Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, in Circular No. 1013 presents Strenna 2022 of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Educating Communities, “Do all for love, nothing by force”(St. Francis de Sales).

Mother grasps in the phrase, “Do with freedom whatever charity requires” (L 35.3) of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello “the same principle of the freedom of love that gives itself is renewed and is always creative.”

On the fourth centenary of his death, Strenna 2022 proposes an itinerary of reflection to more consciously assume the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, chosen by Don Bosco as Patron and model of life for the necessity of “great calm and meekness” required by the youth mission and to appreciate the foundations of Salesian youth spirituality.

“Holiness for everyone” is the “most revolutionary proposal of St. Francis de Sales” highlighted by the Rector Major, which each group of the Salesian Family can live, applying it in their own mission with original and specific nuances.

Other aspects referred to in the spirituality of the Bishop of Geneva are humanity, translated by Don Bosco into the synthesis, “Education is a thing of the heart,” and trust in Providence, “at the basis of the Salesian educational system rooted in the charity that hopes for everything, endures everything because the life of young people is first of all in the hands of Jesus.” It is the same trust that Mother Mazzarello expressed in her recommendation, “With the girls, long patience and immeasurable sweetness” (L 27.11).

Mother also takes up the communication dimension that unites Don Bosco and St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists, at the basis of one of the commitments undertaken in the XXIV General Chapter: “the commitment to welcome the digital age wisely as a sign of the times, a significant possibility for education and evangelization; to privilege, as an educating community, communication formation to inhabit digital environments in a conscious and responsible way, to know the dynamics of the information culture, and to develop a critical and creative mentality”.

The dimension of joy, typically Salesian, was instead the subject of the recommendation of Pope Francis who on 22 October 2021, in his ‘surprise’ visit, invited the Chapter members to “listen attentively to reality, to grasp the situations of need, especially when there is no ‘wine’, that is, the joy of love”.

With the deep study of these aspects of Salesian spirituality, Mother Chiara concludes, “we enter ever more profoundly into the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute and we entrust ourselves to Mary, to help us to be women who know how to bring the ‘new wine’ of hope in our epoch marked by so much suffering and hardship, but blessed by the sweet Providence of the Father”.

Circular no. 1013



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