Third of six children born to Francesco Matteo and Carolina Mozzoni Frosconi. Eugenia’s mother died when the girl was three, her father moved with some of the children to Genoa, Italy to find work, and Eugenia was raised in Milan by her pious aunt Marietta Anselmi. The family reunited in Genoa in 1852, but Eugenia’s father died in March 1855, and she moved in with her pious relatives Luigi and Elisa Ravasco (and their ten children).
Eugenia grew up in a time when opposition to the Church and the clergy was on the rise, and Freemasons actively opposed the Catholic hierarchy. Her family, however, including her extended one, were open about their faith, and active in their parish life; Eugenia made her First Communion and Confirmation on 21 June 1855, and began a habit of frequent prayer.
In December 1862, uncle Luigi died, and Eugenia took over care of the family. The pious home continued in turmoil as her brother, Ambrose, join the anti–clerical forces. Her remaining family wanted Eugenia to marry, but she felt a call to religious life, and during a mission on 31 May 1863, the young woman felt a strong desire to enter a vocation dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. With the help of her spiritual director she began teaching catechism and helping poor girls, especially those who lived on the street. Other young women joined in her work, and on 6 December 1868, with the help of Canon Magnasco, she founded the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Ravasco Institute) to teach catechism and open secular schools for the poor.
Mother Eugenia served the rest of her life as first Supererior to the Congregation and worked with great courage in the face of growing anti–clerical persecution in her region. She travelled Italy, France and Switzerland to start new communities, teach, give direction to new sisters, and correct the anti–Catholic press. The Congregation received diocesan approval in 1882, the first group of sisters made their perpetual profession in 1884, and they received papal approval in 1909. Today the Sisters work in Albania, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Venezuela, Africa and the Philippines in schools, parishes and missions, dedicated to youth, the poor, and promoting the dignity of women.
Live in abandonment to God and in the hands of Mary Immaculate. – Blessed Eugenia
Blessed Eugenia Ravasco was wholly concerned with spreading love for the Hearts of Christ and Mary. Contemplating these two Hearts, she was passionately devoted to serving her neighbour and joyfully devoted her whole life to young people and the poor. With foresight, she was able to open herself to the pressing needs of the mission, with special concern for those who had “fallen away” from the Church. The words “doing good for love of the Heart of Jesus”, and “burning with desire for the good of others, especially young people” neatly sum up the charism she bestowed on her institute. – Pope John Paul II, from his homily during the beatfication of Blessed Eugenia
- “Blessed Eugenia Ravasco“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 April 2015. Web. 1 May 2016. <>