Fatima (Portugal). On 18 and 19 May 2024, the Salesian Family of Portugal met in Fatima for the 72nd National Pilgrimage, guided by the theme “Behold your Mother” and the presence of the Rector Major, Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime. Doing the honors and animating the meeting, present were the Provincial of O. L. of Fatima Province (POR), Sister Deolinda Teixeira; and the Provincial of Saint Anthony Province (POR), Father Tarcízio Morais.

There was a large turnout of members of the Salesian Family, especially young people, estimated at more than a thousand, from the realities of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Salesians of Don Bosco. In the year of the 200th anniversary of the “dream at 9 years”, which has always guided the life and work of Don Bosco and which still gives vigor and dynamism to all the initiatives in favor of the most disadvantaged, the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) staged the Dream with the participation of young people from all the Salesian houses.

The show enchanted the assembly, which was impressed by the art and the message transmitted with vigor and freshness by young people. At the end, the meeting with the Rector Major was limited to the Councils of the various Groups of the Salesian Family, due to the limited space.

One of the ideas that the Rector Major left and which he strongly stressed, is that “we must never stop holding this meeting of the Salesian Family in Fatima. Not all countries have this beautiful tradition.” He therefore invited the SF in Portugal to never lose this tradition, which invigorates the family unit and makes more children of Mary Help of Christians.

When asked by a young woman who interviewed the Rector Major, “What dream do you have for the Salesian Congregation?”, he replied, “Oh, this is a question to which I have a very clear answer. My dream for the Congregation, now and in the future, is that of a great charismatic fidelity to the Lord Jesus, through the fidelity and style of Don Bosco. My greatest joy will be, after some time, to be told, ‘Fr. Ángel, your Congregation – because it will always be my Congregation, since I am always a Salesian – is more faithful today than when you were Rector Major’. This would be the best news they could give me.”

In the Chapel of the Apparitions, beside Our Lady, he spoke passionately of his love for the Virgin Mother of God, “We are all in a holy place. The places are important. And when a physical place like this is blessed by God, we must think – each of us, at any age, from the youngest, to adults, to the elderly – that God speaks to each one, with their own history.”

Before concluding, he added, “Only God knows what each of us carries within ourselves, in our hearts. We cannot leave Fatima today or tomorrow without having had the opportunity to hear what God wants to say. And we cannot leave Fatima without feeling in our hearts, each of us in our own, that we are children of this Mother, but that she is the Mother of all of us and also of God.”

Although the visit was short of Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, Titular Archbishop of Ursona, in Portugal, he transmitted values and beliefs of long duration. The 10th successor of Don Bosco, in an attitude of total adherence to Mary, left a witness that will last over the years and will bear fruit in due course. With the hope of a new spring for the Salesian Family that will continue in its commitment with new energies. Mary continues to spread her mantle over each of her sons and daughters, “Entrust yourselves to Mary and you will see what miracles are”, Don Bosco always said, Founder and Father and of the Salesian Family.


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