(ANS - Rome) - The Salesian commitment to fight Covid-19 is a global initiative as much as the pandemic is global, and has not left any Salesian Province or presence in the world indifferent. This is true not only in the extreme peripheries of the Congregation, but also at its base: last Friday, at the "Sacred Heart" in Rome, which houses the Salesian Headquarters, the young people of the Salesian oratory, in collaboration with the international volunteer organization "Serve the City", distributed health kits for the prevention of coronavirus infections to the homeless around Termini station.
São Paulo, Brazil - 1886 - This is how the main building of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Lyceum and the chapel of the same name appeared in 1886, when they were handed over to the first Salesians who arrived in São Paulo. Today, the premises of the Lyceum house the MOSB, the Museum of the Salesian presence in Brazil, officially established in 2008. The Museum, which can also be visited through Google Arts & Culture, has a vast collection of historical images and photographs, which trace the history of the Salesian Congregation in Brazil.
Rome, Italy - June 2020 - On Friday 19 June, in the courtyard of the Salesian Central Office, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, presided over the Eucharist on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, concelebrated by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and by Fr Carlo Zucchetti, parish priest of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. About 300 people attended the event, in compliance with the anti-COVID-19 regulations in force.
(ANS - Rome) - For Fr Costantino Vendrame, a missionary with the strength of faith and the persuasive sweetness of charity, the Sacred Heart was everything: and he propagated his devotion, joining that to Mary. So on October 14, 1924, while waiting to embark for India, he wrote on the back of a picture: "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I have entrusted everything in you, I have hoped for everything and I have not been confused."
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was already practiced in the Middle Ages.
Between 1673 and 1675 Jesus appeared to Marguerite-Marie Alacoque, a French nun of the order of the Visitation (order founded by Saint Francis de Sales).
Jesus asked Marguerite-Marie Alacoque that the Friday after the octave of Corpus Domini be dedicated to a particular feast day to honor his Heart.
Rome, Italy - May 2020 - On 14 May 1887, Don Bosco attended the consecration of the temple dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On 16 May 1887, he celebrated his only Mass at the altar dedicated to Mary Help of Christians. "More than 15 times he was seen fighting to finish the Holy Mass," report the Biographical Memoirs. To assist him was Fr Carlo Viglietti, his secretary. "Don Bosco's crying greatly impressed those present and many began to cry." The painting is a work of art by Giuseppe Rollini (1887) and the altar was donated by Prince Torlonia.
East Timor – Interview with Br Marcal Lopes, SDB
(ANS – Fatumaca) – The population of East Timor is about 1.3 million and 60% have less than 24 years of age. So East Timor (Republica Democratica de Timor Leste - RDTL) is an ideal territory for the Salesians. Here is an interview with the Timorese Salesian Brother, Marçal A. Lopes.
Spain – “United for others”: IV Provincial Meeting of Salesian Social Platforms
(ANS - Seville) - The IV Meeting of the Salesian Social Platforms of the "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" (SMX) Province took place at the end of last month in digital mode on the theme: "United for others". The meeting brought together about 50 participants, including Rectors, Heads of social platforms and of individual areas of action. In the first part of the meeting there was a reflection on the Rector Major's Strenna, as a message of stimulus in the face of the challenges that await the Social Platforms. Specifically, in his opening speech to the meeting, Fr Joan Valls, Coordinator of Social Platforms, referred to the challenges that social platforms must take on deriving from two situations. On the one hand, the pandemic: discerning what it implies and what it calls for; on the other hand, the definitive start-up of the new Salesian foundation of the SMX Province.
Mongolia – “Just to be with the young is already a meaningful missionary action”
(ANS – Darkhan) – Darkhan Oratory in Mongolia is actually the first activity of the Salesian mission in Darkhan City, where the first two Salesians reached Darkhan in April 2005. One of them was Fr Andrew Nguyen Trung Tin, who today tells about the Salesian Mission in that land.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
DON BOSCO, THE MAN OF GOD WHO ALWAYS ASKED OTHERS FOR HELP
Dear friends of Don Bosco and his charism, I greet you almost at the end of 2020, this year which we have lived through and which we will remember as a hard year, painful in many ways. It is a year that has changed us – without intending to have done so – in our lifestyle, habits, and customs perhaps but, certainly, at least, in the rhythm of our personal, family, and community life. While thinking about all that a year means, I pondered on something that I keep very much in my heart. I don’t know if it is due to how I was raised or to my own nature but I have engraved into my very being the need to give thanks constantly and to be grateful for the so very many things that I receive in my life as a free gift, having nothing to do with personal merit. I don’t know if others feel this way. Maybe other people consider that everything they have is owed to them, even life itself, but this is not how I feel.