Turin (Italy). From 6 to 10 September in Turin, at the Mother House of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the 3rd Seminar for the Promotion of the Causes of Holiness of the Salesian Family took place. The participants were about eighty representatives from various parts of the world, consecrated and laity, belonging to different groups and realities of the Salesian Family.

Present among these were the General Secretary of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Maria Luisa Nicastro; the vice postulator of the Cause of Mother Antonietta Böhm, Sister Guadalupe Chávez; vice postulator of the Cause of Mother Rosetta Marchese, Sister Francesca Caggiano; Sister Lucrecia Uribe, from the  Salesian Family Sector; and 11 other FMA from different parts of Europe and the world where the Sisters  on their way towards beatification or canonization lived.

Organized by the General Postulation of the Salesian Family, the meeting made it possible to delve deeper into some issues linked to the delicate and complex process of promotion and animation of the Causes. The speakers highlighted the value of Salesian figures of holiness in the Church and for the Church, their example, support in faith in the journey of personal and community life. Luminous expressions of a specific historical and geographical context, the candidates for the altars are also living members of an ecclesial community that accompanies the progress of the processes with prayer and commitment to Christian life.

The animation and promotion of a cause is therefore the task of a community that perceives the presence and the living and effective intercession of these brothers or sisters. Miracles are the work of God. The believer turns to these brothers and sisters to intercede with God for the good and salvation of those in need. Through qualified presentations, the seminar placed emphasis on the need to collect and document the life and intercession of these brothers and sisters, to study the bonds existing between them, to present the significant elements for today in appropriate language.

Also touching were the presentations of the biographical profiles of some of these witnesses, the stories of grace and of animation experiences from which emerged the need to create collaborations, to network, and above all, to reawaken personal and community faith, to support hope, to nourish charity. These brothers and sisters were creative and enterprising in love and in proclaiming the Gospel and today, with their example and intercession, they invite others to follow in their footsteps.

One of the most debated issues was that of the recognition of the miracle required for beatification and canonization. It is about educating oneself and educating others to the recognition of the concrete action of God in the lives of people and communities by reporting graces, rediscovering the value of community intercessory prayer by entrusting oneself to these Saints “on the way”.

The Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, present at various moments, highlighted the attitude of humility and service that must animate those who deal with the Causes, the need to involve many in these journeys, which must not depend on individuals, but on the willingness to listen to the breath of the Holy Spirit. It is He who raises, shapes, and proposes the Saints to the whole Church. For this reason, it is necessary to valorize the places of origins where these brothers lived, their tombs, the archives, and the places where documents and memories are kept.

In this regard, the participants also had the opportunity to visit the themed space for the figures of sanctity of the Salesian Family at the Don Bosco House-Museum in Valdocco and to go on a pilgrimage to Colle Don Bosco (Castelnuovo Don Bosco), and to Capriglio (AT), the birthplace of St. John Bosco and his mother, the Venerable Margherita Occhiena.

Supporting journeys together as a Salesian Family is a sign of communion, and it is also an opportunity to learn about new aspects of Salesian spirituality, experienced by these brothers and sisters. Being animators and promoters of the Causes is a real ecclesial ministry, a service that must reach more and more people. The message of each of these brothers and sisters is in fact unique and can be of comfort and hope to different people. In some cases, even believers of other religions or agnostics or atheists have recognized the greatness and help of the candidates to the altars.

The Salesian General Postulation takes care of 174 Saints, Blesseds, Venerables, and Servants of God. The causes followed directly by the Postulation are 58 (+ 5 entrusted).

The FMA are, in addition to Saint Mary Mazzarello, the Blesseds Laura Vicuña, Maddalena Morano, Maria Romero Meneses, Maria Troncatti, Eusebia Palomino; the Martyrs Sister Carmen Moreno Benitez and Sister Amparo Carbonell Muñoz; the Venerables Teresa Valsè Pantellini and Laura Meozzi; the Servants of God Antonietta Böhm and Rosetta Marchese.

If it is true that the earth needs Saints, the Saints also need communities that invoke them and feel them alive.

Photos: ANSFlickr


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