Vatican City, Vatican - December 2019 - On December 19, at the end of the morning audience, Pope Francis met refugees who have recently arrived from Lesbos via humanitarian corridors. The Holy Father had a cross placed in the access to the Apostolic Palace from the Belvedere Courtyard in memory of migrants and refugees: "I decided to exhibit here this life jacket, 'crucifix' on this cross, to remind us that we must keep our eyes open, keep the heart open, to remind everyone of the mandatory effort to save every human life, a moral duty that unites believers and non-believers."
(ANS - Rome) - Historians recall that in 1934 Mario Giuseppe Francesco and Regina María Sívori, daughter of an Argentine and a Piedmontese, met in the Salesian Oratory of San Antonio, in the Argentine neighborhood of Almagro. The two went to Mass and in those environments the love that they professed forever was born. They were married on 12 December 1935; on 17 December 1936 Jorge Mario was born, the first child of four others: Alberto Horacio, Óscar Adrián, Marta Regina and María Elena, the Pope's only surviving sister.
(ANS - Rome) - 50 years have gone by. It was December 13, 1969, just four days before his 33rd birthday, when Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a priest. His vocation dates back to 21 September 1953, the Feast of St. Matthew. In the his memories of this priest, today Pope Francis, the prayer he wrote for that memorable day has remained impressed upon him: "I believe that in the story, which was pierced through by the gaze of God's love, on the day of spring, September 21, He came forth to invite me to follow Him ... And I hope in the surprise of every day, in which love and strength, betrayal and sin manifest themselves, that they will always accompany me until that final encounter with that marvellous face that I do not know how it is, which constantly escapes me, but which I want to know and love."
1934: Mario Giuseppe Francesco and Regina María Sívori, who met at the Salesian Oratory in San Antonio, get married.
1936: Jorge Mario Bergoglio receives the first Catholic sacrament in the parish of San Carlo Borromeo and Basilica of Mary Help of Christians.
Vatican City, Vatican - December 2019 - On December 5, Pope Francis received Delegations from the Italian regions of Trentino and the Veneto at the audience in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican for the gift of the Christmas Tree and the Crib set up in St. Peter's Square. During the address to those present, the Pontiff expressed his deep gratitude, and underlined among other things "The crèche is a simple and admirable sign of our faith and should not be lost, on the contrary, it is beautiful that it is handed down by parents to children, from grandparents to grandchildren."
(ANS - Tokyo) - "From November 23 to 26 we received Pope Francis in Japan. We were surprised by his warm closeness, by his vigorous messages against the use and immoral possession of atomic weapons, on the protection of human life and the care of Creation, on the solidarity of refugees and immigrants." Thus, the bishop of Saitama, the Salesian Msgr. Mario Yamanouchi.
Italy – Listening to the voices of missionaries: Edwin Seminario Rivera, departing with the 153rd Salesian Missionary Expedition
(ANS - Castelnuovo Don Bosco) - With only one day left before the sending-off ceremony of the 153rd Salesian Missionary Expedition, we let Salesian cleric Edwin Seminario Rivera, a 24-year-old Peruvian destined for the Salesian missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, tell us about his missionary journey and future prospects in mission lands.
Listening With Our Heart
Little John was watching the television and the sight of the African children being shown in utter poverty made him cry, and after sobbing in desperation he got up and pulled out a few slices of bread and went near the television and started pushing those slices in every small little hole on the back of the television. In his simplicity, he thought he was offering a little bread to those hungry children. The little boy expresses best what it means to listen with the heart.
The attentive gaze of a mother by the side of her child, and the slightest cry or movement of the child makes her respond immediately with a gentle touch or a caress, and this too is perhaps another example of what it means to listen with the heart. The mother feels what the child needs.
Listening with the heart is the experience of a noble, loving, compassionate person. Looking around, we see millions of people who suffer in silence every day. Everyone longs to be heard and listened to. But the raging fire and chaos, noise and humdrums have caused so much of deafness within, and we only listen to some sounds. We have lost the quality to empathize, to listen and to feel.
The call to listen with the ear of one’s heart, is the invitation of Pope Francis in light of the 56th World Communications Day, that is popularly celebrated on the Ascension Sunday every year. Are we really truly listening? Why do we struggle to listen? How can we listen with our heart? These can be some areas of introspection as we ponder on this theme of the World Communications Day – “Listening with the ear of the heart”.
Italy - Expo AgriCultura Lombriasco - "Hortus: Agriculture for Life": International Fair among Salesian Agricultural Schools in the world returns
(ANS - Lombriasco) - After the positive response of the first edition of Expo "AgriCultura" Lombriasco, the second edition entitled "Hortus: Agriculture for Life", with important new features, takes place from September 29 to October 2, 2022, at the Salesian Agricultural School of Lombriasco (Via San Giovanni Bosco, 7 - Lombriasco - Turin), in the land of St. John Bosco.
RMG - "Educating and Evangelizing Today in the Digital Habitat. Together with young people, toward the future": Part Two
(ANS – Rome) - Last month saw the presentation of the new series of articles by Fr. Gildasio Mendes, General Councilor for Social Communication, aimed at exploring the theme, "Educating and Evangelizing Today in the Digital Habitat. Together with young people, toward the future." Today, giving continuity to this series of reflections, the second contribution is published, through which Fr. Mendes invites us to deepen the principal question of this new series: how to educate and evangelize today in the digital environment?
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
“I BELIEVED, I PROMISED, I RECOVERED!”. Artemides Zatti: Gospel of vocation and a Church that cares
Letter from the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, a few days before the canonisation of Artemide Zatti (9 October 2022).