Turin (Italy).  The third and penultimate of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days at Turin-Valdocco from 13 to 16 January 2022, had a significant event in the morning with the opening of the year dedicated to St. Francis de Sales, on the 400th anniversary of his death (1622-2022), the inauguration of the St. Francis de Sales 400 exhibit that will be open until 15 January 2023 at Don Bosco House Museum of Valdocco.

On stage, with Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia, Archbishop of Turin, the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, and the speakers of the opening Conference of the exhibit, the choir, composed of the Postulants of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of “Our Lady of Consolation” of Turin and other young people, performed the hymn to St. Francis di Sales composed by Maurizio Palazzo, SDB, ‘Heart speaks to heart”.

The Postulants who lived in presence the various moments of the Day, recount their experience:

The Salesian Family Spiritualty Days were the occasion to communicate knowledge and experience the spirituality of the Saint of Annecy that we are invited to study deeply this year.  We had the possibility of living days of encounter, listening, dialogue, and sharing that immediately generated in each one gratitude for belonging to the multi-ethnic and multifaceted Salesian Family.

In the presentation of the journey that awaits us this year, we were accompanied by prepared and passionate guides, who highlighted various characteristics of the figure of Francis de Sales. The round table, held on the afternoon of Friday 14 January, brought together experts of the spirituality of Francis, who offered their reflection on various aspects of the Saint’s life.

The days were followed by thousands of people around the world, despite participation in Valdocco being limited to 150 people, for reasons related to the pandemic. Those who were able to take part in the experience ‘in presence’ enriched the reflections with the visit to various Salesian places and the inauguration of the exhibit dedicated to Saint Francis de Sales in the 400th anniversary of his death, at Don Bosco House Museum.

During these days there was no lack of direct testimonies of Salesian spirituality embodied in everyday life and the possibility of living prayer and the Eucharistic celebration in the richness of diversity that is recognized in the unity of the Family.

The afternoon of the 3rd Day was dedicated to the assembly sharing of experiences from the world, such as that of the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement of Mumbai, who created a task force to help people affected by the virus, seeking the availability of cylinders of oxygen, plasma, and hospitalization. Other video testimonies showed the concreteness of the Salesian charism in the apostolic and charitable service of the Groups of the Salesian Family.

On the day dedicated to the memory of Blessed Luigi Variara, the video-documentary of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was shown, the SF Group he founded for the treatment of leprosy patients in Agua de Dios (Colombia), where he arrived as a missionary sent by Fr. Michele Rua, 1st successor of Don Bosco.

A lot of gratitude remains in us Postulants for what we have been able to live and grasp it from the comments we have exchanged in these days:

“I liked it because I was able to study the Strenna a little more and get to know the figure of Saint Francis de Sales better, his spirituality, and see how it is actualized”.

“The Salesian Days were significant for me and full of holy teachings”.

“It is truly a gift to live these days of family and of the Church by deepening the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. It is beautiful to see how each Group of the Salesian Family has taken on in a unique way an aspect of the life of Christ, doing ‘everything through love and nothing through constraint’ and bringing young people to Him”.

“An experience of great fraternal communion”.

It is really the case to say, “We are truly a Family…that breathes Paradise!”.

Video of the 3rd day


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