Comunicati Stampa

(Rome, February 9, 2024) – The Strennas that Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, now Cardinal, has produced and disseminated in his 10 years at the head of the Salesian Congregation (2014-2024) are the subject of a publication by his Secretary and spokesperson, Fr Giuseppe Costa. The collection is entitled "Called to Love with Hope" and in the introduction among other things states, the authoritative contributions of journalist Enzo Romeo, professor of the Theological Faculty of Sicily Massimo Naro, and sociologist Cecilia Costa, of the University of Roma Tre, who, from their point of view, make a transversal reading of the volume.

The tradition of the Strennas by the Rectors Major of the Salesian Congregation represents a special element of Don Bosco's legacy. In the Salesian context, the Strenna is a symbolic and significant gift offered by the Rector Major – the Superior General of the Congregation – to those who share the Salesian mission in the world. It is usually offered at Christmas time, between Christmas and New Year, to inspire the pastoral care for the following year.

In addition to offering readers the full texts of the messages of the Strennas offered by the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, the book includes posters created by the Salesian Info Agency (ANS) on the occasion of the annual publication of the individual Strennas, and is also enriched with some other photos, provided by ANS and by "IME Comunications", relating to trips, visits, meetings and moments in the life of Ángel Fernández Artime.

On Thursday, 29 February 2024, the book will be presented at the Maria Santissima Bambina Institute, at Via Paolo VI, Rome, during an event that can also be followed remotely by watching the live stream available on YouTube.

The presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. (UTC+1), with an introduction by Fr Giuseppe Costa, editor of the volume. Speeches will then be given by Valentina Alazraki, Vatican Journalist, correspondent for "Televisa" (Mexico); Roberto Cipriani, Professor emeritus of Sociology, University of Roma Tre; Marco Girardo, Director of "Avvenire"; and Arianna Rotondo, Professor of History of Christianity and the Churches, University of Catania and Card. Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians. The moderator of the presentation will be Luca Caruso, Journalist, Press Officer of the "Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation".

(Rome, July 14, 2023) – Following the unexpected announcement by Pope Francis of the appointment of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesian Congregation, as Cardinal, the Rector Major himself has written a letter to Salesians and the Salesian Family, sharing what the future foresees for governance of the Congregation.

Fr Á.F. Artime began by stressing that the news was completely "unexpected" for him, and that he welcomed it as a "gift that Pope Francis has given us as a Salesian Congregation and as the Family of Don Bosco".

“How much the Pope loves us!!!” the Rector Major writes.

Pope Francis himself, recounts the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, summoned Fr Á.F. Artime to the Vatican on Tuesday 11 July, for an appointment that he wanted, with fatherly attention, "to agree on the necessary timing of my service as Rector Major, for the good of the Congregation."

At the end of the conversation with the Rector Major, the Holy Father, who “was attentive, warm and a profound admirer of Don Bosco's charism and particularly affectionate”, has decided that Fr Á.F. Artime continue his service as Rector Major and Cardinal at the same time, for one year. He will then convene a General Chapter – the Congregation’s 29th – to be held in February 2025,during which a new Rector Major will be elected. He will offer his resignation from governance of the Congregation on 31 July 2024. From that point on his Vicar, Fr Stefano Martoglio, will assume governance of the Congregation ad interim, and it will be he who presides at GC29.

The Rector Major states in his communique that when his resignation becomes effective, he will take up the task entrusted to him by the Holy Father, a task he is not yet aware of. And he asks the Salesians and the Salesian Family to intensify their prayers for the Pope and also for himself "faced with the prospect of this new service in the Church which, as a son of Don Bosco, I accept in obedience, without having sought it, nor wanted it.”

The complete letter of the Rector Major is available at the bottom of the page (on ANS website) in Italian, English, Spanish (Spain), Latin American Spanish, French and Portuguese.

(ANS - Rome) - A group of 30 journalists accredited to the Vatican Press Office and the Italian Foreign Press will be spending next weekend (Dec. 16-18) on a "Press Tour" in Turin, focusing on the central places where St. John Bosco worked. The group is organized by Fr. Giuseppe Costa, Secretary of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, and co-spokesperson for the Congregation.

Professionally, it represents agencies such as Aleteia, SIR, AciStampa, AsiaNews; radio and TV stations such as Radio Cope (Spain), RAI, Radio Corallo, TeleDehon, Tv2000, Telenova, EWTN (USA); newspapers and magazines such as Famiglia Cristiana, Avvenire, Il Fatto Quotidiano, La Sicilia, Niedziela (Poland); and others such as New York’s La Voce. Salesian Communication is represented by the Director of the Salesian iNfo Agency - ANS, Fr. Harris Pakkam, and IME-Communication, Fr. Pierluigi Lanotte.

The journalists will depart by train from Rome to Turin-Valdocco where they will meet for a press conference Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, Don Bosco's 10th Successor, who has just returned from a series of international trips and meetings. They shall also visit the recently renovated and enriched Casa Don Bosco House Museum. On Saturday they will go to Colle Don Bosco Hill with an initial stop at the Church of Castelnuovo to see the Baptismal Font where Don Bosco became a Christian and then visit the Temple dedicated to him and the Missionary Museum. The tour ends on Sunday with a Mass at the Turin Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, mother and protector of Don Bosco, and those who look to his spiritual leadership.

Many the faces of the next saint: migrant, nurse, pharmacist, but above all Salesian "coadjutor"


(Rome, Oct. 6, 2022) - At 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, on the parvis of the Vatican Basilica, the Holy Father Francis shall preside at the Eucharistic Celebration during which Blessed Artemide Zatti, professed layman of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco (Oct. 12, 1880, Boretto, Italy - March 15, 1951, Viedma, Argentina), and Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, bishop of Piacenza and founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles and the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, (July 8, 1839, Fino Mornasco, Italy - June 1, 1905, Piacenza, Italy), shall be canonized.

The canonization of Salesian Artemide Zatti - the first non-martyr Salesian to be proclaimed a saint - is a source of profound joy and gratitude for the entire Congregation and Salesian Family, as well as for the Church in Argentina, the land to which the future saint emigrated at the age of 17.

Different, yet equally relevant, the two figures of holiness united in the same celebration by Pope Francis. The founder of the Scalabrinians dedicated his mission to those who had to leave their homeland in search of work. The Salesian Zatti, a migrant himself, dedicated his life to caring for the sick, in whom he found ways to serve Jesus Himself.

Zatti's biographical profile and history of holiness are varied and very rich: originally from Boretto, in the Province of Reggio Emilia, he found himself emigrating with his entire family. He worked in the fields and as a tiler, before devoting himself body and soul to the mission that engaged his entire life: the care of the sick at the missionary hospital that the Salesians animated in Viedma, in Argentine Patagonia.

He worked in that hospital for about 50 years (1902-1951) as a nurse, pharmacist, and administrator, never losing touch with his primary vocation, that of Salesian coadjutor - consecrated with the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Esteemed by all the sick and by the healthcare workers themselves, who gradually gave him greater and greater freedom of action, "the holy nurse," the "relative of all the poor," as he was called already during his lifetime, saw and served Jesus Himself in the sick.

He died on March 15, 1951, from a tumor he self-diagnosed and fully accepted.

He was declared Venerable on 7 July 1997 and beatified by St. John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on April 14, 2002.

The unexplained healing that paved the way for Artemide Zatti's canonization occurred in the Philippines in August 2016 and concerned a man who had suffered an ischemic stroke - accompanied by further complications - whose brother, a Salesian coadjutor, started a prayer chain invoking the family member's healing through the intercession of Blessed Artemide Zatti.

It is worth remembering that the Holy Father Francis also has a great devotion to Artemis Zatti because, when he was a Jesuit Provincial in Argentina, through his intercession, he obtained numerous vocations of lay brothers for the Society of Jesus. It was Pope Francis himself who testified to this in a letter he wrote to an Argentine Salesian in 1986, and which Fr. Juan Edmundo Vecchi, Don Bosco's 7th Successor at the head of the Salesian Congregation, enclosed in the Letter published in view of Artemide Zatti's beatification.

Because of the canonization of Artemide Zatti, the Salesian Congregation has scheduled other important events in the immediately preceding and following days.

On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 8, at 10 a.m. (UTC+2), in the "Paul VI Hall" at the Vatican, the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, will preside at a solemn Mass; following this, several testimonies on the figure of the future saint shall be offered. At noon, there will be a special audience by Pope Francis for all Salesians and members of the Salesian Family who have convened because of Zatti's canonization.

In the afternoon, the many pilgrims present in Rome will be able to embark upon a guided pilgrimage to Don Bosco's places in Rome, with itineraries for different language groups.

On Monday, Oct. 10, at 11:00 a.m. (UTC+2) at the Argentine National Church in Rome, Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches, will preside over a Mass of thanksgiving for Zatti's canonization for the Argentine faithful gathered in Rome.

While on Oct. 11, at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin-Valdocco - the birthplace of Don Bosco's Oratory and the Salesian Congregation - Rector Major presides at a Eucharist of thanksgiving for the gift of sainthood of Artemide Zatti, together with many Salesian coadjutors who have come especially from all over the world.


For further information and to coordinate any interview requests, contact Fr Maciej Makula, SDB: +39 349 983 3841 or +48 692 477 615 (also via WhatsApp).

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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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