Mother Eusebia: Woman and Mother - Testimonials

Mother Eusebia Arrigoni - Founder

"One day in 1900, a 21-year-old young lady came by, from a distinct family of Novara. She had   studied with the Magdalene Sisters. She could feel the call to religious life and expressed this wish to the Mother Superior, Sister Henrietta. The latter asked: "To which Congregation do you feel called to?"  "The Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Eusebius." So she was taken to our house. The girl's name was Josephine and she found no support from her family because of her poor health. They loved her but they would not oppose the will of God and so they finally allowed her.

She came to the house more times in order to be accepted, but we would always dismiss her to see if she was truly called to our Congregation. We told her to pray to Saint Eusebius with her heart which would enlighten us in her case. She insisted, saying she felt more and more the calling to help us to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and sick and said she wanted to devote herself to the Lord through charities in the house of Saint Eusebius.

After very much insistence she was admitted. It was a pleasure to see her. She worked with perseverance, she was always the first to comply with the tasks, and she watched the rules and was careful in the fulfillment of her tasks. We always saw her cheerful in the service to those less endowed. Sometimes she was in the kitchen, sometimes in the laundry. Her temper was stable, humble and sweet. She never refused any sacrifice. She was always available to help the other sisters. We never saw any wrongdoing from her, she was happy and lively, and her spirit was always docile and humble.

She contracted typhoid in August and never recovered. She was resigned. She said she was glad to die since she died as a religious person. So she deserved, in few months, the award of the religious vesting, which took place on December 19. On January 3rd, 1902, she professed the vows and on the six, she died as Sister Luisinha.

We would visit her during her illness. If she wanted anything, she asked. It tried to please her in every way. She often asked to be taken before the Blessed Sacrament. Sometimes she wanted to come with me to the table in the cafeteria. Sometimes she was brought to the courtyard and then she confided to me: "Dear Mother, if you only knew how happy I am when you take me in your arms, it seems I am not ill anymore." I was happy because I had an angel in my arms, not just a creature.

When she got tired, I took her back to bed. She thanked me and said she would always pray for me in order to Jesus hear all my requests and make our work fruitful with His blessings.

The sister was getting worse day after day. She could crown her life with many merits. On her last days I recommended her my soul for Jesus and urged her to intercede to Jesus as soon as she reached heaven. She replied: "Yes." I asked her to beseech to Jesus  I could suffer everything in this world in order to save my soul, our Father’s and of all spiritual daughters, the current ones and the ones that were to come. I asked her the salvation of all souls that somehow belonged to the pious house of Saint Eusebius.

I wished with all my heart that none of us, religious, priests, patients were lost, but we all glorify our Lord who loved us so much.

Even I, in the early years of the foundation, was subjected to weaknesses of the heart and my daughters were advised by the doctor to take care of me. In the first eight days after Sister Luisinha’s death, she did not move away from me at night. I did not realize, because there were always some sister watching.
But there was one difference: when it was Luisinha to watch with me, she would not move away from the bed; on the other hand, the other sisters would sit on the couch as soon as I was calm.

God wanted me to see her face on the last day and to realize it was her. Then I asked: "How can you be here with me?" She replied that it had been happening for eight nights. To make sure, I said: "Thou art Sister Luisinha."  She said yes and I added: "How is it possible? You died eight days ago." She told me that Jesus allowed her to come watch me and give back a little bit of the love I had given to her. After that night I did not see her anymore.

During those eight days, Sister Fortunata, who was the porter, dreamed that the doorbell had sounded. She opened the door and saw a boy who had a letter to Mother Eusebia. The boy advised that the letter should be delivered to me. The sister asked, "Who gave you this letter?" "My father and my mother." "What are their names?" "My father is Joseph and my mother is Mary." "And you, what is your name?” The boy then disappeared saying that the letter was all that Mother had requested.

Mother Eusebia Arrigoni - Founder
Autobiographical notes

"Little girls, I recommend that you never forget your calling, whatever it costs. Remember that the gift of vocation is precious: keep it...

Daughters, be always good, very good. May true charity reign among you. Love each other and remember that charity is the bond of religious perfection. Charity covers a multitude of sins. Spread the love you have for the Lord to everyone but love and cherish the sister who is on your side above all ...”

Mother Eusebia on her deathbed
"When I joined the convent I could not get used to caring for patients because I was afraid mainly of the dead. One afternoon a woman patient worsened and Mother called us to pray by her side. She herself began the prayer with much fervor. When we finished I was assigned to watch during the night. Frightened, I refused. Afterwards, I asked the Mother if some sister could stay with me. The Mother agreed, stroked me and said, "Go, Jesus will bless you." At two o'clock in the morning the patient died. I cried and wanted to leave. The Mother took me to her room, took my hand and said, "Do not cry, you will see that from now on you will not fear the dead anymore." The bell rang and I went to the chapel after receiving her blessing. From then on I never feared the dead again.
Sister Natalina Garanzini

In 1917, when I saw the Mother for the first time in my land, Moiana Merone, my heart rejoiced. From her eyes, from her motherly smile softness flowed and appealed to everybody. My sister had led me to the Canossian Sisters of Milan, but as soon as I saw the Mother I said to myself: "This will be my Mother." When I expressed to my parish priest, Father Giovanni Riva, my decision to be a sister of Saint Eusebius, he said: "I did not intend to move you away from the Canossian Sisters, but I'm happy with your decision. The Mother of that community is an ardent soul of faith, has strong character, but simple as a dove. "

Sister Maria Proserpio
"One day Mother called me and said," Daughter, get ready soon. I am going to travel and I want you to come with me. “Full of joy, I went to get ready. I was young. I did not think of anything else besides traveling with dear Mother. We took the train to Milan and then to Rome. My heart was nearly bursting, although I did not know where we were heading. To surprise, at the stop in Ponticino, near Arezzo, Mother said we had arrived. She was taking me to my mother’s house. She was very happy with our embrace. Naturally and with resolution, she said: "Today, you will not worry about anything ... you are just going to enjoy staying together. I will take care of lunch. “She put on the apron and prepared lunch, which could not have missed the fried rice. I do not want to add anything because I still get emotional when remembering this wonderful experience."
Sister Angelica Mazzuoli
"She was a real mother, with a big heart, a simple, smart woman, and great faith. She would always exhort us to charity: "My dear children, love each other and support each other, know how to forgive and will you be forgiven, remember that charity is the bond to perfection."

She really liked us and loved our assisted people. She always had them on her lips and in her heart. She said: "They are our owners and we have the duty to serve them with charity and love because they are members of Jesus Christ, who ensured that all we do for them we are doing for is to Him."

Sister Giuditta Beretta
"From Cartabbia I came to the General House for a retreat. I had the opportunity to meet a sister who told me she was glad I was there at the Mother House because if I stayed in Varese I could get lost in danger. Shortly after I met Sister Vincenza, and without thinking, I told her what the Sister had told me. The Mother heard and scolded me for speaking what I had heard in secret. Since I had not done it with malice, I began to cry. The Mother, who had could not see a crying sister, became anxious, until she decided to invite me in her room to help her in cleaning. As soon as I entered she took my hand and said: "I did not want to scold you, I just wanted to give you advice." Then she gave me some candies, kissed and blessed me. I left happier than I was before. "
Sister Redenta Dotta

“I joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Eusebius in 1923. My first encounter with the Mother was moving. She welcomed me with open arms, took me to the chapel before Jesus and made me promise to remain faithful to God's call. I was so impressed that my heart was filled with joy and I forgot about the separation from my family. "

Sister Raffaella Ratti

"On the day of my Vesting the Mother helped me get dressed. She made me pray with such fervor that I seemed to be in paradise. Afterwards I saw her praying with such great faith she could even transmit the heat to the others."

Sister Licinia Mauri

"In 1936, when I joined the convent, I was fortunate enough to met the Mother. It seemed to me I was in front of an angel. I was impressed by her simplicity, her affability, her sweet look which showed her great heart, her mother's heart. I could not get used to the idea of ​​being away from my family and was tempted to go back home. Just seeing her made the temptation go away. "

Sister Miriam Gamberoni

"The Mother looked at me and, realizing I was not well, told me:" Go talk to the cook and tell her that the food should be based on milk and sugar. No - she said – I’ll go myself, so I will make sure you will not need anything else. “I found joy in seeing such readiness to help a simple novice.”

Sister Primitiva Squarise

"From our good Founding Mother I remember the youthful character. She participated cheerfully in our games and often repeated: 'Be simple as doves and wise as serpents. "

Sister Elisa Peruzzo

"When I was an aspirant, the doctor detected a heart problem and told me that, in his opinion, I could not live in community. This broke my heart and I began to cry.

The Mother defended my cause with energy and unlike the doctor, decided I should follow my vocation. The Mother looked forward ... and assured me that I would have health to live my religious life. "

Sister Agostina Merlo
"In 1929 I professed the vows and, one day, I saw the Mother sitting in her place. I greeted her and asked for her blessing. Turning to me, she said: 'Daughter, are you pleased to be religious?' I said yes. 'Well, daughter, I am glad you are satisfied. I will bless you so that you remain faithful to your vocation!’ Her words were engraved in my heart by the conviction that she showed. I was 16 and today, at 35, I never had any doubt about my vocation. "
Sister Francesca Lago
"In 1931 I was in Camburzano and wanted to entrust to the Mother a temptation. She said: "I know what this temptation is." And she told me. It was exactly that. I had never spoken to her about that. She added: "Thank the Lord and be calm." I never had such temptation again.

Sister Licinia Mauri
"During my aspirant studies I got sick. I had to stay in bed for eight days. The Mother was not home. When she returned, she said, "Go get dressed. Today we are going to Camburzano together. “I happily thought: "I left a mother and found another." In Camburzano she dismissed me from the community exercises and recommended them that I be well attended. "
Sister Fausta Rigamonti

"When, in 1932, I went to the Ronzoni clinics, in Milan, to take care of pneumonia, the Mother wrote me a long letter full of understanding and charity, and since I had complained about the expenses that I was causing, she called me saying that I should not think of it, that my health could not be impaired. She was an angel of charity. "

Sister Speranza Fantinato

"I had just joined and was lucky to often meet the Mother. She would repeat: "Be a Saint '."

Sister Fiorina Trento

"On December 4, 1933, I joined the convent. I remember that day and especially the maternal acceptance of the Mother. As soon as she learned of my arrival, she came quickly, smiling, to meet me. She took me by the hand and said, "My child, what have you come to the convent for?" She made me more questions, took me to the chapel, where she made me promise to be holy. "

Sister Primitiva Squarise

"I joined the convent on February 23, 1935, along with Sister Louise. The Mother, as soon as she saw us, opened that maternal smile that comforted us so much.

She spoke of the religious life and the divine spouse with such enthusiasm that it seemed that she had him with her. We were enchanted. When she heard that I had just lost my mother, she called me and said, "Sweetie, from now on I will be your mother." I was assigned by the master to the kitchen. I burned the new apron I was wearing on the door of the stove. Imagine how scared I was. The master told me to talk to the Mother. As soon as she saw, she understood and told me: "You have to mourn the sins, be calm. Go back and get a new apron. By burning that one you learned how to light the fire."

Sister Bianca Parravicini

"At the time of my aspirancy, while dusting off the furniture, I accidently broke the head of the statue of Pius X. I went to speak to the Mother crying. She was upset not because I had broken the statue but because I was afraid of her. She told me, gently, that I did not need to cry over things like that, but only for the sins that offend Jesus. "

Sister Marina dell´Orto

"Who would be able to describe the Mother’s heart? She could not see a person in sorrow and in need without feeling the need to rescue them. It was not necessary to speak, she guessed everything. Frequently it was necessary to prevent her from going to the entrance when it came to welcoming the poor and sick because she embraced them all, even when the Institute was not able to host anyone else. "

Sister Maria Proserpio
"On January 19th, 1932, Sister Benigna Pasin took me to Camburzano with diagnosis of "TBC" and not more than three months to live. As medicine, only some drops to stop coughing.

A few days later, Sister Vincenza came to see me and spoke of the chance I go home. I went to the chapel to pray and when I got to talk to the Lord, He seemed to say to me: "Do not cry! Go to Mother and tell her to consider you as an intern." So, with this thought, I calmed down.

Some days later the Mother came. I went to talk to her: "Mother, I must tell you.

You know where I live because you have been there. I have three nieces who are 2, 4 and 5. If I go there I can infect them. Have the charity to take me as an intern." I barely finished talking and she brought me closer to her heart and said: "You will not be an intern, but my daughter! Let me also say that will not die, on the contrary, you will work a long time in the Congregation. Stand up, my daughter, get me that bag on the table." She took out a cooked chicken and said, "Look, start eating, this is all for you. We cannot eat it because it's Friday." And she told me to eat all the chicken until the next day."

Sister Concetta Rivan
"In the spring of 1932, the Lord’s voice was more insistent inside of me and I realized that I should respond by giving me entirely. The Mother came to my town. I talked to her. After a few questions she told me: "You have a vocation. You were made for our home and will be a good religious. Right now I accept you as my daughter. "

I still feared something else. My family did not have the economic conditions to give me a dowry, and I explained the problem. She replied: "I want daughters who have the dowry of vocation, I do not think of other dowry. I can even give you my clothes, but I'm sure Providence will find a way. Pray! “When I arrived at the novitiate I found everything I needed and more. Two months after having joined I was sick for two months. During her frequent visits the Mother comforted me and said that soon I would be good. During one of these visits, I told her about my fear that they sent me home for being sick. She said: "I send away the healthy daughters who do not seem to have vocation, not the sick ones with vocation.”
When she learned that the doctor had advised me woolen clothing, she soon provided them. I learned later that she shared her clothe with me.

In 1934 I was sent to Varese. The Mother would always visit us. During one of these visits she had a severe crisis of pulmonary emphysema. She needed assistance, even at night. The professed nuns had gone to watch the homes and there were only three novices who were not so smart in the house. I offered to assist her. After having given her the medication, the Mother felt better and said: "Sit on this chair. If I need you I will call." And so I did. I fell asleep and when I woke up it was morning. I was covered with a blanket. Frightened, I tried to apologize but the Mother made me shut up and added: "You slept cherished and the guardian angel looked after me." "

Sister Romana Olivetto

"At the end of the novitiate I was sick. I was in pain and had high fever. I was afraid not to profess. The mother came and talked to me:” Do not worry. You will make the profession." On that same day the fever disappeared. I got up, went to church and professed with the others. I was healed by the Mother’s great faith and prayer. She liked me very much.”

Sister Pacifica Parravicini

"When the Mother called me to talk she would always say:" Observe the rule accurately and never lose courage before difficulties. Place everything in God's hands; be pure in your intentions, humble in your heart and in everything you do. May your humility always be free of personal interest. One day, when Jesus calls you, he will tell you: "Come, I am pleased with your work." When you are tired and discouraged, go to the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and tell him everything you feel. There you will find relief and comfort. I recommend you love everyone and all the sisters. Do not break your heart in two parts but belong only to Jesus."

Sister Beatrice Mazzarelli

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