During my spiritual retreat at Colle Don Bosco last month I made a simple resolution to remind myself during this year of 2019 every day one of ‘our Saints’. So I have simply start to place on my Facebook pages every day one ‘official’ or ‘un-official’ Salesian family saint with some simple concrete traits and his/her photos.
We have started the ‘Salesian month’ of January with the liturgical memory of Blessed Titus Zeman, January 8, on his 50th death anniversary (1969-2019) with a special Eucharist in the Basilica of Sacro Cuore. With him we remembered so many Salesian family members who were and are still living under persecution. What strikes my attention: ‘Although we can’t talk about Jesus Christ to the young in many situations, but nobody can forbid us to love the young people like Jesus Christ!’ Don’t forget that 70% of our SF Saints or Blesseds are martyrs!
Eleven years ago during the General Chapter 26 the whole Congregation was invited ‘to love, to know, to invoke, to imitate and to make know’ Don Bosco. But not only Don Bosco, each of our ‘official’ 173 Salesian family Saints, Blesseds, Venerables and Servants of God is a priceless treasure to explore – to know better. Indeed, if we don’t’ know them, we can’t love, we can’t invoke, we can’t imitate and make them known to others. This virtuous chain helps us to grow in faith and in Salesian vocation. With each one holy member of the Salesian family, whom I know a little bit better, I’m being motivated to live my own call with more energy, commitment and joy!
Few months ago when I went to pray to the Salesian cemetery in Banpong, Thailand, I was surprised by a strong indication of Fr. John Lissandrin, who pointed to one tomb with an exclamation: ‘This Salesian Brother passed away already 30 years ago, but everybody remembers him as a model of Salesian educator’. And you can read about his simple life in the AustraLasia news 4555 ‘Contagious – irresistible model of Salesian Assistance’ (October 15, 2018). This happening made me think a lot about the wonderful impact of holy Salesian life on so many people in time.