At the turn of the 19th century, when only the nobility and middle class had access to education, St Magdalene of Canossa, the daughter of a marquis and a countess, spent her inheritance providing free education for the poorest of the poor.
She witnessed widespread suffering and unrest in her hometown Verona, caused by the Napoleonic Wars. Magdalene reasoned that educated Christian wives and mothers were the best way to form wholesome families, creating a virtuous society. For her, the aim of education was to lead people to experience God’s love.
In Singapore, the Canossian Sisters, or Canossian Daughters of Charity (FDCC, Figlie Della Carità Canossiane), founded Canossa Convent Primary School and Fatima Home on 15 August 1941, providing accommodation for thirty-one orphans.
Watch the Canossaville 80th Anniversary Commemorative Video here:
After surviving World War II and the Japanese Occupation, the Sisters established the Canossian School for the Deaf in 1956. That year, Sr Natalia Tasca FDCC gathered a group of six to work with her – this was the beginning of the Lay Canossians, who now number over a hundred.
Today, there are about 2,300 Canossians serving in 18 provinces on five continents. St Magdalene wrote that the Daughters of Charity are to be “detached from everything… and ready for the divine service and to go anywhere, even to the remotest Country.” Canossa Children and Community Services (Canossaville) continues the mission began by St Magdalene in Italy two centuries ago.
Learn more about what goes on behind the doors of the Canossian Village here: