(ANS – Rome) – “The Magi who came from the East are only the first of a long procession of men and women who in their lives have constantly sought with their eyes the star of God. It is the great host of saints – known or unknown – through whom the Lord, throughout history, has opened before us the Gospel and turned its pages; this, He is still doing. In their lives, as in a great picture book, the richness of the Gospel is revealed. They are the luminous wake of God that He Himself throughout history has traced and still traces.” These words of Benedict XVI, spoken in Cologne on August 20, 2005, on the occasion of the 20th World Youth Day, remind us that saints are those who are so captivated by the beauty of God and His perfect truth that they are progressively transformed by it.
“The blessed and the saints,” Pope Ratzinger further added, “were people who did not obstinately seek their own happiness, but simply wanted to give themselves, because they were reached by the light of Christ. They thus indicate to us the way to become happy, they show us how to succeed in being truly human persons. In the vicissitudes of history, they have been the true reformers, who have so many times raised it from the dark valleys into which it is always again in danger of sinking; they have always again enlightened it as much as was necessary to give it the possibility of accepting – perhaps in pain – the word spoken by God at the end of the work of Creation: ‘It is a good thing’… The saints, we have said, are the true reformers. Now I would like to express it even more radically: only from the saints, only from God comes the real revolution, the decisive change in the world.”
In this wake of holiness also lies the rich and varied constellation of holiness from Don Bosco to the present day, showing the beauty of the Gospel lived according to the Salesian charism. These are men and women, young people and adults, consecrated and lay people, bishops, and missionaries who in different historical, cultural, and social contexts in time and space have made the Salesian charism shine with singular light. It is a heritage that plays an effective role in the life of the Salesian Family, in the community of believers, and for people of goodwill. Thus, deep gratitude and praise should be expressed to God for the holiness already recognized in the Salesian Family of Don Bosco and for that in the process of recognition. The Salesian Postulation covers 173 among Saints (10), Blesseds (117), Venerables (18), and Servants of God (28). The Causes followed directly by the Postulation are 58 (plus 5 extra).
The Dossier recalls the Postulator General, Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, after presenting the list and status of each Cause, presents the events of 2022, among which excels the canonization of Blessed Artemide Zatti, Salesian coadjutor, which took place on Sunday, October 9 in St. Peter’s Square. An event of grace that touched the hearts of the entire Salesian Family and is a true blessing.
Also worth mentioning:
- The opening, on March 15 in Lahore (Pakistan), of the Diocesan Inquiry of Akash Bashir (1994-2015), Layman, Past Pupil of Don Bosco, who died in hatred of the faith, Pakistan’s first Cause of Beatification.
- The opening, April 10, and closing, May 15, in Savona, Italy, of the Diocesan Inquest into the Cause of the Servant of God Vera Grita, Lay, Salesian Cooperator (1923-1969);
- The canonical recognition in Omegna of the mortal remains of Venerable Andrea Beltrami (1870-1897).The solemn deposition, Saturday, June 4, 2022, in Budapest, of the Relics of Blessed Stephen Sándor, (1914-1953), martyr, Salesian Coadjutor.
- The closing, Sunday, June 12, in Chiari, Italy, of the Diocesan Inquest into the Cause of the Servant of God Fr. Silvio Galli (1927-2012).
- The delivery of the Positio super martyrio of the Servants of God John Świerc and VIII Companions.
- The closing, on October 1, in Rome, of the Diocesan Inquiry into the Cause of the Servant of God Giuseppe Cognata (1885 – 1972) Bishop of Bova, Founder of the Institute of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart.
- The validity of the Diocesan Inquiries of the Servants of God Silvio Galli and Vera Grita.
Finally, the commitment to share and promote the knowledge, imitation, and intercession of the members of the Salesian Family who are candidates for holiness is recalled, enhancing the value of and caring for various aspects: liturgical-celebrative, spiritual, pastoral, ecclesial, educational, cultural, historical, social, missionary…