.
In the year 1974, the 6th Superior general of the Congregation, Agostina Bonemei visited India and learned the possibilities to open a mission house here. Thus, the dream of Savina about coming to Asia was fulfilled and in the year 1976, 4-Indian sisters who had completed their formation in Italy were sent to start the mission at Ernakulam. In the year 1979, the foundation stone was laid for the first community in India, St.Catherine Convent, with the apostolic blessings of His Eminence late Cardinal Mar Joseph Parekkattil and in the presence of late Rev. Fr.Jose Thachil and the Parishoners of St.Judes Church, Karanakodam.
Rev. Sr. Leticia Faure, an Argentinian by birth, was appointed as the Mission Delegate Superior, and guided the progress and development of this new mission. Soon its branches spread to other states of India, namely, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat. Today, the daughters of Savina continue to bear witness to the love of God in a myriad of apostolates like education, health care, social services, care of the destitute, special schools and youth formation activities. In the year 1993, Mother Maria do Socorro Fortes constituted all the communities of India under the umbrella of “Mother Savina Region” by acknowledging its fast growth and appointed Rev.Sr.Marianna Laikary its first Regional Superior and she led the region along the path of benediction and development.Rev. Sr.Anice Paramby, who was appointed the second Regional Superior worked tirelessly for its progress. Rev.Sr.Daisy Kachappilly led the Region and worked towards the realization of its dream of becoming a Province. A humble beginning has grown into a big tree.
On 17th November 2012 the Mother General, Rev. Mother Maria do Socorro Fortes, raised the Mother Savina Region to the status of Mother Savina Province and appointed Rev. Sr. Daisy Kachappilly, its first Provincial Superior. This is the only Province in our congregation named after the Foundress, Blessed Savina. It is a landmark in the history of Indian Mission. The long cherished dream is being realized.
The heartbeat of consecrated life is reflected in the mission works. By living spiritual and fraternal life rooted in the Gospel values, the daughters of Savina are fervent to bring the good news of the love of Christ to all people by becoming a source of knowledge for the illiterate, healing to the sick, consolation to the aged, help to the poor, guide to the youth. They become a mother, a sister, a teacher and a friend to the children who are blind, deaf and dumb, physically handicapped and abandoned by the family and the society. The sisters are also attentive to the needs of the parishes, where they are engaged in pastoral works, family visits and catechetical instructions. In other mission centers, they also provide skills development programmes for the empowerment of women and youth in order to improve their quality of life by learning to earn a living. The sisters also provide various youth formation programs and to all those who have made a decision to follow Christ in the consecrated life, they are welcomed to the religious family and are introduced to various formation stages in order to prepare themselves to live an authentic consecrated life, serving God in the church.