RMG – Ricerche Storiche Salesiane issue no. 80

07 July 2023

(ANS – Rome) – Issue 80 of Ricerche Storiche Salesiane (RSS), the six-monthly journal on religious and civil history published by the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS) and covering the six months from January-June 2023, has now been published.

The STUDIES section of this issue includes three essays:

The first is by Spanish scolar Alberto Payá Rico who examines a topic that has some relevancve for today: Don Bosco nell'opera di Cesare Lombroso (1896-1900): criminologia e sistema educativo salesiano (Don Bosco in the work of Cesare Lombroso (1896-1900): criminology and the Salesian educational system). Don Bosco's decisive option for poor youngsters at risk is framed in this study of Criminology. This approach is followed precisely because Criminology came into existence as a science in northern Italy in the second half of the 19th century, in tandem with the Positivist School, focusing on the offender. The creative phase and doctrinal maturity of Cesare Lombroso, the 'father of criminology', coincided in time with the decade in which Don Bosco, the 'father of youth', completed the establishment of the Salesian work and began its great expansion. The study aims to 'combine' in time Don Bosco's educational and preventive work with the then 'new science' of Criminology.

Researcher Silvia Omenetto's essay follows: Per una “Geografia delle missioni” salesiane: una prima sistematizzazione scientifica dei contributi geografici compiuti in Argentina. La sua indagine prende le mosse dallo scritto Missioni salesiane: contributi geografici edito all’interno del volume Missioni Salesiane 1875-1975. Studi in occasione del centenario (For a Salesian "Geography of the Missions": a first scientific systematisation of the geographical contributions made in Argentina. His investigation starts from the paper Salesian Missions: geographical contributions published in the volume Salesian Missions 1875-1975. Studies on the occasion of the centenary). The main intention is to reflect on the description made by the author and editor of the volume, Eugenio Pietro Scotti, and his statement regarding the dubious scientific nature attributed to what were not not strictly religious and educational activities carried out by the Salesians in the first centenary of their work overseas. This is a controversial topic and still unresolved. In other words, it needs to be addressed with a careful look at National Geography and its studies on missionary activity.

The section closes with an article by Angelo Giuseppe Dibisceglia dedicated to Don Antonio Palladino a Cerignola: nel centenario della nomina (1922-2022) a “direttore diocesano dei Cooperatori salesiani” (Fr Antonio Palladino in Cerignola: on the centenary of his appointment (1922-2022) as 'diocesan director of Salesian Cooperators').Taking a historical perspective the scholar rereads the commitment of the Venerable Antonio Palladino (1881-1926), a priest of the then combined dioceses of Ascoli Satriano and Cerignola and parish priest in the church of San Domenico, between 1896, the year of his admission among the Salesian Cooperators, and 1922, the year of his appointment as diocesan director of the association. Leafing through the pages of the Bollettino Salesiano reveals a profound harmony between the priest's commitment to the human promotion of his parishioners and the initiatives suggested by the periodical, which was the coordinating body 'for the Cooperators of Don Bosco's works and missions'.

An original text can be found in the FONTI  (SOURCES) section:

Salesian Scholar Fr Aldo Giraudo has presented a critical version of Discorso di don Bosco all’Accademia dell’Arcadia (Roma, 14 aprile 1876) (Don Bosco's address to the Arcadia Academy (Rome, 14 April 1876)). On the evening of Good Friday 1876, at the premises of the Roman Arcadia Academy, Don Bosco gave a talk on the seven last words of Christ on the cross. No fewer than four hundred people, belonging to the elite of the capital city, were present. The surviving manuscripts document the care dedicated to the preparation of the text and its laborious creative process, which the present critical edition restores. The saint was inspired by a source - the Annotazioni sopra le feste di nostro Signore by Card. Lambertini - but gave the address his own style. In the body of the lecture, after an introduction on the meaning of the term Golgotha and the scenic re-enactment of the crucifixion, the individual words of the dying Christ and the miracles that occurred at the Saviour's death are commented on. The wide-ranging final part, which mirrors the sentiments of the speaker and of the Catholic community at that particular historical juncture, concludes with an impassioned appeal to stand united “around the worthy successor of Peter... the incomparable Pius IX”.

Two outlines are presented in the PROFILI (Profiles) section. The first is by Stanisław Zimniak, In memoriam di don José Manuel Prellezo García (1932-2023). The latter was a lecturer at the Pontifical Salesian University and collaborator of the Salesian Historical Institute, as well as its director. The second is by Giorgio Rossi, who presents a figure of significant importance for the life of the Salesian Congregation: Francesco Tomasetti (1868-1953): da "caro Franceschino" di Don Bosco a Procuratore Generale.

There is a single contribution in the NOTA sectionby David Franco Córdova: La edición conmemorativa por el centenario de la Basílica de María Auxiliadora de Lima (1921-2021).

Publications on topics related to Salesian personalities and activities were reviewed in the RECENSIONI (Reviews) section: Kamila NOVOSEDLِÍKOVÁ, Le suore salesiane Slovacche. S.l., Jafin s.r.o. 2018; Zlatko KUBANOVIČ, Historický náhľad do dejín slovenských saleziánov. Od dona Bosca do roku 1924 [A look at the history of the Slovakian Salesians. From Don Bosco to 1924]. Bratislava, Vydavateľstvo Don Bosco, 2019; Ana María FERNÁNDEZ - Iván Ariel FRESIA (coords.), Cultura, Sociedad e Iglesia. Figuras históricas significativas e innovadoras en la Argentina, siglo XX. Buenos Aires – Rosario, Ediciones Don Bosco & Prohistoria Ediciones 2020; Jarosław WĄSOWICZ, Ksiądz Piotr Głogowski SDB (1904-1996), organizator parafii w Kobylance i jej wieloletni duszpasterz, kapłan wierny Prymasowi Tysiąclecia [Fr Piotr Głogowski SDB (1904-1996), organiser of the parish of Kobylanka and its long-time pastor, a priest loyal to the Millennium Primate]. (= Seria biograficzna pod patronatem Archiwum Salezjańskiego Inspektorii Pilskiej, t. 6). Piła 2021; Juan Antonio LÁZARA, Ernesto Vespignani y la arquitectura sagrada. Buenos Aires, Ediciones Don Bosco 2021; Bruno BERTELLI – Sandro SAMARITANI, Mons. José Borgatti. Vescovo della Patagonia, figlio della terra renazzese. Prefazione di Don Ángel Fernández Artime, Rettor maggiore dei Salesiani. Cento, Baraldi Editore 2022; María Andrea NICOLETTI - Marisa MALVESTITTI, Salesianos lingüistas en la Patagonia y Tierra del Fuego. Buenos Aires, Ediciones Don Bosco 2022.

The following new publications are presented in the SEGNALAZIONI (Recommended reading) Section:

Pedro POZA MORILLO (coord.), Salesianos Linares. 50 años contigo (1964-2014). Vol. I-II. Linares 2020, 1368 p. + Separata y fe de erratas, 4 p. (autoedición); Pierluigi CAMERONI, Esteban Sándor. Mártir del Evangelio de la alégria. Madrid, Editorial CCS 2020.

By Fr Stanisław Zimniak, chief editor of RSS


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