Son of Agostino Ferrando and Giuseppina Salvi. Stefano early felt a call to relgious life, and joined the Salesian Society of Saint John Bosco in Foglizzo Canavese, Italy in 1912 at age 17. In 1915 he joined the Italian army medical corps, rose to the rank of sergeant, and served close to the front lines during the remainder of World War I; he was awarded the silver medal for bravery under fire in 1917 for routinely charging into no-man’s-land to save the wounded. In 1920 he returned to life as a Salesian, and his studies for the priesthood; he was ordained on 18 March 1923 in Borgo San Martino, Italy.
Father Stefano then led a group of Salesian missionaries to the Assam region of north-east India, arriving in Shillong on 23 December 1923; he led the training of his men and future priests for the next ten years. Worked as a catechist and rector of Our Lady’s House in Shillong. Bishop of Krishnagar, India on 9 July 1934; he chose the episcopal motto Apostolus Christi – An apostle for Christ.
Chosen bishop of Shillong on 26 November 1935; he served there for over 33 years. Noted for endlessly travelling his diocese on foot and horse back in order to talk to the people as he went; Bishop Stefano understood that he could not reach them if he travelled by car. Worked to establish schools, churches and medical facilities for his flock. Founded the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians in 1942 to help with his work; they continue their good works today. He retired from his see in 1969 when the government of India declared that all foreign missionaries must be recalled and all episcopal positions be filled by native Indians. Titular Archbishop of Troyna on 26 June 1969. Author of a number of articles about aspects of life and missionary work in India. When he arrived in India there were 4,000 Catholics in Assam; when he returned to Italy there were 500,000.
- 20 June 1978 in Genova-Quarto, Genoa, Italy of natural causes
- relics enshrined in the chapel of the Saint Margaret convent the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians in Shillong, India on 12 November 1987
- Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians
- “Venerable Stefano Ferrando“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 December 2016. Web. 24 April 2017. <>