RMG - Volunteers of Don Bosco: silent witnesses of God in the world

02 May 2017

(ANS - Rome) -  The Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDB) are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year with a promising and fascinating future ahead of them.  In 1917, their founder, Fr Filippo Rinaldi, started the first group of consecrated lay people. Fr Joan Lluís Playà, Central Assistant of the Don Bosco Volunteer, describes the fascinating figure of these women who, without any external signs, carry God in their lives and are witness to divine love in the Salesian style.

Who are the VDBs?

They are a Secular Institute belonging to the Salesian Family, founded by Blessed Filippo Rinaldi 100 years ago. They are consecrated women with and for God, who live their mission in the world, in normal living conditions and in a typically Salesian spirituality.

What sense has a vocation like that of the VDB today?

I respond in the words of a young VDB: "We realize that this is a prophetic vocation and that not everyone understands its value. The important thing in this world is the appearance. But what sense have the things the world considers important if there is no spirituality? Our vocation becomes a prophecy."

What do they bring of Salesian spirituality into their lives?

Everything - the experience of God, evangelical life, docility to the Spirit, sense of Church, Marian experience, prayer, the spirituality of the Preventive System in daily life, pastoral charity, the preference for poor young people, the family spirit, optimism, joy, work, temperance, spirit of initiative, and communion with other groups of the Salesian Family, and so on.

What is the number of VDBs in the world?

The Institute is made up of 1,200 women, present in 46 countries on 5 continents: 140 between Asia and Oceania, 410 in America, 610 in Europe and 40 in Africa. This kind of vocation grows among young people in Christian environments that are spiritually alive and where there is good accompaniment, where there is an explicit demand for "something more" or "to go further". Vocations emerge in busy environments where there are people able to accompany them and open horizons that facilitate the search for God's will in life. It is a challenge and a responsibility for all those who are part of the Salesian Family who want to know better the vocation to consecrated secularity in Salesian life and to be available, like Don Rinaldi, to be mediators of God's call.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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