Blessed Eugenia Ravasco

She was born on January 4,1845 in Milan, Italy. She was the third Child of Francesco Matteo and Carolina Mozzoni Frosconi's six children. When she was just three years old her mother died and her father decided to move from Milan to Genoa where his two brothers lived, taking with him his eldest son, Ambrose, and the youngest daughter, Elisa. Eugenia remained in Milan with her Aunt Marietta Anselmi, who became a second mother to her and carefully educated her in the faith. In 1852, the family of Ravasco returned to Genoa and following her father's death in March 1855, Eugenia went to live for some time with her uncle Luigi and her aunt Elisa and their 10 children. On 21 June 1855, Eugenia made her First Communion and Confirmation in St Ambrose's Church and from that day on, whenever she passed a church she would enter it to pray. Luigi Ravasco was careful to give his nephews and nieces a Christian upbringing. During their time, anticlericalism was rising in Italy at the time and of the efforts of the Freemasons. He was especially worried about Eugenia's brother, Ambrose, who had come under the influence of this spreading problem. She valiantly faced the problems caused by her brother, when her uncle died on December of 1862. But she was not alone for her aunt Marietta joined Eugenia to help the family & his brother for Ambrose was influenced by the efforts of the Freemasons. From early as her teenage years, Eugenia was deeply influenced by her uncle's responsible Christian example and his generosity towards the poor. Eucharistic worship, together with devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, became an essential part of her spirituality.

Although her aunt wanted her to marry, Eugenia prayed that the Lord would show her the path to take, since she felt a growing inner call to religious life. On May 31, 1863 she received an answer as she entered the Church of St Sabina to pray when Fr. Giacinto Bianchi, an ardent missionary of the Sacred Heart, was celebrating Mass. When she heard him say to the faithful, "Is there no one out there who feels called to dedicate themselves to doing good for love of the Heart of Jesus?", Eugenia understood that God was speaking to her, calling her to him through the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On 6 December 1868, when she was 23 years old, she founded the religious Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Canon (later Archbishop) Magnasco had prepared her carefully and she continued, together with the sisters, to teach catechism and to open schools.

In 1882 the Congregation received diocesan approval and in 1884, together with her sisters, Mother Eugenia made her perpetual profession. She guided the foundations and her sisters with love and prudence, giving them as model the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Her apostolic ideal in life was "to burn with the desire to do good to others, especially to youth", and to "live in abbandonment to God and in the hands of Mary Immaculate". Mother Eugenia Ravasco died on 30 December 1900 in Genoa, consumed by illness. The Congregation received pontifical approval after 9 years after her death & it reached Albania, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Venezuela, Africa and the Philippines.