Her father and older sister died when Maddalena was 8 years old, and the girl had to work to help support her large family. She managed to work and study, and in 1866 she graduated as an elementary school teacher. She wanted to enter religious life, but her family needed her, and she worked for 12 years as a teacher in rural Montaldo, Italy teaching catechism in her parish.
In 1878, having helped raise her siblings, and saved enough to insure her mother‘s future, Maddalena entered the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, the congregation founded six years earlier by Saint John Bosco. In 1881 she was sent to Trecastagni in the Diocese of Catania, Sicily, and took charge of an existing institute for women, inspiring it with Salesian principles.
Sicily became her second home. She opened new houses, set up after-school activities and sewing classes, trained teachers, and taught catechism. She spent 25 years in Sicily, serving her community as local and provincial superior, guiding novices, and faithfully living the charism of Mother Maria Mazzarello, co-foundress of the institute.
- “Blessed Maddalena Caterina Morano“. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 March 2016. Web. 30 April 2016. <>