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By Our Own Correspondent


RMG, January 24, 2019 -- In 3 years time the Catholic Church around the world will commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the death of Saint Francis de Sales (1622-2022). Many Salesians around the world, not only the 'experts ' in St Francis de Sales are trying to reply to a question: how to celebrate this precious occasion meaningfully?


Maybe we need to start from an honest assessment, that the younger generation of the SDBs (Salesians of Don Bosco) and of the Salesian Family are not so familiar with our Patron Saint. Yes, we are called Salesians, but the visibility of our Saintly Patron is rather low.


How many Aspirants and Novices have his 'Introduction to the Devout Life' at their fingertips? Indeed this valuable booklet is not yet translated into many EAO languages, including Bahasa Indonesia!


How many young Salesians are inspired by the model and writing for a deeper spiritual life, holiness in every day life? Indeed the Strenna 2019 'Holiness For You Too!' is deeply rooted in the spirituality and life-style of our Saint.


How many Salesian communities, schools, oratories, youth centers honour our Patron visibly with a statue, holy picture? We need to recognize his rather low visibility in many ways, even in the digital world.


Today is January 24, Liturgical Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, a good day to discover one unknown page about St. Francis.


It may be, for example, the 'Salesian Family of Saint Francis de Sales' (10+ groups), made up of the following groups: Oblates of St Francis de Sales, Visitation Sisters of Our Lady, Daughters of St Francis de Sales, Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, DeSales Secular Institute, Embraced by God, Missionaries of St Francis de Sales and many other groups. In North America (USA and Canada) over the past 7 years the SF of St Francis de Sales is closely networking with the Salesian Family of Don Bosco: NASN (North American Salesian Network) http://salesianspirituality.com.


It may be simply to take the 'Philothea' - Introduction to the Devout Life, from the library and open a few pages, not only those included in the Liturgy of Hours (Breviary) second reading.


Or may be you can take a simple test suggested by the third successor of Don Bosco, Paul Albera (January 1, 1915)


'Would you like to know if you have the spirit of Venerable Don Bosco (=essence of the Salesian spirit)?


Just take a simple personal test:

  1. If your character is always constantly holy, joyful
  2. If your charity towards your neighbour is really patient and loving
  3. If you are living in readiness for any necessary sacrifice."

My hope is that you can answer these three questions positively!'


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