Francis de Sales, Don Bosco, the Blessed Sacrament, & Saints!

Saint Francis de Sales inspiring paths of holiness

(ANS – Rome) – During the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family 2022, dedicated to the spiritual and pastoral study of the Rector Major’s Strenna centered on St. Francis de Sales, Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, offered a contribution that highlights how “our journey to holiness and the promotion of the Causes of Beatification and Canonization of our Salesian Family draw great inspiration and strong motivation from him.” In fact, from his person and his doctrine emanate an impression of rare fullness, demonstrated in the serenity of his intellectual research, but also in the richness of his affections, in the “sweetness” of his teachings that have had a great influence on the Christian conscience.

One could say, then, that Francis de Sales, both in his most representative works (Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God) and in his continuous pastoral praxis, presents himself on the scene of the history of the Church as one of the most representative forerunners of what Vatican II calls the “universal vocation to holiness” (chapter 5 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium).

In his major works, as much as in his epistolary, Francis exhorts, invites, urges us to become aware that holiness is not in itself linked to a particular state of life, but – insisting directly on the baptismal dimension of belonging to Christ – is a requirement demanded by being members of the Church. It is a holiness for everyone as Pope Francis often reminds us: “We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.” (Gaudete et exsultate n.14).

From Don Bosco to the present day, there is a tradition of holiness that deserves attention, because it is the incarnation of the charism that originated with him and that expressed itself in a plurality of states of life and forms. It is a question of men and women, young people and adults, consecrated and lay people, bishops and missionaries who, in historical, cultural and social contexts differing in time and space, have made the Salesian charism shine with a singular light, representing a heritage that plays an effective role in the life and community of believers and for people of goodwill.

In the course of 2022, in addition to commemorating the IV Centenary of the death of Saint Francis de Sales (Lyon, 28 December 1622), there are also other significant recurrences:

– 175th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Magdalene Morano, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (Chieri, November 15, 1847).

– 150th of the birth of Blessed Joseph Calasanz (Azanuy – Spain, 23 November 1872), leader of the martyrs of Spain.

– 125th of the death of Venerable Andrea Beltrami, Salesian of Don Bosco (Turin-Valsalice, 30 December 1897).

– 100th of the birth of the Servant of God Rosetta Marchese, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (Aosta, 20 October 1922).

– 50th of the death of the Servant of God Giuseppe Cognata (Pellaro – Reggio Calabria, 22 July 1972), Salesian bishop, founder of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart.

– 50th anniversary of the Beatification of Michael Rua (Rome, 29 October 1972).

– 50th of the death of Venerable Attilio Giordani (Campo Grande – Brazil, 18 December 1972), Salesian Cooperator.

The Salesian Family intends to revive the great theme of the universal call to holiness, spotlighting the variety and multiplicity of vocations present in the Groups of this great charismatic Family.

Fr Cameroni’s complete speech is available at the bottom of the page in Italian (Report and Summary Presentation) and in English (Report).


“St Francis de Sales and the Eucharist”: new appointment of “Which Salesians for today’s young people?”

(ANS – Rome) – In Turin’s Don Bosco House Museum, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, recently inaugurated the year dedicated to Saint Francis de Sales on the 400th anniversary of his death. The content of the Strenna and the in-depth study of the figure of the holy Savoyard bishop during the days of spirituality of the Salesian Family, held in Turin from 13 to 16 January, signaled the beginning of the year dedicated to him. In continuity with these initiatives, the Study Center ‘Opera dei Tabernacoli Viventi’, in collaboration with the Conference of the Salesian Provinces of Italy (CISI) – Formation Sector, is promoting the third meeting of the course “Which Salesians for today’s young people?” on the theme “St. Francis de Sales and the Eucharist”, to be held Saturday 22 January from 9 to 10:15 a.m. (UTC+1).

Fr Silvio Roggia, of the Salesian Congregation’s Formation Sector, shall interview Fr Morand Wirth, for twenty years a professor at the Institute of Spirituality of the Faculty of Theology of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), and discuss several key questions in Salesian spirituality: “What is the treasure in the field, the precious pearl that this centenary can give to the church and in particular to the Salesian family? What was the place of the Eucharist in the mission of Francis de Sales? What was the Eucharist for him, for his journey of Christian life? How did the Eucharist also have to do with love of neighbor for Francis? In his writings, in summary, what are the most important lights he offers for living the Eucharist? What spiritual kinship between Francis de Sales and the Salesian Cooperator Servant of God Vera Grita?”

In addition to these questions, there will be the opportunity live to ask others for those who will attend the live broadcast on the Facebook page of “Don Bosco Italy“.

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