|RMG – Together towards the Feast of Mary Help of Christians|
|RMG – The Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the Salesian DNA|
(ANS – Chiari) – On Friday 15 June, presiding at the funeral of Fr Silvio Galli, the Rector Major in the course of his homily gave a short but profound catechesis on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion which according to Salesian tradition and charism, could be one for the young.
The death of Fr Silvio Galli (1927 – 2012) has left a deep gap not only in the Salesian community of Chiari and in the Lombardy Emilian Province, but also in the lives of the many people for whom he was a confessor, a spiritual guide and especially a help. These include the members of the “Auxilium” Association which he founded to serve the most poor and disadvantaged. The day before the funeral about six thousand people passed in front of his coffin as a sign of affection and gratitude.
Among those taking part in the funeral attended by about three thousand people were the Rector Major, Fr Francesco Cereda and Fr Pier Fausto Frisoli, the General Councillors for Formation and for the Italy Middle East Region.
The day of the funeral coinciding with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart was an indication “of what he believed and communicated, what he lived himself and proposed to others, that is that our vocation is holiness and that we become holy doing what Jesus said and did: ‘loving God with all one’s heart, with all one’s mind with all one’s strength’ and ‘our neighbour as ourselves’”. It was certainly right to remember in the holy mass Fr Galli “ whose greatness human, spiritual and Salesian lay precisely in allowing himself to be loved by God so as to become himself the incarnation of the love of God for his neighbour especially the poorest, those most in need those on the fringes: a genuine Good Samaritan like Don Bosco”.
“This feast in fact shows us that everything is due to love, beginning with God’s original plan of creation, reaching the redemption and the eternal fulness of communion in God. All this shines out in a special way in the heart of Jesus.” Quoting some passages from ‘Gaudium et Spes’ and from the Gospels Fr Chávez explained that the wound in the side of Jesus has a twofold meaning: “it is first of all a door opened in the flesh of Christ, which enables us to enter into Him and his mystery. In this way we, as the Apostle Paul says, are able to know with all the saints, what is the breadth, the length, the height, the depths of the love of Christ’; and it is also the fountain from which flow blood and water. From the Heart of Christ flow the water that gives life and the blood that purifies.”
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus freed from sentimental expression, enriched from the bible and from theology, “ought to be preserved and spread as the supreme expression of the sensitive and human love of Jesus who gave himself to the Father and to us. – And then in more Salesian terms – It could become a devotion for the young, capable of attracting them, so open to love and to the symbol of the heart , and lead them to ‘draw water from the springs of salvation,’ which are only to be found in true love, that which becomes a self-giving and not the possession of other people.”
Quoting the articles of the Constitutions, he then said: “For us Salesians this devotion has become so familiar as to be assimilated to the icon of the Good Shepherd, ‘who wins hearts by gentleness and self-giving” (11), and to pastoral charity (14). Reflecting on the life of Don Bosco enables us to discover to what extent our dear Father and Founder was consciously inspired by the charity of Christ”. “Apostolic charity which is at the centre of our spirit, corresponds exactly with what our Patron called according to the language of his times, ‘devotion.’”
“Our life and our vocation are a continuation of the mission of Christ, in preaching, in blessing, in forgiving, in educating, in consoling, in saving. Therefore our mission consists not in doing things, no matter how dazzling, but in being signs and bearers of the love of God for the young and in this way becoming saints.”
The full text of the homily, in Italian, is available on sdb.org.