Fr Caputa introduces Simone Srugi

09 April 2021 Simone Srugi, second from the left (ANS – Beitgemal) – The Salesian Fr Giovanni Caputa, former professor of Theology in Cremisan and Jerusalem (1980-2017), has since 2014 been a collaborator in the cause of beatification of Venerable Simone Srugi, a Salesian brother who was a central figure for the Salesians of the Middle East. Fr Caputa recently wrote a new book in Italian on Simone Srugi (Simone Srugi nella storia di Betgamāl), and today he illustrates the history of the Venerable and the value of this publication. It is not your first book on Srugi. What’s new in this one? In 2018 I published Vita e scritti di Simone Srugi (Life and Writings), which contains all the documentation. In this last book, I better frame one and the others in their historical context, that is, the hundred years between the reconstitution of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (1847) and the partition of Palestine (1947). It was part of a region that during that century completely changed aspect, from a political, socio-economic, cultural and religious point of view … The maps and the “photo gallery”, which complete the volume, help to offer a better picture. Against that background, the life...

Italy – Fr Felice Canelli, a “universal brother” for the needy

(ANS – San Severo) – “Religion is the interpenetration of the needs of others”; “What is our altar? The Tabernacle of the Temple and the hand of the poor”. These are two expressions of Fr Felice Canelli, priest of the diocese of San Severo (Foggia, Italy) and Salesian Cooperator, today recognized by the Church as a Servant of God. They are two mottos that he himself lived first: for almost a century (1880-1977), moved by his faith in Jesus, he was the “universal brother” – using an expression of Pope Francis – of many poor, young, abandoned people who resorted to him. It was precisely faith that made him sensitive to material and spiritual needs because whoever follows Jesus does not alienate himself from concrete life or theorize about solidarity, but on the contrary, becomes more human. Why he was everywhere: first on the altar in profound dialogue with God, then in the hovels of the poor around the city outskirts, in the homes of the rich to ask for economic aid for his many charitable works, on the stage of a political rally, as secretary of the Partito Popolare to ask for just laws for everyone starting with the...

Delivery of “Positio super virtutibus” of Servant of God Fr Carlo Crespi, SDB

15 March 2021 (ANS – Vatican City) – On 12 March 2021 the volume of the Positio super Vita, Virtutibus et Fama Sanctitatis of the Servant of God Carlo Crespi Croci, Professed Priest of the Society of St. Francis de Sales, was delivered to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican. The Positio had as speaker Msgr. José Jaime Brosel Gavilá, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni as Postulator, and Dr. Mariafrancesca Oggianu as Collaborator. Structural elements of the “Positio” – which presents in an articulated and in-depth manner the entire documentary and testifying apparatus of evidence regarding the virtuous life of the Servant of God – are: a brief presentation by the Speaker; the Informatio super virtutibus, that is, the theological part in which the virtuous life of the Servant of God is demonstrated; the two Summarium with textual and documentary proofs; the Biographia ex Documentis; the latest Sessions and the iconographic apparatus. After delivery, the Positio will be examined by the Theological Consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Then it will be studied by the Cardinals and Bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: these articulated stages of study and evaluation will allow the Supreme Pontiff, in the event...

60th anniversary of Servant of God Matilde Salem’s death

Tomorrow, Saturday 27 February, will be the 60th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God Matilde Salem (1904-1961), a lay woman, very active in charity, who, thanks also to the collaboration with the Salesians of Middle East, knew how to live an authentic life of faith and benefit many needy people. Matilde Salem (née Chelhot) was born in Aleppo on November 15, 1904. The wealthy condition of the family did not prevent Matilde from a strong interior life. On August 15, 1922, she married Georges Elias Salem. However, the joy of this union was soon tarnished by the impossibility of becoming a mother and the bridegroom’s fragile health. In fact, on October 26, 1944 she became a widow. She could have rebuilt a life: beauty, wealth, noble trait, chosen friendships could have won her over. Instead, it was then that she discovered her true vocation: to dedicate herself totally to her neighbor with a wider love. Her family were the poor young people of her town. In collaboration with the Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Msgr. Isidoro Fattal, she undertook to carry out the grandiose project left by her Georges by will, committing the conspicuous capital he...

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,...

Don Bosco of Vietnam one step forward – Fr. Majcen

By our own correspondent Slovenia-Vatican-Vietnam (World), 19 November 2020 — The Salesian Family of Slovenia and Vietnam rejoice with a new step in the canonization process for the Servant of God, Slovenian missionary Fr Andrej Majcen (1904-1999). Exactly 10 years after the official opening of the process in 2010 (Ljubljana, Slovenia) the Congregation for the Saints (Vatican) recognized the validity of the diocesan procedure last October 23rd. Indeed after the hard work of the Salesians in Slovenia (Vice-postulator – Fr Alojzije Slavko Snoj) and in Vietnam (first Fr Dominic Uyen and recently Fr Giuse Dung) last October 2019 46 large volumes of documentation about the life and virtues of the Servant of God were produced and delivered. In Vietnam, where Fr. Majcen is venerated by many Bosconians – Past Pupils as the ‘Don Bosco of Vietnam’, there is a feeling of joy and enthusiasm for this new step ahead in the process. Fr Giuse Dung put it clearly: “This step is encouraging us to advance in our personal path of sanctity.” ‘Majcen Day’ has been celebrated on the 30th of each month in the VIE province since Fr. Andrej passed away on Sept 30, 1999 and one TVET (hospitality section)...