Charles Della Torre (Thailandia)

Beginning of diocesan process on January 17, 2003. Vice postulator: Fr Joseph Banchong Santisukniran.

The 'nulla osta' of the Holy See for the beginning of the Diocesan Inquest was given on July 14, 2003

Looked after family after father's death

Born to Antonio and Filomena on July 9, 1900 at Cernusco sul Naviglio, in the province of Milan, Charles was the fourth of seven brothers in the Torre family. In 1917, at the outbreak of the First World War, young Charles was called up for military service. Once he returned home, he witnessed the death of his father and took on responsibility for the family until 1923, when, in order to follow his priestly and missionary vocation, he entered the Cardinal Cagliero Salesian Institute at Ivrea.

Joined Salesians and left for China, Thailand

In three years he completed all of his secondary studies. In 1926 he said goodbye to his family and left for China. His superiors sent him to the new Salesian Mission in Thailand, where Charles made his first religious profession at Bang Nok Khuek, the mother house of the Salesian mission in Thailand.

Inspired to found a local Congregation

Providence led him to be one who was a leader, including in spiritual terms, of the people in the community. From his contact with young people and the women who used help around the House, he was lead to say: "I am inspired by the Madonna" to bring them together and found a Congregation of local sisters who will be of service to and help look after churches, parish schools, kitchen and laundry in the boarding schools, and who will also take on the teaching of catechetics to children in preparation for their reception of the Sacraments.

Left the Salesians in order to work with his Sisters

In 1936 Charles was ordained priest. After the Second World War Fr Charles, together with his superiors, took the sad decision to leave the Congregation in order to completely dedicate himself to his work at its beginnings, and was incardinated into the diocese of Bangkok.

Difficult years for him and the Sisters

Fr Charles suffered like Don Bosco and Fr Variara as a founder, but with constant courage, certain that he was carrying out the Lord’s will. These were very difficult years for him and his consecrated sisters: they found themselves in ever more desperate circumstances, without a penny to their name, homeless and without work. They earned their bread by fixing up clothes, which they then sold for a few pence.

With the permission of the Bishop, Fr Charles sent Rome the first Rule for approval of his sisters as an Institute of Consecrated women. In 1955, after many difficulties, the first seven sisters made their profession in the newly founded “Secular Institute of the Daughters of the Queenship of Mary Immaculate”.

Permission to return to the Salesians when he was 80 years old

Meanwhile Fr Charles had already been requesting for some time that he could return to the Salesian Congregation. The Bishop gave him permission only when he had already turned 80. He died at Bangkok as a Salesian on the 4th of April 1982.