Mothers of Lu
The little village of Lu, in northern Italy, is located in a rural
area 90 kilometres east of Turin. It would still be unknown to this day if some of the mothers of Lu had not made a
decision that had important consequences in 1881.
The deepest desire of many of these mothers was for one of their sons to become a
priest or for a daughter to place her life completely in God's service. Under the direction of their parish priest,
Msgr. Alessandro Canara, they gathered every Tuesday for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, asking the Lord for
vocations. They received Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month with the same intention. After Mass, all
the mothers prayed a particular prayer together imploring for vocations to the priesthood.
Through the trusting prayer of these mothers and the openness of the other
parents, an atmosphere of deep joy and Christian piety developed in the families, making it much easier for the
children to recognize their vocations.
When the Lord said, "Many are
called, but few are chosen" (Mt 22:14), we can understand that many are called, but only a few respond
to that call. No one expected that God would hear the prayers of these mothers in such a dramatic
From the tiny village of Lu came 323 vocations: 152 priests (diocesan and
religious), and 171 nuns belonging to 41 different congregations. As many as three or four vocations came from some
of the families. The most famous example is the Rinaldi family, from whom God called seven children. Two daughters
became Salesian sisters, both of whom were sent to San Domingo as missionaries. Five sons became priests, all
joining the Salesians. The most well-known of the Rinaldi brothers is Blessed Philip Rinaldi, who became the third
successor of St. John Bosco as Superior General of the Salesians. Pope John Paul II beatified him on 29 April 1990.
In fact, many of the vocations from this small town became Salesians. It is certainly not a coincidence, since St.
John Bosco visited Lu four times during his life.
The saint attended the first Mass of his spiritual son, Fr. Philip Rinaldi in this
village where he was born. Philip always fondly recalled the faith of the families of Lu: "A faith that made
our fathers and mothers say, 'The Lord gave us our children, and so if He calls them, we can't say
Fr. Luigi Borghina and Fr. Pietro Rota lived the spirituality of Don Bosco so
faithfully that the former was called the "Brazilian Don Bosco" and the latter the "Don Bosco of Valtellina." Pope
John XXIII once said the following about another vocation from Lu, His Excellency, Evasion Colli, Archbishop of
Panna: "He should have become pope, not me. He had everything it takes to become a great
Every ten years, the priests and sisters born in Lu used to come together from all
around the world. Fr. Mario Meda, the long-serving parish priest of Lu, explained that this reunion was a true
celebration, a feast of thanksgiving to God who has done such great things for Lu.
The prayer that the mothers of Lu prayed was short, simple, and deep:
"O God, grant that one of my sons may become a
I myself want to live
as a good Christian and want to guide my
always to do what is
so that I may receive the grace, 0 God,
to be allowed to
give you a holy priest!
If you would like a magnetic card with the above
prayer posted to you please email: firstname.lastname@example.org