(ANS - Rome) - January 8 is the liturgical memorial celebration of Blessed Titus Zeman, a Slovak Salesian priest, who died in hatred of the faith at the age of 54 (Vajnory, January 4, 1915 - Bratislava, January 8, 1969). He was beatified on 30 September 2017 in the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. “By this, we came to know love: He gave His life for us; thus we too must give our life for our brothers” (1 Jn 3:16). It was in listening to this Word of God during the celebration of the Eucharist that Titus Zeman felt in his heart the inspiration and strength to sacrifice his own life for the salvation of vocations, overcoming fear and declaring himself ready to follow the will of God, trusting in divine mercy and hoping for eternal life. His offer, repeated several times during the dangerous years: “Even if I lost my life, I would not consider it wasted knowing that at least one of those I had helped became a priest in my place” is for us a seed of hope and trust in new generations.
(ANS - Rome) - In Fr Luigi Versiglia, missionary and superior of the Salesians in China, there was always a great desire to acquire the virtues necessary to become a good missionary, convinced that at the basis of every apostolate for souls there must be profound piety, union with God and entrustment to Mary Help of Christians. At the beginning of Lent in 1920 he sent all the confreres a circular in which he summarized his thoughts in five points that became known as the five commandments of the missionary:
(ANS - Rome) - The process of disseminating "Young Salesians and accompaniment – Orientations and Guidelines" continues and the seed video for January occupies a special place. It is Don Bosco's month: the video begins in his room in Valdocco, where it all began. Kept there now is a small seed measuring 10 x 5 cm, the tiny notebook on which Michele Rua, aged sixteen, wrote on January 26, 1854: “On the evening of January 26, 1854 we gathered in Don Bosco's room; with Don Bosco himself, Rocchietti, Artiglia, Cagliero and Rua. A practical exercise of charity towards one's neighbour, with the help of the Lord and of St. Francis de Sales, was proposed to us; and later to take a promise, if it seems possible and convenient, to make a vow to the Lord. From that evening the name Salesian was placed on those ready to do the same.”
Hong Kong – A nativity scene in times of pandemic
(ANS - Hong Kong) - Salesian Brother Paul Li, 85, Economer of the Salesian Missionary House in Hong Kong, is also known for his ability to decorate Salesian churches and houses on the occasion of various holidays. For Christmas 2020 he created a very current pandemic-themed nativity scene.
Italy – VII Don Bosco Conference: "Educating ... A choice that is a sign and bearer of hope"
(ANS - Sesto San Giovanni) - As usual, in view of the Feast Day of Don Bosco, the “Don Bosco” Social Works of Sesto San Giovanni are promoting a high-level educational conference. This year the organizers have chosen a theme that combines education, at the center of the Salesian charism, with the theme of hope, delivered by the Rector Major to the Salesian Family through the Strenna for 2021. Title of this seventh edition of the conference - which this year will not be in attendance, but in live streaming - is in fact: “Educating… A choice that is a sign and bearer of hope”. Leading the work sessions, on January 20, from 14:30 to 17:00 (UTC + 1), will be Fr Fabio Attard.
Democratic Republic of Congo – Jean-Claude Michaël Imani returns to family
(ANS - Bukavu) - Jean-Claude Michaël Imani is a young man born in 2003 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A problematic boy, who already around the age of seven was able to leave at will and at any time without saying goodbye and return after many days, was welcomed at the Don Bosco center in April 2019, after spending more than 7 years on the street. Recently, thanks to the Salesians and the commitment of many people, he has been able to reunite with his family.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
DON BOSCO – THE GENIUS WHO KNEW HOW TO MAKE HIS BOYS HAPPY
Dear readers and friends, this January issue coincides with the great worldwide celebration of Don Bosco’s feast on January 31. And there is something else: