The Congregation of Maestre Pie Venerini (Venerini sisters india), is founded by Saint Rosa Venerini, who was a native of Viterbo in Italy. She was born on February 9th 1656 as the 3rd child of Dr.Goffredo Venerini and Marzia. She was an ordinary girl like others but there was something extra ordinary about her. When she was seven years old, inspired by Saint Rosa, the patroness of Viterbo, she vowed to God that she would consecrate herself to God. God heard her prayer. Guided by Fr.Martinelli S J, she began to call girls to her home to pray the Rosary. She began to teach the girls and their mothers the principles of Christian doctrine. She opened schools for young women who were condemned to remain illiterate and ignorant of the truths of their faith. On August 30, 1685, she opened the first school for the local young women and girls. In the school they inculcated the truths of the faith together with reading and writing as well as feminine tasks. The purpose of these schools was to prepare young girls who would be able to guide their own families in the future and become constructive members of their social milieu. The motto "To Educate To Set Free" shows a clear light to the spirituality of the Congregation.The initiative of Rosa Venerini was an important step in the field of education of youth. Soon, other teachers joined Rosa and schools were opened all over Italy.
The Charism was to follow Christ the Teacher. To teach the Truth that makes men free- to teach with love, seeing in the students the sacred value of the person, approaching them with reverence, taking personal interest in them in order to form complete women who would inculcate sanctify in life to liberate the societyfrom evil. Venerini spirituality is centered on Jesus the Teacher. "In order to fulfill our mission as teachers, we must first of all be disciples of Him who is the Greatest Teacher". ( St.Rosa). Our Teacher is the Messiah, who teaches men to be free from all slavery, who does not become discouraged before closed minds, who enlightens all men, who seeks not personal glory but that of His Father, who teaches the dignity of human beings. The ‘Maestra’ (teacher) represents Christ the Teacher in all these aspects.
Rosa opened many schools in Viterbo and in Rome. The schools were doing so much good to the people that Pope Clement XI visited the school and said to Rosa, "You are doing what We could not do; with these schools you will sanctify Rome". Rosa was a pioneer in starting education for the young girls in her time. She wrote the Rules in 1713, for she realized that the end of her long journey through life could not be far off. On May 7, 1728, she offered her life in the hands of God. When she died, fifty schools had opened their doors to young women. On May 4, 1952 Rosa Venerini was beatified and on 15th October 2006, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI raised her to Sainthood.
St.Rosa Venerini accomplished what many women in our time are still struggling to do; to work in the world, and still maintain about herself and her associates an aura of austerity, goodness and genuine piety. The magnificent vision and enlightened prudence of Rosa Venerini, her zeal for the glory of God, her love for souls, her fidelity to prayer, her dignified simplicity and spontaneous humility are to shine ever more brightly.
Moved by the spirit of the Foundress, Venerini Sisters continue her initiative in various countries of the world, viz., Italy, USA, India, Brazil, Romania, Albania, Chile, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin and Madagascar. In India we carry on the educational endeavor in Kerala, Assam, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. We are engaged in teaching, Social activities, Catechesis, Schools for the blind, rehabilitation centers for leprosy patients, youth animation, family apostolate, Community Health Services, Village Development Programme, women empowerment programme etc.