Dear Salesian Family and Salesian Young People:
After the beautiful events surrounding the canonization of St. Artemide Zatti in Rome, followed by the encounter of the Provincials of the Interamerica region in Lima, Peru, it is with deep contentment that I say: “It really is good to be home!”
Tomorrow is the Feast of Blessed Michael Rua, who, after our beloved Don Bosco, is the second father of the Salesian Family. It was 50 years ago, on October 29, 1972, that Pope Paul VI declared Michael Rua among the blessed of the Church. There were approximately thirty thousand faithful present at the beatification at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on that day.
At Michael Rua’s beatification, Fr. Luigi Ricceri, Rector Major at the time, spoke of Don Rua as one “who owes so much of who he was to this fact: he looked always to Don Bosco. If he lived in God, (he) lived no less in and of Don Bosco. Just read his circulars, his speeches. He talks about Don Bosco, refers to Don Bosco, leans on Don Bosco, recalls the example of Don Bosco. Always Don Bosco. He is grafted, kneaded, one with Don Bosco. It is impossible to imagine the figure of Don Rua without that of Don Bosco.” Fr. Ricceri was pointing back to when Michael was a young boy in the Oratory in Valdocco. Don Bosco, with a hand gesture of cutting in half, divided and shared everything with Michael Rua. Don Bosco passed his spirit and charismatic legacy to Don Rua.
As Don Rua looked to Don Bosco, we are called to look at Don Bosco and Don Rua. As members of the Salesian Family, consecrated and lay, we are called today to be signs and bearers of God’s love for the young, especially the poorest among them. I pray that we can emulate the joy and the humility of Blessed Michael Rua.
On this feast of Blessed Michael Rua I have the honor and privilege to celebrate the life of Sr. Lucy Yuen, FMA, who went into eternal life on the 19th of October. Sr. Rosann Ruiz, Provincial of the Salesian Sisters West, shared that “Sr. Lucy was known for her simple, open, joy-filled giggle and contagious laugh that brought delight to so many with her unique and jovial personality.” Let us pray for the soul of Sr. Lucy and for the consolation of the Salesian Sisters who mourn her loss. May Sr. Lucy Rest In Peace!
May you all have a blessed and joyful feast day of Blessed Michael Rua. You are in my prayers.
Sincerely in Christ and in Mother Mary,