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Paranaque, Pilippines, June 8 - The liturgical memorial of Blessed Stephen (Istvan) Sandor is celebrated on 8th of June – day of his martyrdom in 1953 (Budapest – Hungary). For the Paranaque based community for the specific formation of Salesian Brothers, living under the protection of Blessed Stephen Sandor, it’s a special day.


There are 12 Brothers for this school year (five perpetually professed and seven temporary professed) belonging to eight different provinces (FIS, FIN, ITM, THA, CIN, MYM, INM and VIE). Students of the Biennium (specific formation for Brothers) are originally from Vietnam (6), India (2), Indonesia (1), Timor Leste (1), Thailand (1) and Myanmar (1). Among them are also three missionaries ad gentes (Pakistan, Papua New Guinea – Solomon Islands and China-Hong Kong). During this school year they are studying English (newcomers), Biennium for Salesian Brothers, Master in Religious Studies, Bachelor in Theology. For the first time there are two brothers from South Asia region (India-Chennai province) still on arrival. Quite large family – Armando, Luyen, Saraphan, Hai, Bernardinus, Columban, Minh Tam, Thien, Hung, Khai, Vanathayian and Selladurai – together with their three formators.


For first year brothers will either take the English course first (if needed, as determined by their entrance exam) or the Biennium course. Fr. Rey Dela Cruz of DBCS is working to make the Biennium of the Brothers an MRS (Master in Religious Studies) Course.


Fr. Arnold Sanico (rector of Sandor Community) shares: “By the way, we shall be celebrating the feast of Blessed Stephen Sandor this Monday, June 8. This coincides with the opening Mass of the DBCS school year. Pray for us formators and Salesian Brothers, we might growth in Salesian vocation day by day.”


At the moment, there are only two communities around the Salesian Congregation for the specific formation of Brothers – one in Guatemala (Cresco) with 15 Brothers from all American provinces and the second one in Paranaque with 12 Brothers (Sandor).


Through the intercession of Blessed Stephen Sandor let’s pray for the attractive life witness of 2000 Salesian Brothers around the world and for new Salesian Brothers Vocation.


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  • vaclav 2015.06.08 15:33

    BLESSED STEPHEN (Istvan) SÁNDOR,

    Salesian Brother

    Beginning of the Process: 24/05/2006
    Closing Diocesan Enquiry: 12/08/2007
    Decree of Martyrdom: 27/03/2013
    Beatification: 19/10/2013

     

    Admired by his friends 

    Stephen Sandor was born in Szolnok, in Hungary, on 26 November 1914 son of Stephen and Maria Fekete, first of three brothers. His father worked with the State Railways, and the mother at home. Both gave their children a deep religious spirit. Stephen studied in the city gaining a diploma in metallurgy. As a youngster he was admired by his friends, and was happy, serious and gentle. He liked hanging around with his friends, and was a  leader amongst them, like John Bosco was for the young people of Chieri. He helped his younger brothers to study and pray, giving them his own example. He was fervent at the time of his Confirmation and promised to imitate St Peter, whose name he took for Confirmation.

    Came to know about Don Bosco through the Salesian Bulletin

    Each day he served Mass at the Franciscans and received Communion. Reading the Salesian Bulletin he came to know about Don Bosco. He immediately felt attracted by the Salesian charism. He spoke to his spiritual director, expressing a desire to enter the Salesian Congregation. He spoke to his parents about it. They did not give permission and sought to dissuade him. But Stephen ended up convincing them, and in 1936 he was accepted at the Clarisseum, where he made an aspirantate of two years. He completed a course in how to be a printer at the “Don Bosco” Printery. He began his novitiate but it was interrupted by military service.

    Model teacher

    In 1939 he began to complete his novitiate and made his first vows on 8 September 1940. Asked to go to the Clarisseum, he immediately began to teach technical courses. He was also assistant at the Oratory, something he did competnetly and enthusiastically. He fostered the Young Catholic Workers. His group was recognised as the best in the Movement. Following Don Bosco's example, he became a model teacher. In 1942 he was called back to the Front, and earned a silver medal of military valour. He made a festive oratory out of the trenches encouraging his young friends in a Salesian style.

    Master printer and a Salesian Brother

    At the end of the Second World War he involved himself in rebuilding society morally and materially, especially in the case of poor young people whom he gathered around him in order to teach them a trade. On 24 July 1946 he made his perpetual profession as a Salesian Brother. In 1948 he gained the title of Master Printer. Stephen's students, when they compelted their studies, were employed by the best printeries in the State and in the city. 

    Cause of martyrdom

    A period of persecution of Catholic schools began, and they had to close. Stephen was working in the printery, but he had to escape and hide in Salesian Houses, working under a false name in public Printeries.

    In July 1952 he was arrested while working, and his confreres never saw him again. His Cause of martyrdom was opened  at Budapest on 24 May 2006 and he was declared Blessed on 19th October 2013. His liturgical memorial is on 8 June.

     

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