Rome (Italy). On 27 December 2021, in Rome, in the Generalate of the FMA Institute, the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, presented Strenna 2022 “Do everything for love, nothing by force” to the FMA and to some representatives of the Salesian Family.

After the welcoming words of the Community Animator of the Generalate, Sr. Carla Castellino, the Rector Major, starting from the presentation video made by the SDB Department of Social Communication, introduced a reflection on the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, the Saint who inspired Don Bosco in founding the Congregation and the Salesian Family.

The video starts from Annecy and from the places of Haute-Savoie, in France, where Francis de Sales was a tireless Bishop and shepherd of souls, “The water of the Savoy stream, like the spirit that will shape Francis de Sales, will arrive in Turin and then in the whole world.”

John Bosco drank from this rich source for his spiritual growth and pastoral action: “May the charity and sweetness of St. Francis de Sales guide me at all times” was his purpose from the start of his priestly ordination. From the Saint of sweetness, Don Bosco takes up the expression, “Study to make yourself loved”, which he indicates to his children to win the hearts of young people. “Don Bosco took the path of the heart, not of force, underlines the RM in the video, and this will always be the path of the SF.” The richness of Salesian spirituality continues to bear fruit in the apostolic action of the 32 Groups of the SF.

In the auditorium, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime reviews the seven points into which Strenna 2022 is divided, highlighting a few points:

  1. Nothing through force; freedom is a gift from God. For this reason, Don Bosco’s educational system does not resort to constraints.
  2. The presence of God in the heart of men and women. This is why we recognize the desire for God that every person carries in their depths.
  3. Life in God, which joins educators and young people in a single life experience.
  4. The sweetness and friendliness of gestures, a Salesian identity sign, which lead to living with young people in a family atmosphere of trust and dialogue.
  5. An unconditional and unlimited love, which makes it possible in the Salesian Family to meet young people where their freedom is found.
  6. The need for a spiritual guide. On this St. Francis de Sales was a teacher 400 years ago, with the proposal that holiness is for everyone, which translates into believing that the seed of goodness and holiness can be found in all young people.
  7. Up to living “all for love”. So that the young people are progressively responsible in the delicate process of the growth of their humanity in faith.

Among the points highlighted, there was the strength of God’s attraction through gentleness and freedom by which to access hearts, “We can access the hearts of young people starting from the heart, never from obligation, from constraint; starting from freedom and with an affection that conquers hearts. This is the great treasure of our Salesian spirituality”.

The goodness and kindness of gestures, the family spirit, Salesian optimism, care for the educational environment, and spiritual accompaniment, are other themes explored by the Rector Major in his reflections. The text of the Strenna concludes with some quotes from St. Francis de Sales, Don Bosco, and St. Augustine to be used as pastoral points to activate reflections on the issues.

At the end of the presentation, Fr. Ángel made himself available for some in-depth questions that opened up a lively dialogue with the assembly.

The Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, thanked the Rector Major for having kept faith in the tradition of his predecessors by giving the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians the first fruits of the Strenna and for the theme, which provides the opportunity to deepen the roots of the Salesian charism in the light of this ‘giant of holiness’.

Mother concludes, “And then, this intuition of holiness for everyone is important and that Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello bring into youth holiness and the beginning of full humanity.  By living our humanity in depth, we live our Christian and Salesian vocation”.

Video Direct Streaming

Strenna Comment 2022


  1. linda e empenhava explicação que o Reitor Mor nos deixou, agora estamos esperando o texto para ser lido meditado por todas nós .


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