MAGDALENE WAS BORN in 1774 of a noble family in Verona, Italy. At the age of five, she lost her father. When she was seven, her mother remarried, leaving her to the care of a governess.

On May 8, 1808 she and a few companions began their ministry.

Magdalene died in 1835. She was beatified in 1941 and canonized in 1988.

THE CANOSSIAN SISTERS first arrived in Singapore in 1894.

They have been blessed with many local vocations. Today there are 56 Canossian sisters serving the Archdiocese of Singapore and two postulants training to be Sisters – by far the largest religious congregation in the country.

Their large numbers enable them to be engaged in various ministries. They serve in education (including a Hearing Impaired Learning Centre), adult faith formation, pastoral care of the sick and elderly, counselling, retreat and spiritual direction. The sisters in Singapore also conduct mission outreach and respond to contemporary needs including interreligious affairs, ecumenical concerns, and the AIDS, migrants, and prison ministries.

At the heart of their different ministries is the aspiration of their founder, St. Magdalene, "to make God known and loved". In the spirit of Christ crucified and risen, the sisters conduct their mission through a prophetic witness of a simple, humble and joyful life in community and service, with special attention to the poorest.

The sisters have touched and changed the lived of countless Singaporeans. If you are one of those fortunate persons and have a story that you would like to share, please email CatholicNews at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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