Wednesday, April 1, 2009

BIS #1343 - 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF DON BOSCO'S CANONIZATION

ANS News ROME, APRIL 1, 2009: The Rector Major Fr Pascual Chávez has written a letter to all the Salesians in the world on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Canonization of Don Bosco, which occurs today, April 1. The letter is entitled: “Don Bosco’s Holiness in commemorating April 1, 1934”. This occasion ought to help Salesians, Fr Chávez writes, to understand that at the centre of their life and vocation there is the holiness of the founder: “Our admiration for Don Bosco grows because of his holiness and it is this which invites us to invoke and to imitate out Founder.” Holiness, the constant theme in the thought and the teaching of the ninth successor of Don Bosco, was the subject of his Letter “Dear Salesians, Be Saints!” (AGC 379). In that message, shortly after his election as Rector Major in 2002, Fr Chávez invited the Salesians to make holiness their own plan of spiritual life and of their pastoral activity. Holiness, which is the beauty of life, of the communities and of the Salesian Congregation “is expressed in the radical following of the Lord Jesus obedient, poor and chaste, and is the fascinating thing about consecrated life.” The Salesians are called to live this high standard of Christian living in the “total giving of oneself to God for poor youth.” “Don Bosco’s holiness is the guarantee that his life-project, his school of spirituality, his style of apostolic action constitute an authentic path which leads to the fullness of love.” There are many varied forms of holiness which have flourished at the school of Don Bosco, in the 150 years history of the Congregation. “Dear Confreres: poor young people have a right to our holiness!” is the appeal which the Rector Major makes to his confreres reminding them that holiness is the “priority of the new millennium.” The 75th Anniversary of the Canonization of Don Bosco is an occasion which adds lustre to the “year of grace” which the Salesians are celebrating in 2009 with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation and shows how the holiness of Don Bosco is at the centre of progress and the history of the Salesian charism.

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