Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed her to be Venerable in 2006. The boys were quite different in temperament. Still, Margherita made sure she presented them with the beginnings of a Christian education.
She gave them the example of faith, wisdom, and courage in facing the difficulties of life.
To keep peace in the family, Margherita convinced Anthony to let John leave home to continue his schooling. With the loving prayers and support of his mother, John was able to complete his studies and be ordained as a priest.
There she assisted John, now called "Don Bosco", in his work with the poor and abandoned boys who were flocking to the city. Foreign the next ten years she served as a surrogate mother, by the moniker of "Mamma Margherita", for the hundreds of boys being cared for and educated by Don Bosco.
The school and boys" club called the Oratory continued to expand.
Some of the older boys stayed to help with the work begun by Don Bosco. He formed them into a religious order he called the Salesians (after the French saint, Francis de Sales). Though she herself was illiterate, Margherita"s wisdom and goodness became the model for the "preventive system" that was the basis of Don Bosco"s educational approach.
Throughout her life, Margherita put God first and above all, consumed in a life of poverty, prayer and sacrifice.
She died at the age of 68 in Turin on 25 November 1856. The cause of beatification for Margherita Occhiena commenced on 7 March 1995 with the declaration of "nihil obstat" (nothing against) by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints under Pope John Paul II, thereby declaring her to be a Servant of God.
On 23 October 2006, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed her to be Venerable, having lived a life of heroic virtue.