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ALA_5371

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Rome, 8 May 2020 --  "Studia di farti amare" (Strive to be loved) - one of the most moving sayings of Don Bosco, and one we also bear on our Salesian Cross, again distributed during the General Chapte 28 to all delegates. For every visitor or pilgrim to the 'Sacred Heart' house in Rome the 'must visit' location is the small 'Chapel of the Letter from Rome'. And for every Salesian these essential words from this 1884, May 10 letter are visible on the back of their perpetual profession cross.   One of the most famous researchers on Don Bosco, Fr Pietro Braido, defined it thus: "This is the most clear and essential expression of Don Bosco's pedagogy and one of the most meaningful expressions of Christian pedagogy." We have had this letter printed among the five 'Appendices' in the SDB Constitutions since the1984  edition, and it might be meaningful to take these few pages of Don Bosco again in our hands in these days around May 10th.


During the past 136 years this letter has gradually become better appreciated and highlighted. Some years ago Fr Ian Murdoch (AUL) in his 'Starting afresh from Don Bosco' (ed. 2007) shared the Letter from Rome as inspiration for comunity renewal (after GC25), recently in the 'Initial Proclamation and the Salesian Mission'  Seminar of Salesian Family (Sampran, Thailand 2017) one FMA sister presented 'The Letter from Rome of 1884 in light of Initial Proclamation' or Fr Michal Vojtas in his 'Reviving Don Bosco's Oratory' (UPS, 2017) presents the Letter from Rome in the light of Salesian planning mentality (p. 262).


One of the most famous researches on Don Bosco, Fr Pietro Braido, defined it thus: "This is the most clear and essential expression of Don Bosco's pedagogy and one of the most meaningful expressions of Christian pedagogy." We have this letter printed among the five 'Appendixes' in the SDB Constitutions since the1984  edition, and it might be meaningful to take these few pages of Don Bosco again in our hands in these days around May 10th.


During past 136 years this letter was slowly more and more appreciated and highlighted. Some years ago Fr. Ian Murdoch (AUL) in his 'Starting afresh from Don Bosco' (ed. 2007) shared the Letter from Rome as inspiration for comunity renewal (after GC25), recently in the 'Initial Proclamation and the Salesian Mission'  Seminar of Salesian Family (Sampran, Thailand 2017) one FMA sister presented 'The Letter from Rome of 1884 in light of Initial Proclamation' or Fr Michal Vojtas in his 'Reviving Don Bosco's Oratory' (UPS, 2017) presents the Letter from Rome in the light of Salesian planning mentality (p. 262).


Also during the Ash Wednesday recollection preached for the GC28 delegates at Valdocco (February 26), the Rector Major emeritus, Fr. Pascual Chavez shared his reflection on the Letter from Rome entitled: "Letter from Rome 1884: The Gospel of Don Bosco". His reflection is divided in 6 points:  1. Knowing how to use the language of love; 2. Understanding young people; 3. To have happiness at heart - call to happiness; 4. To be present - familiarity with the young people; 5. Overcoming formalism - fatherhood and authority and 6. Sharing the action - encounter and cordial collaboration. In the conclusion of his talk, Fr. Pascual points - why it's urgent to make our works real presences. Presence refers to something else that makes itself present. And what is this something else? It's the apostolic mission to which God sends us..."


Maybe now is the right time to take again the 'Gospel of Don Bosco' in our hands and in our common sharing.



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