June 1, 2019
How do you invoke Salesian saints?
Dear Friends and Salesian Family members,
Today is my last day of the first semester journey from Rome. I am leaving Jakarta today, returning to the Sacred Heart Basilica in Rome. During past 20 weeks of travels around ten countries of our beautiful region I encountered many confreres, Salesian Family members and the young.
I need to confess also, that since last January I have been watching the 2019 Strenna video (19 min) of the Rector Major more than 40 times in different countries and communities. Really it was a heart-warming experience! ‘Holiness for You Too!’ – this powerful and simple invitation of Pope Francis, echoed personally by Fr. Ángel at Termini railway station and at Valdocco, opens new horizons for the young as well. We are sons, daughters and disciples of one Saint who left us a strong culture of holiness. Don’t miss the chance to watch this Strenna video again, it’s already in 42 languages, including also Urdu (Pakistan) and Cebuano (Philippines)!
And maybe I need also to confess that it is easier for me to admire or share the stories of our Salesian saints than to ask some favour through their intercession. Indeed, there are widely circulated prayer forms for the beatification of our holy Salesians in our region: in Japan-Korea (Mons. Vincenzo Cimatti, +1965), in the Philippines-China (Fr Carlo Braga, + 1971), in Thailand (Fr Carlo Della Torre, + 1982), in Vietnam (Fr. Andre Majcen, + 1999) or in Myanmar (Fr Fortunato Giacomin, + 2000). But how many of us are really ‘invoking’ our Servants of God or Venerables with our whole heart? When we recite prayers through the intercession of our holy Salesians, do we really put our heart into this invocation?
When a Filipino Salesian Brother Robert N. (Obet) asked his family to pray for his brother being treated in the ICU without any hope, and having already been in coma for two weeks, he didn’t even dream what would happen. His whole family was praying with faith through the intercession of Blessed Artemide Zatti for his recovery. And his brother woke up! Today, 4 years later, after his family’s devout prayers for God’s special intervention, his brother is now very much alive and the investigation of this presumed miracle is ongoing. Only deep faith can lead to this heartfelt invocation!
We tend to repeat, without being involved, and just mechanically: ‘Saint John Bosco, pray for us’. But what about just pausing for a moment, then thinking of one urgent need of our ‘hopeless Magone-like boys’ or a broken family in our school, parish or some other concrete urgent needs… and then whispering this short prayer: ‘Dear Monsignor Cimatti, pray for this boy, that family…’?
Fr Václav Klement, SDB
EAO Regional Councillor
Video interview with Salesian Brother ‘Obet’ (2018)