Mother Foundress

Mother Seraphina Farolfi - (1853-1917)

Foundress of the Clarist Franciscan Missionaries of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Mother Seraphina(Francesca Farolfi) was born on 07-Oct-1853 at Tossigoano in Italy. At the age of 20 with a certificate in Teachers Training, she joined the religious Congregation of the Franciscan Tertiaries of St. Elizabeth at Forli. On 04-Nov-1873 the young Francesca was appointed Headmistress of St. Francis School, Forli. Very soon she drafted the Rules and Regulations of St. Francis School and a Handbook for the Teachers. In 1881,Seraphina was sent to Palagnano to open a convent and school and ten years later another at Bagno.Unforseen events caused the transfer of St. Francis School from Forli to Bertinoro and the subsequent birth of a new religious Congregation.

The Clarist Franciscan Missionaries of the Most Blessed Sacrament(CFMSS)-the new Congregation founded by Mother Seraphina and officially approved by Rome, came into being on 01-May-1898 opening branch houses in various parts of Italy and abroad.

On 03-Feb-1901 four young Sisters set sail for India in order to serve the women and children especially destitute in the Gangetic plain. They initiated their mission at Sardhana, taking care of Welfare Home for Girls. Three years later a school was opened at Meerut and another orphanage at Agra in 1912.

On 30-May-1907 four zealous missionaries sailed for Brazil with the specific aim of educating the tribal people in the backward areas of Minas Gerais. Itambacury(1907),Diamantina(1909) and Concecao(1910)-all home to the Xavatos,Pugixao and other woodsmen, became the scene of the educative/medical activities of the CFMSS.

When the earthquake of 1908 rendered many a child homeless, Seraphina opened Welfare centers to shelter the orphaned girls. Medical Care became a regular feature of the mission of the CFMSS, ever since Italy entered the First World War.

However, Seraphina’s avowed aim was the education of the girl child. Her education policy was geared to the integral formation of the pupils with stress on character training and practical skill in fine arts and household works. She always urged the Teachers to be role models to the pupils through their comprehensive knowledge of the subject matter, effective teaching methods and above all, by the example of their own upright character. She insisted too, on the teachers ”keeping themselves abreast of scientific progress, new findings and whatever can contribute to sharpen their intellect.”Mother Seraphina-a person of frail constitution since her entry into religion passed away after a prolonged illness on 18-Jun-1917.

Words of the Venerable Foundress - (1853-1917)

Foundress of the Clarist Franciscan Missionaries of the Most Blessed Sacrament

“Education without religion is not true education. Whoever desires to acquire knowledge should first commit himself to the study of virtue.”

“One of the main tasks of an educator is to study the character and abilities of every pupil, guide them tenderly on the path of truth and goodness, and fortify them against the forces of evil.”

“Beware that each moment spent in idleness by the student weighs upon our conscience just as the deliberate delay in promoting human development and perfection.”

“If we do not form ourselves thoroughly, if we do not strive after perfection daily, we can never from others.”

“Remember that if you do not precede your pupils on the path of virtues, your words will ring empty.”

“A good teacher is the soul, the treasure, the jewel of her students, of the family, of her town. On the contrary, it is a disgrace to have a depraved teacher.”