M. Francesca Marchesoli

Mother Marchesoli was born on 27th October 1837 as the daughter of Francesco Marchesoli and Carolina Botticelli at Busto, Arsizio. She lost her mother at the age of four. Her maternal Grandmother looked after the grandchildren at her home. She gave them a deeply religious education by directing them for daily Holy Mass and the evening visit to Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, with the recital of the Rosary. When she was eight years old they moved to Milan and she continued her education there. Francesca studied hard and obtained brilliant results. Friendliness and simplicity were her lifelong characteristics. In 1854 she obtained her teaching diploma and started teaching in a private school as a diligent and enthusiastic teacher with apostolic zeal.
Three years later on 22nd September 1857, Francesca Marchesoli reached Como and started teaching in our school. She was a highly qualified teacher and a precious collaborator to Butti and Rossi. She was a person willing to accept sacrifices, detachment and humility. She also felt that the ideals of the founders were attractive to her and she asked to become a postulant. At that time still there was no canonical approval for the congregation. She promised obedience to the superior and two years later undertook private consecration. Sister Marchesoli was humble and strong; she knew how to inspire confidence and affection in the sisters and in all who approached her. She assisted the founders always and very specially during their illness. The great void of the loss of our founders on 12th and 16th of April 1874 was really painful to everyone. Then Sr. Francesca Marchesoli was named as Superior with the unanimous approval of the community. Mother Marchesoli took over this role with a sense of great responsibility. Her term of office was specially marked with goodness and wisdom. She had to undergo a lot of trials and struggles from the civil council as she was guiding the Congregation. But she remained calm even at the moments of material loss and difficulties from many sides. She believed that Providence of God can bring about changes in the political and social scenario; hence every tempest subsided slowly.
In a few years houses sprang up in different parts of Italy. The sisters of presentation were present everywhere, in oratories and nursery schools, secondary schools etc. Their apostolic activities were greatly appreciated. Mother Marchesoli followed each and every activity with kindness and wisdom. Though Mother had great responsibility in directing many centers of the congregation, she was not hindered from keeping in touch with the sisters and boarders. She had the good of each one at heart, including all aspects of their health, physical, mental and spiritual. She was always strict with herself but ready with gestures of great kindness and thoughtfulness for the good of her daughters.
Her prayer life and surrender to the Holy Will of God was amazing as always in her old age too. She whispered very often “May the most Holy, most righteous and most dearly beloved Will of God, be fulfilled, praised and eternally exalted in all things”. She used to enjoy walking in the evening and loved the nature. She encouraged the sisters to take long walks after their sedentary works. Her health diminished gradually and on 11th November 1915, sisters asked her blessings and she said “yes, till we meet again in paradise”. Affectionately stretching out her hands to embrace her daughters, she went for the eternal bliss with her Beloved Lord.