Argentina – Charity and sacrifice are two sides of same coin: giving one's life for love

18 April 2019

(ANS - Córdoba) – The Salesian Constitutions express the responsibilities of the Salesians of Don Bosco. "Everyone - brothers and priests - is responsible for the common mission, and participates in it with the richness of his gifts and the lay and priestly characteristic of the one Salesian vocation." On this day, when the institution of the Eucharist is celebrated and the priests are remembered, the mystery and service of this vocation cannot be forgotten. For Giovannino Bosco, the priests of his time were sometimes indifferent and distant, too busy and important to devote time to children. This is why he said to himself: "If I were a priest, how I would like to approach children, talk to them and help them! I would feel very good if I could converse with my parish priest."

During the ordination the bishop tells the one who receives the order of the presbyterate, placing in his hands the chalice and the paten: "Reflect on what you are about to accomplish and imitate what you commemorate." The liturgy summarizes in this exclamation the center of priestly spirituality.

Being a priest is neither more nor less than uniting oneself daily to the consignment of our whole life, through Christ, to the Father. This is what priests celebrate every day, but especially on Holy Thursday, the day when the whole Church commemorates the Lord's Supper.

Don Bosco deeply understood his mission as a priest. Every day he remembered the words of Mother Margherita: "For the love of God! Don't dishonor this habit. Take it off rather. I would prefer a poor peasant rather than a priest son who neglects his duties." And Don Bosco had four convictions for a full life as a priest: consistency in the priestly state, consistency in dedication to God, consistency in his duties and consistency in the priestly mission.

And the mission of Salesian priests is "to contribute to the common work of promotion and education in the faith of what is specific to his ministry, which makes of it a sign of Christ the pastor, especially through the preaching of the Gospel and sacramental action."

Don Bosco lived his priestly vocation among the young and for the young. He said: "I go to study because I want to dedicate my life to young people"; "The Lord sent me for the young". Don Bosco was a priest in his educational mission and in his pedagogical activity. He was also an educator in his priestly mission and in his ministerial activity.

It can be said that Don Bosco's pedagogy was priestly and that the priesthood of Don Bosco was educational and pedagogical.

His statement to Minister Ricasoli in Florence indicates the path for every Salesian priest today: "Don Bosco is a priest amidst his guys".


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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