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Fr. Biju Michael
Regional Councillor for South Asia





The Regional's Blog

Update on Sanctity in the Salesian Family As on 31st December 2012

The Postulator General of the Congregation, Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, gave the General Council some update last week, regarding the latest situation of the Saints, Blesseds, Venerables and the Servants of God in our Family. Here I share some of that information with you.

We have 165 persons in the Salesian Family, recognized at various levels for their holiness.
Saints 9:

There are 9 saints, among whom we have three Salesians (two of whom are martyrs), one FMA, one pupil and four friends of Don Bosco. In the chronological order of their canonization they are:

  • Giovanni Bosco, priest (date of canonization: 1 April 1934)
  • Giuseppe Cafasso, priest (22 June 1947)
  • Maria D. Mazzarello, virgin (24 June 1951)
  • Domenico Savio, adolescent (12 June 1954)
  • Leonardo Murialdo, priest (3 May 1970)
  • Luigi Versiglia, bishop, martyr (1 October 2000)
  • Callisto Caravario, priest, martyr (1 October 2000)
  • Luigi Orione, priest (16 May 2004)
  • Luigi Guanella, priest (23 October 2011)
Beatified - 116:
There are 116 Blesseds in our Family. Among these we find 5 Salesian priests, one Brother, 2 Students, 4 Salesian Sisters, one Pope and two Cooperators. There are 101 martyrs who are Salesians, Sisters, Laypersons both adult and young.

In the chronological order of their beatification, they are:
  • Michele Rua, priest (29 October 1972)
  • Laura Vicuna, adolescent (3 September 1988)
  • Filippo Rinaldi, priest (29 April 1990)
  • Maddalena Morano, virgin (5 November 1994)
  • Giuseppe Kowalski, priest, martyr (13 June 1999)
  • Francesco Kesy, layman, and 4 companion martyrs (13 June 1999)
  • Pio IX, papa (3 September 2000)
  • Giuseppe Calasanz, priest, and 31 companion martyrs (11 March 2001)
  • Luigi Variara, priest (14 April 2002)
  • Artemide Zatti, religious (14 April 2002)
  • Maria Romero Meneses, virgin (14 April 2002)
  • Augusto Czartoryski, priest (25 April 2004)
  • Eusebia Palomino, virgin (25 April 2004)
  • Alessandrina M. da Costa, laywoman (25 April 2004)
  • Alberto Marvelli, layman (5 September 2004)
  • Bronislao Markiewicz, priest (19 June 2005)
  • Enrico Saiz Aparicio, priest, and 62 companion martyrs (28 October 2007)
  • Zeffirino Namuncur?, adolescent (11 November 2007)
  • Maria Troncatti, virgin (24 November 2012)
Venerables 10:

We have 10 people who have been declared venerable. This means that the work of proving the heroic degree of their holiness is over and the Decree super virtutibus has been issued. We need only a miracle to proceed to their beatification. Most of them seem to be in no hurry, naturally, for working a miracle! It does not really matter to them. But to us, yes! Four of these are priests, one brother, two sisters, one bishop, and two lay people.

In the chronological order of the Decree on their exceptional virtues:
  • Andrea Beltrami, priest, 5 December 1966.
  • Teresa Vals? Pantellini, virgin, 12 July 1982.
  • Dorotea Chopitea, laywoman, 9 June 1983.
  • Vincenzo Cimatti, priest, 21 December 1991.
  • Simone Srugi, religious, 2 April 1993.
  • Rodolfo Komorek, priest, 6 April 1995.
  • Luigi Olivares, bishop, 20 December 2004.
  • Margherita Occhiena, laywoman, 23 October 2006.
  • Giuseppe Quadrio, priest, 19 December 2009.
  • Laura Meozzi, virgin, 27 June 2011.
Servants of God 30

On 8 of these, the so called Positio (?Positio super vita, virtutibus et fama sanctitatis? o ?super martyrio?) has been submitted. That is, the bulk of the paper work is over. It is a scientifically studied report of the life and the virtues of the servant of God, done under the guidance of the postulators and officials from the Vatican Congregation for the Saints. Various commissions in the Congregation for the Saints, made up of historians, theologians and cardinals are studying them.

Here is a list of those for whom the Positio has been submitted, with the dates, including two from India.
Stefano S?ndor, Salesian Brother, martyr (Hungary), 27 April 2011. Just today (15th Jan) we heard that the cause has been accepted by the commissions. God willing, we will soon have another Salesian Brother, beatified as martyr.

  • Attilio Giordani, layman (Italy), 8 May 2001. Study by theologians on 5 February 2013.
  • Augusto Hlond, cardinal (Poland), 22 October 2008.
  • Francesco Convertini, priest (India),11 March 2009.
  • Elia Comini, priest (Italy), 28 May 2009.
  • Giuseppe Augusto Arribat, priest (France), 20 October 2010.
  • Stefano Ferrando, bishop (India), 5 December 2012
  • Ottavio Ortiz, bishop (Peru), Positio will be submitted in February 2013
For the following, the diocesan inquest has been concluded (dates given) and the preparation of the Positio is going on.

  • Ignazio Stuchly, priest (Czech Republic). 29 November 2002.
  • Giuseppe Vandor, priest (Cuba). 11 March 2011.
  • Antonio Lustosa de Almeida, bishop (Brazil). 2 May 2003.
  • Carlo Crespi Croci, priest (Ecuador). 15 February 2010.
For the following, the diocesan inquest has been concluded (dates provided): We have an Italian missionary from India among these.
  • Costantino Vendrame, priest sdb (India). 19 February 2011. This January the decree for the validity of the diocesan inquest will be issued.
  • Giovanni Swierc, priest sdb and 7 companion ? martyrs (Poland). 24 May 2011.
  • Franciszek Miska, priest, martyr. 24 May 2011.
  • Tito Zeman, priest, martyr (Slovakia). 7 December 2012.
For these below, the diocesan inquest is going on at present (date of opening the inquest): We have an Italian missionary from India among these.
  • Matilde Salem, laywoman (S?ria). 20 October 1995.
  • Oreste Marengo, bishop (India) 12 April 2007. It is due to close on 16 February 2013.
  • Andrea Majcen, priest (Slovenia), 24 September 2010.
  • Anna Maria Lozano, virgin (Colombia),7 June 2011.
  • Carlo Della Torre, priest (Thailand). 12 June 2012.
For the following, the ?supplex libellus? (humble petition) for introducing the Cause has been presented, (dates given):

  • Carlo Braga, priest (Philippines), 9 February 2011.
  • Antonino Baglieri, layman (Italy), 3 March 2012.
  • Developments in the year 2012
  • The cause of Antonino Baglieri, CDB has been introduced
  • Sr. Maria Troncati FMA (Italy and Ecuador) ? her miracle has been recognized and she is beatified
  • The diocesan inquest has begun for Fr. Carlo della Torre (Italy and Thailand). He is the founder of the Daughters of the Queenship of Mary Immaculate.
  • Bro. Stefano Sandor?s cause for martyrdom has been recognized.
  • Fr. Giuseppe Quadrio?s body has been shifted to Crocetta- Turin
  • The Founder of the MSMHC, Bishop Ferrando?s Positio has been submitted
  • Fr. Tito Zeman?s diocesan inquest is concluded in Bratislaw, Slovakia.
Significant Anniversaries in 2013
  • 125th of the death of Don Bosco, 31 January
  • 100th of the birth of Attilio Giordani, 3 February
  • 75th of the Beatification of St. Mary Mazzarello, 20 November
  • 50th of the death of Fr. Augusto Arribat, 19 March
  • 50th of the death of Fr. Giuseppe Quadrio, 23 October
  • 25th of the beatification of Laura Vicuna, 3 September
Some Reflections

We need to value this precious patrimony of Holiness, and not reduce it to a liturgical memory. The saints are real incarnations of the Gospel in various contexts and times. These holy and extraordinary people can be highly educative, inspiring to the young and people of today and hence should be made known.

The same holiness of God is incarnated in people from various walks of life. We have popes, bishops, priests, sisters, boys, girls, youth, martyrs, confessors, missionaries, cooperators, lay consecrated people or married, seminary professors, princes, slaves, superiors, ordinary religious, brothers, Europeans and natives, hailing from good or broken families, mystics and confessors. They work in all sorts of ministries, from leper colonies to frontier missions, from high offices of authorities to humble household jobs.

It is good to pray to the Blesseds and Venerables. They need a miracle, and our fervent prayers can tempt them to intercede for us and obtain a miracle!

From India we have four causes which are progressing well ? 2 bishops and 2 priests, all of them Italian missionaries in the East or the North East of India. It is time to take up the cause of holy Indian Salesians from other parts of the country. Working for a cause of beatification is not merely an academically arduous work. It is the recognition of the glory of God among our own brothers and sisters. They become our models and intercessors. Hence it is a labour of love for them, for ourselves and for the future generations.

Every saint reminds us of the ?Gospel of Joy? and the ?Pedagogy of Goodness? that the Rector Major speaks of in this year?s strenna. ?Beatification? and ?blessed? are words that indicate that these saints have achieved the height of ?happiness, or joy or bliss?, because they already lived on this earth the Joy that comes from the Good News! Saints were blissful people because they knew that God loved them. This strong realization made them Good, and enthusiastic in passing on this goodness to others. That is why, to bear witness to the Gospel of Joy and practice the Pedagogy of Goodness, we need to be Saints. There is no other way!