On Thursday 27 February, the Goodnight talk to the Chapter members was given by Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family. In it he showed the close relationship between holiness and the radical approach of the Gospel.
Fr Cameroni said that in the Salesian Family there are nine canonized Saints, 117 Blessed, eleven Venerable and twenty-nine Servants of God, a total of 166. He outlined the long path that leads to the acknowledgement of the sanctity of a person, from the initial investigation and documentation to recognition by the public authority in the Church.
He then invited the Congregation to focus more on this heritage. “This aspect must be taken care of mainly in the Provinces, in communion with the local Church and the Salesian Family. We have a considerable number of Venerable (currently 11) who might already be beatified but are still pending because there has not been a miracle. It is worth pointing out that the last canonization promoted by the Salesian postulator was that of St. Dominic Savio sixty years ago (12 June 1954). St. Louis Versiglia and St. Callistus Caravario were canonized because they were martyrs for whom Pope John Paul II had waived the requirement of a miracle.”
He made some requests: we need to record graces and favours received and to celebrate events such as anniversaries, beatifications and declarations of Venerable. The provinces where the figures of holiness of the Salesian Family were born, lived and died, are the ones mainly responsible for promoting their causes spiritually and pastorally.
Holiness is part of our history, but also of geography: “There is a geography of Salesian holiness revealing how the charism is embodied in time and in history. The enhancement of the place is not irrelevant to our faith, but something that helps faith to be born and to grow.”
He concluded with a direct reference to the chapter theme: “The Saints, Blessed, Venerable and Servants of God are the true incarnation of the Salesian charism and of the Constitutions in a particular time and situation, overcoming the worldliness and spiritual superficiality that undermine our credibility and fruitfulness at their root. They are true mystics of the primacy of God in generous self-giving, prophets of gospel fraternity and creative servants of our brothers.”