The video is filmed in the Chablais, the land that saw Francis, just a year after his ordination as priest, embark on an extremely difficult and risky mission, to which he dedicated all of himself. It became for him a time of formation where the hidden seed bore much fruit. The characteristics that Don Bosco most intensely wants to make his own by imitating St. Francis de Sales and desires them to be part of our way of life come mainly from the formidable "inter gentes" formation that Francis lived as a missionary in the Chablais.
“It was here in these lands that the motto so dear to Don Bosco was born: ‘Da mihi animas cetera tolle’”.
“In the Eucharist, Francis prepared his heart to become a missionary. This is the only way to explain why he would gain so many conversions over four years.”
“This is also where Salesian gentleness grew to maturity: precisely in the relationship with Reformed Christians whom he approached and called ‘brothers’ … It was a decidedly delicate approach so as not to upset them, including the clothes he wore. … One member of the clergy, seeing his very respectful attitude towards the reformed Protestants, objected: ‘Bishop, these are apostates, they are lost, unworthy of your attention.’ And he replied: ‘Alas, there is only God and us to love these poor sinners! Do you want me to forget that they are my little lambs, or that I cease to weep over those for whom Jesus Christ shed all his blood? Let those who love severity turn away from me, because I want nothing to do with them’”.
The conclusion of this last video is a "strenna" within this year's Strenna: a word that goes straight from the heart of Francis to the heart of all of us who bear his name. These are also the last two lines of Fr Michele Molinar and Fr Livio Demarie, whom we sincerely thank for this precious service of animation rendered to Salesian presences around the world during these months in 2022.
“Let us end this five-part Salesian tour by focussing on a few words of St Francis de Sales. Just a few words whereby Francis gives us a glimpse of his inner self and leads us to the roots of his proverbial Salesian gentleness and loving-kindness: ‘When I was consecrated Bishop, God took me from myself to take me to Himself, then gave me to the people, that is, He converted me from being for myself to being for others’”.
As for the previous videos, the original in Italian was produced in voice-over for the other main languages: video IT, video EN; video ES; video FR; video PT (watchable and downloadable from the respective hyperlinks).
AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 November, the Congress entitled "Saint Francis de Sales: Posterity, Spirituality, Pedagogy" will take place at UPS: https://francescodisales.unisal.it