Italy – Thanksgiving Eucharist for gift of holiness of Artemide Zatti: from Valdocco, Rector Major expresses thanks to God, celebrates value of Salesian lay vocation

12 October 2022

(ANS - Turin) - Giving thanks to God for the gift of Artemide Zatti's holiness and celebrating the great value of their vocation together with all Salesian Brothers around the world: this was the meaning of the Eucharistic Concelebration presided over yesterday, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, by Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco (Turin), in front of about 650 Salesian coadjutors who came from all over the world for the canonization events of Artemide Zatti, SDB.

On the day when the entire Salesian world, as requested by the Rector Major himself, celebrated Eucharists of thanksgiving to God for Zatti's canonization, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco led a Mass from Valdocco in which the international range, community spirit and fraternity proper to the Salesian charism were made fully manifest.

Concelebrating with the Rector Major, among the dozens of Salesians present behind the altar, were two Salesian bishops from Patagonia, Msgr. Esteban Laxague, bishop of Viedma, the city where Zatti lived and died, and Msgr. Bernardo Bastres Flores, bishop emeritus of Punta Arenas, Chile; also, Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family; and Fr. Leonardo Mancini, Superior of the Piedmont and Aosta Valley Special Circumscription (ICP); and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Chiara Cazzuola.

Opening his homily, delivered in Italian and Spanish and translated into English for assembly in the basilica, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco first expressed his "great happiness that today, throughout the day, in nearly 2,000 Salesian presences, a Eucharist is being offered to thank God for the gift of Zatti's holiness."

Then, articulating his reflection, he touched on two main points: the presence of the mystery of God in the life of St. Artemide Zatti and beyond; and the beauty and value of lay consecration.

He thus reflected on the fact that "holiness is not a human conquest, nor a reason for pride, but the presence of the mystery of God who makes Himself present among us." "To thank God for the holiness of Artemide Zatti," he continued, "means above all to thank Him because in His mystery God became closer in the life of a good man, who sought to love and serve. "

Why he invited everyone to thank "God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the mystery of their presence among us."

Next, on the second point of his reasoning, he pointed out very clearly, "St. Artemide Zatti was not a frustrated priest. He was a Salesian who, as a consequence of illness, was led by God to discover the great value of his vocation as a Salesian brother. Thus, his life and vocation speak to us of the great value of the consecration of religious life."

Looking at those present in the basilica, and thinking of the whole Salesian Congregation, he added further, "Among us there are some who are priests and others who are not. We are all consecrated Salesians of Don Bosco, and some of us live the priestly ministry. That is why I believe that in the future, looking at our confrere St. Artemide Zatti should help us discover the beauty and great value of lay consecration."

Finally, Fr. Á.F. Artime retraced the motto of Zatti's canonization – I believed, I promised, I was healed - and noted that it was a "very simple, but very profound" life plan, and that "in its simplicity it expresses a deep faith in God."

At the end of the concelebration, the day of celebration was completed with a moment of agape and fraternity, during which the brothers of the different Salesian Regions presented gifts to the Rector Major, and Fr. Á.F. Artime concluded the evening with a blessing.

Video of the Mass


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