Salesian Community of St. Louis Versiglia and St. Callistus Caravario
Zlin, Czech Republic, 24 February 2018 -- The Salesian community of Zlín, whose patrons are the Saint Martyrs Bishop Louis Versiglia and Father Callistus Caravario (Feast 25 February), has installed a display window dedicated to these two saints in its restored community chapel. The encased painting, created by Pavlina Štefková, was blessed on 19 February by the Czech SDB Provincial, Fr Petr Vaculik.
The image shows the river these missionaries sailed upon towards the mission station, where they were murdered by several bandits for defending the life and virtue of three Christian catechist girls. At its center is a tabernacle, the source of water that rises to eternal life, as indicated by the Chinese characters on the right side of the window. This is part of the verse, from John 4:14, "... the water I will give him will become in him a source of water that wells up for eternal life."
Fr. Lanfranco Fedrigotti, SDB Provincial of China, writes to the Rector of Zlin community, Fr. Radek Gottwald the following message: "In the name of all confreres of our large province, I congratulate and give thanks for this wonderful initiative in the memory of our two Saint Martyrs. You were also able to connect it to the 2018 Strenna of the Rector Major...
It brings us joy especially in this special year, when we remember the 100th anniversary of the first Salesians who entered our first mission in the Great Motherland in Shiu Chow precisely on February 28, 1918. This ancient mission handed over to us by the MEP missionaries was already started in 1589 by the famou Jesuit misionary Fr. Matteo Ricci. First group of two Salesians - Fr. Olive and Fr. Guarona - was sent by Fr. Louis Versiglia from the Macau Mother House (the first EAO community, opened in 1906)...."
Although this year the liturgical celebration of St. Versiglia and Caravario is omitted (25th February is the 2nd Sunday of Lent), we congratulate those communities in the EAO region, who live under their protection: Viceprovince of St. Callistus Caravario (ITM), Community of Macau-Coloane, CIN (St. Louis Versiglia), Community of Lien Nghia, VIE (St. Callistus Caravario), Communty of Thanh Binh, VIE (St. Louis Versiglia), Community of Canlubang Prenovitiate, FIN (St. Versiglia & Caravario) and community of Dili, Provincial house, ITM (St. Caravario).