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By Bro. Lawrence Bang dae-seok, SDB

       Neri- Korea, 22 October 2022 -- One of the 600 Salesian Brothers who participated in the canonization events of Brother Artemides Zatti on October 8-9 in the Vatican and one of the 200 SDBs who continued after the canonization to go on pilgrimage to Don Bosco's holy places - Br. Lawrence Bang from Korea spent 10 days in Italy. Brother Lawrence shares his thoughts in the KOR provincial newsletter (November issue 2022):

       "I was so proud and happy, when during the recent Provincial community day (Sept 3-4) Father Provincial shared the news about Br. Zatti's canonization and also the invitation from the Rector Major to join the canonization events.

       September is celebrated in the Korean Church as the Month of the Martyrs and while meditating on our Saintly Martyrs it was a graced opportunity to reflect on my vocation journey, 25 years after my first profession and ponder on Brother Zatti, before his canonization.

       Upon our arrival in Rome with 15 other Korean confreres (one priest and 15 brothers), I could feel the family unity and communion with the sons of Don Bosco gathered from all corners of the world - silently, humbly and full of faith. The canonization was a time of great mutual encouragement and strengthening through fraternal sharing, even though we were not able communicate amongst us well enough.

       St Peter's square at 10 AM on October 9: I felt so blessed that I could be there at this historical moment. A mystery - before the canonization I gazed up at the sky and asked myself, tried to figure out: "What kind of heart and thoughts did Brother Zatti have when he attended Don Bosco's canonization in 1934?"

       When the elderly Pope Francis (87) celebrated the canonization Mass in the presence of some 50,000 pilgrims, the mere sight of the Pope became an earnest prayer: What a glorious time! When he declared Brother Zatti a Saint, numerous pilgrims erupted in powerful shouts with fervent thanksgiving: "Dear God, thank you so much!" At that moment I felt what is happening in heaven, Jesus is covering countless souls with his cloak, Don Bosco and Zatti are greeting and embracing each other.

       After the canonization Mass, after dinner with other Salesian Brothers, in simple words we shared our hearts: one felt a strong will to live life as a Salesian full of passion like Brother Zatti, for another the canonization was a ceremony full of joy, some have asked for a gift of prayer life to live as true religious, some were crying with joy. Many of the Brothers expressed their gratitude to be in Rome for this occasion or asked the grace to carry their cross in difficult pastoral situations like Brother Zatti.

       Before leaving Rome our leader suggested I ask for the grace of healing. Indeed since 2020 until now I have twice been diagnosed with cancer and I'm still struggling with my health. But during the pilgrimage I was asking the grace of healing not for me, but for many other cancer patients. And I was asking through the intercession of Brother Zatti to be able carry on with my sickness with a serene mind and heart, with patience and do my best.

       Now I've decided to follow the example of Brother Zatti in my daily life, with an open heart to the young on my life path with courage and hope. Like Zatti I would like to look at Jesus the Good Shepherd and discover Him in youth in need like Good Samaritan Zatti.

       This year I received two great gifts: my Silver Jubilee of religious profession and participation in the canonization of Brother Zatti. Since my birthday falls on October 9 I will never forget this event. I'm also very grateful to the confreres who accompanied us during the 10 days in Italy - Fr Marcello Baek (vice-provincial and our guide), Br Hilario Seo (our tireless interpreter) and Br Mark Choi who silently offered a lot of help behind the scenes.

       I would like to end with the moving words of our exemplary Salesian religious, Saint Brother Zatti: 'I believed, because I knew that Mary, Help of Christians assistance is manifested in many ways. I made a promise, because I always wanted to help my neighbour in some way. And I was healed because God listened to his servant."

       Thanks to Brother Lawrence for this heartfelt sharing and maybe some other EAO Brothers who went for the canonization will offer their sharing for our encouragement and inspiration!

       Saint Artemides Zatti, Pray for Us!
































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