Mother Assunta Marchetti is not only referred to as "mother” because of her religious vocation. She is also regarded as a motherly figure for many orphaned European immigrants.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this woman moved to Brazil to cater to orphans of hundreds of Italian immigrants that came to the new world with nothing, no family and no money.
CARD. ODILO P. SCHERER
Archbishop of São Paulo (Brazil)
"Parents sometimes died during the long journey or by the local diseases that were unknown in Europe. She and her brother cared for the sick, orphans and then extended their work to all the poor, sick and needy.”
SR. LEOCADIA MEZZOMO
Postulator of the Cause of Beatification
"In the late nineteenth century, there were many orphans of Italian emigration and dozens of children abandoned by former slaves. They knocked on her door. Slavery had been banned recently, and Mother Assunta was a mother to them all.”
Assunta's brother, Giuseppe, was the chaplain in charge of the ships carrying Italian immigrants. There he felt the need to help the many children who were left orphaned during their long journey.
In 1895, his sister Assunta followed him and also crossed the ocean. Both founded the Congregation of the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters. Assunta dedicated her life to helping migrants from foreign lands to their country.
SISTER NEUSA OF FATIMA MARIANO
Superior General, Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters
"Mother Assunta lived in the period of emigration to America. So she is an example on how to deal with migration today.”
It is estimated that over 30 million Europeans emigrated to America between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.