Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Chiara Cazzuola, with Circular no. 1037, reaches all the FMA in the Easter season, expressing her thanks to each, “I would like each one to feel my gratitude for who you are and for all the good you do in the Institute for the young people entrusted to us.”

 She invites all, “at this hour of history tormented by war, violence, injustice, and persecution… to go forward with courage in the name of the Risen Jesus, because we can trust in Him and we can entrust ourselves to Him.”

It is in this perspective that the Feast takes place on 26 April: “Celebrating the World Feast of Gratitude 2024, involves us precisely in this historical time and, if it may seem inappropriate to celebrate when the world and so many of our communities suffer, we know that the Holy Spirit is at work among us and calls us to live as resurrected people.”

Therefore, the Circular deepens the sense of gratitude, so that the Feast is not only a ‘parenthesis’, but “helps us to rediscover and live this characteristic virtue of Christian and Salesian life.”

“In all circumstances, give thanks” (1 Ts 5:18): drawing on the words of Saint Paul, Mother exhorts us to “always be grateful, not occasionally,” because the goal of praise is to “bless the Lord at all times” (Ps 34:1).

Thus, she describes gratitude as a precious gift that can be given and received in the educating community and in the mission, as a fundamental virtue also for community life: “It helps us to create healthy and authentic relationships, makes us better, makes us recognize the value of the other, and stimulates us to give the best of ourselves.”

Also, it is a virtue that “opens the doors of the heart” and contributes to an atmosphere of trust, empathetic sharing, joy, helps to strengthen ties, opens to humility and collaboration. When the heart is filled with gratitude, it is easier to forgive and understand people’s state of mind.

Gratitude touches a key aspect of the identity of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, “It returns us to the present, to the gift that we are, to the gifts that we receive every day, and colors our life with beauty.”

Recalling the Regulations of the FMA Institute, which remind us of the value and function of the Feast of Gratitude (Reg. 40), Mother Chiara highlights how the uninterrupted experience over the years constitutes a fruitful opportunity to strengthen fraternal communion, the vitality of the mission, “The sense of belonging of all of us and of the educating community to the Salesian charism. The feast is such if you live the joy of gratitude.”

“The World Feast of Gratitude is a celebratory moment of this joy, gift of the Holy Spirit, which strengthens our being ‘Salesian’ educating communities and introduces us into the continuous vital flow of the Eucharistic grace which is the highest gratitude to the Father through the Son, in the Spirit of Love.”

With Mary, guided by the ‘dream’, let us generate peace by taking care of our common Home

Mother thanks the Vicar General, Sister María del Rosario García Ribas, for the letter sent to all the provincial communities with indications for the preparation of the Feast. She thanked the Provincial, Sister Carolina Ilda Hermínio, and the Sisters of St. John Bosco Province (MOZ), for their availability to implement it. The theme chosen is in response to the Chapter Resolution in the context of integral ecology, and urges us to live life as a hymn of praise to thank God for every one of His gifts by joining in the psalmist’s invocation, “Oh Lord, our God, You have given us power over the work of Your hands.” (Ps 8).

She then dwells on the logo, in particular on the symbolism of Mary, Mother and Teacher who appears to Johnny Bosco in the dream at nine years of age, and as a model of caring. As Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, she underlines that, “We have received the joyful call to live in deep familiarity, which is filiality, precisely with this Mother.” She is a Mother who accompanies her daughters in the commitment to bring Jesus to young people in the various parts of the world, in a reality that asks us to be instruments of fraternity and peace. She is a Mother who accompanies us in the daily life of the community, who knows no rest, but “mends at night the mistakes we make during the day.” She is a close, tender Mother, “who holds us by the hand on the journey of every day.”

Living Monument of gratitude

From the Cronistoria, she draws the episode of 4 August 1872, when Don Bosco, “with the satisfaction of those who see the fulfillment of a deep desire of the heart,” announces that the Institute “would be a living monument of his gratitude to the holy Virgin under the title of Help of Christians.”

“Being a living monument of gratitude today!”  comments Mother, “We are not only the echo of remote interventions of Mary, invoked under the title of Help of Christians in the life of the Church and of our Institute. We are Her witnesses in this contemporaneity. We are living gratitude for Her constant intervention in our lives, in our educating communities, in a continuous crescendo of amazement.”

A name, she continues to explain, which implies taking on the beautiful reality that it indicates. “For us, it is truly a ‘glory’ and also a great responsibility that we joyfully carry in the world.”

Mother Clare wishes everyone “to experience Mary’s maternal love, the comfort and consolation of her presence, as Don Bosco assured us, ‘Our Lady walks in this house and covers it with her mantle’.” (Cronistoria V, 52).

In concluding, she asks to support with prayer ADMA (Association of Devotees of Mary Help of Christians), which on 18 April 2024 celebrated the 155th anniversary and closes the Circular with her assurance of prayer and remembrance in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, in Turin, on 24 May.

Circular no. 1037


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.