Sisters of the Poor

of Saint Catherine of Siena

All Mothers

Mother Savina Petrilli


I Mother General – 1874/1923

Through M. Savina the Spirit planted in the Church this priestly race called to live the spirit of Christ priest and Victim. Her 50 years of government highlight all her qualities as Foundress and Mother, legatee of a Charism that she lived in the most tireless fidelity and that she handed down to her daughters with her life and with her writings. "Blessed Savina loved Christ passionately... to the point of making her exclaim: 'Life is to love you, God of my heart!'" No difficulty restrained the ardor of her spirit, the maternal tenderness of her heart towards any kind of suffering. In the poor she recognized, by faith, Jesus in the Eucharist... and, she gave everything to Jesus in his brothers. She walked in the footsteps of Saint Catherine in love for Christ, for the Church, for the poor. The religious family, like a lush tree, grew rapidly and, almost miraculously, threw branches and produced fruit in abundance. But the real miracle was Savina's love. Her watchword was: EVERYTHING IS LITTLE FOR JESUS. Charged with merits and good works, on April 18, 1923, the Lord found Savina ready for paradise. The Congregation already had 52 houses – including Brazil and Argentina – and 440 Sisters.

Mother Anna Virginia

II Superior General

II Mother General – 1923/1935

Mother Virginia Saltini, who succeeded the Venerable Mother Foundress in the governance of our Religious Family, was the echo of a voice and the continuator of a guide that led the Congregation to expand and assert itself on the blessed path traced by the confident hand of the pious foundress, who in it spirited, sowed the seeds that even today, by virtue of grace and love, give flowers and fruits of good. To remember the chosen soul, aristocratic for the exquisiteness of love, who bound her forever to her heavenly Bridegroom; and meek, lovable in the expression of bearing and trait, which made her close and compassionate to all the needy, to whom she gave herself with breadth of love. Three events in the Family by M. Virginia. ● The return of the venerated body of Mother Savina to the Mother House. ● The complete printing of the Directory. ● The print of the Motherly Voice, which collects, for each day, a word of affection, of exhortation of Mother Savina for each of her daughters of all times.

Madre Ester Verità

III Superior General

III Mother General – 1935/1947

A Mother who came from afar... missionary in Brazil for thirty years. She remained in Italy caught up in the network of the Lord, who wanted to place in her heart the strong and gentle weight of a wider motherhood. Called the good Mother, M. Esther truly loved all the Sisters ... but perhaps he had a "pinch" of predilection for young women!... This is why he gave life to the Apostolic School which was a fertile ground for so many good vocations. (the pilgrim looks up and looks at M. Agostina, Sr. Tarcisia, Sr. Maria, Sr. Anna, Sr. Ivana, Sr. Maria Pia, Sr. Angela, Sr. Franca, and many others, ...) Mother Esther in her mission as Mother General had much to do, to offer and to suffer!... the Generalate could tell of her broken tears when in 1936 more than thirty valid Sisters decided to separate from the institute ... And then the deep suffering caused by the Second World War was another great test for M. Ester that hindered many of her projects.

Madre Anna Martina

IV Superior General

IV Mother General – 1974/1959

Anna Martina was a woman endowed with many gifts of nature and grace... intelligent and cultured, strongly committed to the spiritual journey. A sensitive woman with the capacity for acceptance, forgiveness, accepting in silence the many sufferings, unjustly accused, she guarded the truth in silence and prayer so as not to hurt anyone, she loved to repeat "God knows and this is enough!" He lived in hiddenness, humility, silence and prayer. Gently carrying the twig of peace; beside her was God. There were many achievements in her period of government: -the concern to increase in the Sisters of the Poor the fervor and knowledge towards Our Lady whom she loved so much. It was she who devised the Marian Calendar of the SdP; ● The creation of the News Sheet with which he informed all his daughters of the life of the Congregation; ● The commitment to reconnect the houses of Latin America to the Center after the isolation caused by the last World War.

Madre Giovanna Fois

V Superior General

V Mother General - 1959/1971

Mother Giovanna Fois, in 1959, was elected V Superior General of the Congregation. Her mandate took place in a not too simple period: the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the requests from the Church to return to the roots, to reread Religious Life in the light of the documents of the CONC. Vat. Ii. Obedient to the dispositions that were issued by the Church, he proclaimed the Special Chapter, beginning the path of renewal of Religious Life desired by the Church. Looking to the future, she felt the urgency of giving the young Sisters also a cultural and professional formation so that their presence in the activities would be up to the task that was required of them. Mother Giovanna was a simple, helpful, frank and generous Mother.

Mother Agostina Bonemei

VI Superior General

VI Mother General – 1971/1990

Mother Agostina Bonemei Superior General of the Congregation for more than 18 years, was a Mother who filled her calendar with both life and fact. Intelligent and cultured woman, of prayer and reflection. prudent and upright, respectful and capable of listening, faithful to the charism and to the Family, spiritually committed and a sure guide on the journey. To enumerate what she has achieved during her mandate is not so easy because her itinerary has been at a walking pace, decisive and relentless ... Some of her achievements: – The return to the original sources, to bring out the Charism of the Congregation, – The in-depth knowledge of the life of the Foundress through ongoing formation. ● She extrapolated from the Directory, left to us by the Mother Foundress, all the spirituality contained in it, in a text: "in permanent Oblation with Christ" ● The updating of the Rule of Life concluded on 2 February 1988 with the definitive approval of the Holy See; ● The beatification of the Foundress. April 24, 1988 ● The opening of missionary houses in 4 countries: India. United States, Philippines and Paraguay. ● The edition of the books: 1. A poverty that is called Christ; 2. A woman for God and for others; 3. Savina Petrilli as broken bread; 4. When suffering becomes tenderness.

Madre Socorro Fortes

VII Superior General

VII Mother General – 1874/1923

Mother Fortes was born on July 23, 1946 in the state of Piauí, Brazil... She entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor and proved to be very committed to living and embodying the spirituality of the Institute. Mother Fortes has a strong sense of leadership, availability, listening, openness to the senses of the times, balance, inner freedom, together with a strong spirit of faith, humility, apostolic zeal, a deep sense of belonging to the religious family and to the Church. She is endowed with a maternal, sincere tenderness and has a creative capacity to motivate to take as a protagonist the challenge of charismatic growth through means such as ongoing formation. Her driving service has borne fruit such as: ● Commitment to create a "common platform" in the Institute, at the level of spirituality, technical language, charismatic-missionary criterion; ● The realization of an intercultural conference; ● The realization of the first enlarged council and the first intercapitular assembly; ● The opening of the missionary house in Ecuador; ● The creation of the Mother Savina Delegation, for the mission in India; ● The constant commitment and the poignant concern for vocational animation.

Madre Liliana

VIII Superior General

VIII Mother General – 2015 ...

Elected General in Rome on October 12, 2015 – Mother Liliana was born in Argentina on November 2, 1958. She is the fifth daughter of six siblings. As a young woman, she felt God's call in her life, inviting her to serve him more closely. She studied at the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Huerto and graduated in Medicine. Shortly afterwards she joined the Savinian Family with a great desire to love and serve God, like Blessed Savina, in her most vulnerable brother. As soon as she reached perpetual profession she assumed the mission of superior in a community in Argentina and this was the beginning of an experience that led her to assume the responsibility of provincial. Mother Liliana is an intelligent, humble, simple and profound woman. She has a youthful ardor and a sense of family that makes her close. Her current guide service, despite the difficulties of the time, spurs us to welcome the novelty of the time: ● The commitment to generate a mentality of multimedia communication for an extension of the mission. ● Multimedia Communication Course for Young Sisters. ● The plant of the Savinian Communication Office. ● Commitment to a more solid, charismatic initial formation. ● Commitment to give new impetus to the economy of the Italian province.