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Sisters of St. John the Baptist

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Maria Nikethan Community
Vandiyur

Feast Day: February 7.
Even my shadow might do good

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Bl. Alfonso Maria Fusco

Bl. Alfonsa Maria Fusco is the Founder of the Congregation of sisters of St.John the Baptist. He was born on 23of March 1839 at ‘Angri’ in Italy. He was a promised child to his parents Anello Fusco and Ginseppina Schiavone. Alfonso’s inclination to Godliness and practice of values were unusual for a child of his age. His mother often exclaimed “My god, I asked you for a child and you gave me an Angel.” Whoever asked him what great thing he wanted to do when he got big he had always the same answer “I want to become a priest.”

At the age of 11, Alfonso Knelt for his mother’s blessing and said, “Mamma, if you believe I am worthy to enter in the seminary to become a priest, please tell me.” Her eyes were filled with tears and with a proud heart She kissed him and said, “Go and become a Saint.” What a heroic blessing of a mother to her son! When he was in a seminary he dreamt of Jesus the Nazarene who said to him, “Alfonso, you are to found an institute for sisters and an orphanage for boys and girls”

In Angri there was a young woman called Maria Maddalena Caputo who wanted to become a consecrated religious. They confronted each other and Alfonso expressed his holy dream and desire to Maddalena Caputo. She had three more companions named Maria, Generosa and Colomba. In 1878, 26th of september Alfonso experienced a sense of great joy and peace when he received the blessing and consent from the Bishop Ammirante. The four women lived a life of poverty and enjoyed the riches of the spirit of the Lord. Maria Maddalena Caputo became the Co – foundress of the Congregation. Fr. Alfonso Maria Fusco repeatedly told the Sisters that “My daughters, the Institute is not my work, It is God’s because I would never have been capable of accomplishing such a task. God willed the Institute and in God’s name and for God I shall continue to do this work. I am only God’s labourer.”

The vision and mission of Bl. Alfonso Fusco gives orientation to our whole life and apostolate. We are called to live a life of holiness. He exhorted “My daughters, do you think you have come to the institute to form an ordinary family? No, you have come here to form a family of Saints This is the aim of our lives, to become Saints.”

Our Founder Bl. Fusco trained the sisters for a particular love for poverty and unlimited trust in Divine Providence. Alfonso had radiated his entire life in Charity, he loved the least, the last and the lost. Trust in Divine Providence is the important Characteristic of the Founder of the Congregation of sisters of St. John the Baptist. The abandonment to the Divine providence gives tranquility and peace to our life and our communities.

The Baptistine sisters carry out the mission of Evangelization, Education and Human promotion in 17 countries such as Italy, Poland, USA, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, India, Philippines, Cameroon, Korea, Madagascar and Moldova. Our presence helps to ensure a healthy progress and spiritual growth for the young people entrusted to our care. They do realize and experience the providential love of God in their lives.

When Fusco died on 6 of February1910, the crowd retorted another saint has gone to paradise. His charitable mind all the time desired and pronounced this golden rule, “How I wish that Even my shadow might do good.” This Congregation started in India, 1977 and it is spread out in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. We follow his spirituality by fervent devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, Contemplation of Sufferings of Jesus Christ and Devotion to our Lady of Sorrows.

THANK YOU.
Sr.Sheela Paul csjb. Madurai

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