80th anniversary of death of 4 Salesians in Auschwitz extermination camp

24 June 2021 (ANS – Rome) – 27 June 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the martyrdom of four of the twelve Salesians, belonging to the St Hyacinth Province of Krakow, arrested on the night of 23 May 1941 by Gestapo officials. They are Fr Jan Świerc, 64, parish priest; Fr Ignacy Dobiasz, 61, parish vicar; Fr Franciszek Harazim, 56, professor of Theology; Fr Kazimierz Wojciechowski, 37, catechist. After a summary interrogation, although completely uninvolved with any form of political propaganda, they were accused of participating in clandestine organizations and, even more serious, of promoting the national culture – to the detriment of Nazi Germany – among young people, exploiting the influence deriving from their priesthood. That was enough to deserve the torture and the Auschwitz concentration camp. Deprived even of their name, they were forced to wear the bloody rags of those who, before them, had not survived the terrible penal company to which the accused of serious crimes were destined. Almost suffocated by the nauseating fumes of the burnt corpses that rose from the crematorium chimney, beaten and exhausted by the inhuman work, in a short time they fell by the hands of the SS men. Fr Jan...

Sixth Anniversary of martyrdom of Akash Bashir, Pakistani past pupil

Sixth Anniversary of martyrdom of Akash Bashir, Pakistani past pupil By Sunil Iqbal        Lahore Pakistan, 15 March 2021 — Akash Bashir’s final words as he was martyred were: “I will die but I will not let you to go”. Pakistan’s Salesian Community celebrated Mass on 15 March, the 6th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Akash Bashir, the Pakistani Salesian Past Pupil who saved hundreds of people inside the Church by embracing a suicide bomber and offered his own life. We humbly ask all of you to pray for our Pakistani Christian community.        “Faith in Jesus and in the power of His Holy Name is the greatest spiritual force in the world today. It is a source of joy and inspiration in our youth; of strength in our manhood, when only His Holy Name and His grace, can enable us to overcome temptation; of hope, consolation and confidence at the hour of our death, when more than ever before, we realize, that the meaning of Jesus is ‘Lord, the Savior.’ We should bow in reverence to His Name and submission to His Holy Will.” Source: Sixth Anniversary of martyrdom of Akash Bashir, Pakistani past...

New books for Youngsters on Sts. Bishop Luigi Versiglia & Fr. Callisto Caravario, Salesian Proto Martyrs

It was February 25th 1930, Bishop Versiglia and Fr. Caravario were on the pastoral visitation of the Linchow mission along with a few young companions. During the journey, a group of pirates stopped and raided the Bishop’s boat, trying to seize three young catechists. To shield the safety and the purity of the three young Christian women, the Bishop and Fr. Caravario confronted them with all their strength. They were forcibly beaten and shot at Lai Tau Tsui, in the bamboo forest near the Lin Chow River. Pope St. Paul VI recognised their martyrdom in 1973.  They were included by Pope St. John Paul II among the Blessed on May 15th 1983 and canonised on October 1st 2000. In year 2016 and 2019, “Vox Amica Pres” wrote and published for youngsters the books on Saint Louis Versiglia and Saint Callistus Caravario respectively in Chinese. To celebrate the special anniversary of 2020 – 90th Anniversary of Martyrdom (1930-2020) and 20th Anniversary of Canonization (2000-2020) – last November the Salesian publisher released the two books into English. In the current time of enjoyment culture, social instability and ever changing environment, bombardment with information and different opinions, God’s will and His plan,...