Hong Kong, China, 4 November 2021 -- On 23 October 2021 (Saturday), the Salesian China Province had the book launching of the Chinese Translation of two Salesian books, entitled "A Lamp Resplendent" and "Martyrs in China", held at the Parish Church of Mary Help of Christians in Kowloon, Hong Kong. This commemorative event is a way of celebrating this year 2021 dedicated to the memory of Fr Paul Albera. After the book launching, the Salesian Family prayed the Holy Rosary together for all missionaries, who are members of the same family and also pray for the World Mission Sunday of the next day.
The Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernandez, announced in his letters of 2020 (AGC 432) that 2021 would be the Year of Fr Albera to mark the 100th anniversary of the second successor of Don Bosco; and that the Salesian Family would especially commemorate this Rector Major throughout the year. Fr Albera was elected as Rector Major during the GC11, succeeding Fr Rua from 1910 until his death on October 29, 1921.
The Provincial Vicar, Fr. Domingos Leong, said that to commemorate Fr Albera, he immediately checked the relevant Chinese materials and found that the resources are mostly in Italian, which is not easy to promote in China Province. And the English works can only be found in United States East Province, the book “A Lamp Resplendent” by Fr. Angelo Franco was published in 1950. Therefore, Fr. Domingos invited several young Salesians to help him and immediately divided the work to translate the English book into Chinese in order to fill the gap of not having Chinese materials.
Fr. Domingos shared that the title of the book "A Lamp Resplendent" was originally derived from Don Bosco’s dream. Don Bosco had a dream on the day the young Paul Albera was accepted into the Congregation. In the dream, "Paul Albera held a lamp and it glowed like noon...." Fr. Domingos added that in order to increase the readability of the book, the Generalate in Rome was requested to provide some precious photos of Don Albera, including the group photos of the two groups of missionaries sent to China during the his term as Rector Major. In addition, there is also an appendix in the book. Don Albera entrusted the missionaries who were sent to China, to pass the chalice he used in the Golden Jubilee of his ordination and the Blessing of Basilica of Mary Help of Christian to Don Luigi Versiglia, the superior of the mission of China. This becomes a prophetic realization.
The second newly translated book in Chinese launched during the event was introduced by Fr. Pedro Leung, the Social Communication Delegate of China Province, “Martiri in Cina” by Guido Bosio (the first draft was translated as "Martyrs in China") published in 1985. It is a tribute to the 90th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Luigi Versiglia and St. Callistus Caravario and the 20th anniversary of their canonization.
Fr. Pedro stated that there are three characteristics of the new book. Firstly, when the author wrote this book; he referred to the hand written notes of the two saints, contacting people who were contemporaries with the sage, and those who knew and lived in China with them. Secondly, the author has referred to many missionary publications and newsletters to get to know the saint’s missionary work in China, and some photos were brought back from the China Province.Thirdly, the development of the Congregation in China for the first 25 years was centered on Bishop Luigi Versiglia. From the history background, we can see the hard years of China in the early 30 years of the 20th century; it marked a serious social and political turmoil and profound changes.
A similar book launching will be held in Macau on 13 November during the postponed Salesian Family gathering of 16 August.