EAO Good Night Talk (59)
February 1, 2019
Do you know our Salesian saints?
Dear Friends and Salesian Family members,
Heartfelt greetings from the FIS Province (Southern Philippines - Pakistan) just after the Salesian month of January that ended yesterday with the Solemnity of Saint John Bosco!
During my Retreat at Colle Don Bosco last month I made a simple resolution to remind myself during this year, 2019, of one of ‘our Saints’ each day. So I have simply started to place one ‘official’ or ‘un-official’ Salesian family saint on my Facebook pages every day with some simple traits of that person and his/her photo.
We began the ‘Salesian month’ of January with the liturgical memory of Blessed Titus Zeman, 8 January, 50 years after his death (1969-2019) with a special Eucharist in the Sacro Cuore Basilica. With him we remembered so many Salesian family members who were and are still living under persecution. What strikes my attention is this: ‘Although we can’t talk about Jesus Christ to the young in many situations, nobody can forbid us to love young people like Jesus Christ did!’ Don’t forget that 70% of our SF Saints or Blesseds are martyrs!
Eleven years ago, during the 26th General Chapter, the entire Congregation was invited ‘to love, know, invoke, imitate and make known’ Don Bosco. But not only Don Bosco, since 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 our Salesian vocation. With each holy member of the Salesian Family I come to know a little bit better, I’m being motivated to live my own call with more energy, commitment and joy!
A few months ago, when I went to pray at the Salesian cemetery in Banpong, Thailand, I was surprised by a strong remark from Fr John Lissandrin, who pointed to one grave site saying: ‘This Salesian Brother passed away 30 years ago, but everybody remembers him as a model of the 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 remark made me think a lot about the wonderful impact of holy Salesian life on so many people over time.
In this month of February let us discover just one Salesian saint and allow him/her to enter our personal and community life! Have a great journey with our Salesian saints!
Fr. Václav Klement, SDB
EAO Regional Councilor