· Vatican City ·



The precious photographic archives of the nuns

 I preziosi archivi fotografici delle religiose  DCM-002
04 February 2023

The cover photo and other historical images that appear in this issue are from the archive of the Sisters Missionary Pious Mothers of Nigrizia (storia.comboniane.org). These images were displayed in October in an exhibition in the Mother House in Verona for the 150th anniversary of the Institute, officially founded by Daniele Comboni on  January 1, 1872. These photographs illustrate the mission, the faith and life, the difficulties, the hopes, even the daily joy of those women who had left their countries and families to follow a vocation.

The photographic archives of women’s religious congregations are historical and cultural treasures of great value. These represent precious testimonies, in many cases collections of thousands of photos that should be examined, catalogued, digitized to allow them to be viewed for studies and research; or simply for family members and their loved ones. These images tell the story of women’s religious life and, from a very special angle, the processes that have brought about change in the Church and society. Let us think of their habits, just one example: they expressed the identity of the charisma, but they were not so unusual at the time of the foundation of the order.  Those habits were henceforth adapted to the times, to the new activities of the nuns and their needs.