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         ADMAonLine        |          Monthly Message:   April 24th, 2013       

Mary helps the Church to come out of itself

I had the grace and the joy of being present in St Peter's square for the announcement of the election and the first blessing of our new Pope Francis. It was a big surprise, a sign of the love of God that always surprises us and of the perennial newness of the Church. We thank God for the gift of the new Pope Francis. A Pope who began his pontificate by reciting with us the prayers of the good Christian and who asked us to pray for him. At that moment there was a deep silence in the square, sign of an intense prayer. A Pope who, as his first act, went to seek the help of Our Lady to assist him in his ministry as Bishop of Rome, who presides over of the universal Church in charity. A Pope named Francis and who wants to embrace all people as brothers. We are grateful to Mary Help of Christians and to St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church, for this gift to the Church and to the whole world.
Indeed, the Church is going through a time that is difficult, but at the same time full of promises. Peter's boat is tossed about by waves that are threatening those who have a weak faith. Our Lady has been urging us to follow the Pastors and pray often for them. Especially in times like these we need to be aware of our belonging to the Church, because the Church is our family, without which we would be without God and without hope in this world. We must be devoutly proud and grateful for this membership and live it as a great grace. For us it must be not only a duty but also a joy to be faithful to the Church, love it and help it. We contribute to the renewal of the Church with our personal sanctification. The Church is renewed in the hearts open to God and his love. Let's make Jesus Christ shine in our lives so that the world may believe and be converted.
With Mary, we live the Paschal Church: we ask you, Mother of the Church and Help of Christians, that "through the contemplation of Jesus Christ, help the Church to step out of itself towards the suburbs of existence to become a fertile mother who lives the sweet and comforting joy of evangelization "(Cardinal Bergoglio, General Congregation March 2013). We make our own the words addressed to Pope Francis by the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez: "At this moment, while we want to express our joy on your appointment, we renew our loyalty and assure the filial respect we inherited from Don Bosco. He often used words full of love and faith towards the Successor of Peter: "He who is united with the Pope, is united to Christ" (MB VIII, 567); "We will be most obsequious towards the Apostolic See in all things, at any time, in any place, where the Lord will call us "(MB XV, 249), "The Pope's prayer is my command "(MB V, 874); "His word must be our rule in every way" (MB VI, 494). Thus spoke our Founder Don Bosco and so our hearts want to be today. "

Mr. Lucca Tullio, President
Don Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Spiritual Animator

Pope Francis: his devotion to Mary Help of Christians and the relationship with the Salesians.

Pope Francis had in his life different expressions of emotional closeness to the Salesians. In 1949 Jorge Mario Bergolio attended, with his younger brother, the Salesian College "Wilfrid Barón" Ramos Mejía, in class 6th B. As the list of winners of that year demonstrates, he received the first prize in good conduct and in Religion and the Gospel.
He had close relations with the Salesian Community of Almagro, where at the age of 17 he had as his spiritual director Father Enrico Pozzoli, a priest who, before taking the charism of Don Bosco to Tierra del Fuego - really at the end of the world - was able to leave an indelible mark on him. It was Don Pozzoli who suggested that the young Bergoglio should travel to the mountains of Tandil to recover his lungs, and it was with him that the future Pope decided his admission to the seminary in Villa Devoto, and in the preface of the first book written as card. Bergoglio - Meditations for the religious - he recalls him because of the "strong influence" that the Salesian had in his life and his "example of service to the Church and of religious consecration." Also in that community Bergoglio knew Father Lorenzo Massa, founder of the football team San Lorenzo, to which Pope Francis is affiliated and of which he still keeps its first sport ID card. In the celebration of the centenary of the Sports club he said that San Lorenzo "does not take the colours from anywhere, but we ask them from the Virgin "and asked that" Mary Help of Christians be never separated from the club, because she is the mother, as the San Lorenzo was born in the Oratory San Antonio, under the protection of the Virgin. "
He mainly cultivated a strong devotion to Blessed Artemide Zatti, Salesian Brother. In fact, during the period when he was Provincial of the Jesuits, he invoked Zatti's intercession for vocations of lay brothers in the Society of Jesus and the response was amazing! He wrote: "Since we had begun the prayers to Bro. Zatti, 18 young brothers came who persevered and another 5 that came out of the novitiate and the juniorate. In total, 23 vocations. The novices, students and young Brothers have done several times a Novena in honour of Bro. Zatti, asking vocations of Brothers. I did the same. I am convinced of his intercession for this problem, since, given the number, it is a rare case in the Society. In gratitude, the 2nd and 3rd edition of "Devotion Book of the Sacred Heart", we put the Novena to ask for the canonization of Bro. Zatti".
It is worth remembering his paternity, as Pastor of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, towards the Salesians. During the General Assembly of the Latin American churches in Aparecida he asked for the beatification of Ceferino Namuncurà, Salesian student, to be done not in Buenos Aires but in Chimpay in Argentinian Patagonia.
A special trait is the well-known devotion to Mary Help of Christians, remembered by many Salesians. Of all the memories, the strongest, the most significant, the most indelible: a man of faith, that every 24th of the month, early in the morning before they open their doors, went to the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in the Almagro neighborhood, celebrated mass and remained a good hour in prayer before the image of the Virgin, blessed by Don Bosco. On 21th March 2013 the Rector Major had the grace to meet with Pope Francis and made him a gift of a statue of Mary Help of Christians, which the Pope immediately kissed, recalling his devotion to Mary Help of Christians and also that he had been baptized in the Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians in Almagro. When they were leaving, Don Adriano Bregolin asked him to keep the statue of Mary Help of Christians in his studio as Help of Christians and Mother of the Church and the Pope said, "I will."

Way for formation 2012-2013: The grace of faith

8. Faith and love (Don Roberto Carelli)

We have already seen how the primacy of love can't be affirmed without the priority of faith: love is the form of faith, but faith tells the truth of love. Truth and love are inseparable according to the teaching of St. Paul: truth stands in charity (veritas in caritate), and charity is exercised in truth (caritas in veritate) and you must recognize that "only charity shines in truth" and that "without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality" (Caritas in Veritate, 3).
Separated from faith, love becomes anything, the most used and abused word, the name of God and the biggest idol, the greatest desire of man and its maximum frustration. Without faith, love makes a bad end, "becomes an empty shell to be filled arbitrarily" (ibid.). C.S. Lewis rightly observed: "when love is no longer God, or when love is elevated to a god, it becomes a demon"! Only God knows how often this happens every day, but we know a little, too. Out of the bond of faith, the mystery of love is overturned into a peaceful assumption everybody declares to know extremely well: love then ceases to be a summary of the commandments, and becomes the legitimacy of any discretion. And Jesus said love is the supreme commandment - "his" commandment! - for two very good reasons: that there's nothing so necessary as love, and so to fail in love is to fail in life, and that there is nothing free in love; in fact where there's no freedom there is no need for laws.
Outside faith, love becomes the greatest heresy: it ensures an element of truth, but other ones are forgotten. With the exception of those, ancient and modern, who deny the existence of love as a spiritual phenomenon, peculiar to mankind, and those who naturalize it reducing it to bio-psychological coordinates that can be studied and are predictable as all natural phenomena, in the history of thought there are the most diverse interpretations. For some it is instant and eternity, for others it is life and fidelity. Many frame it in the system of needs; others recognize it only in terms of pure love, of disinterestedness. There are those who think of it as desire, aspiration, lack, longing, and those who think it more as possession, fullness, rest, and enjoyment. People are inclined to think of love today as an irrational force, while Christians see it as the reason for everything. Some associate it with effort and sacrifice, while others consider it true only if it is spontaneous. It is even seen as a contradictory phenomenon, unable to get out of the alternative between affirmation and self-denial, disguised selfishness on the one hand, and an inevitable alienation on the other.
On the subject of love, there are ideas and attitudes even within faith. The debate has always been between those who see an irreparable rift between human love (eros) and divine love (agape), and those who would rather see continuity. In the first case, prevalent in an evangelical view, eros and agape are opposed as flesh and spirit, as lust and benevolence, love of desire and love of fullness, ascending love and descending love, spiritualization of love and embodiment of love. In the second case, prevalent in the Catholic perspective, human love comes from divine love and tends towards it. In other words, eros and agape are unmistakable and inseparable, eros tends to agape, agape is the truth of eros. In this sense, as pointed out by Benedict XVI in his first encyclical, "eros and agape can never be completely separated from each other," because in the end "love is a single reality, but with different dimensions" (DC 7.8). However, if you miss the reciprocal belonging, it is now very difficult not to identify eros with the eroticism and agape with mysticism, but then the ecstasy of eros stops being ascent and becomes degraded, and the ecstasy of agape, forgetting the concrete forms of love, can no longer be exodus, elevation, effective maturation of the heart (see DC 6.7). The Pope even suggests, in a very bold way, that eros does not only move from agape towards agape, but also agape is intimately crossed by eros, in the sense that the perfection of the love of God is not without passion, and its fullness is not without desire: his love 'may certainly be called eros, yet it is also totally agape "(DC 9).
Out of the bond of faith, today love lives two unknown threats. They are the bitter fruit of a long historical process, which in the Middle Ages has gradually replaced the figures of Christian love, which is both spiritual and incarnate, with the figures of romantic love, which is erotic but not sexual, passionate but not spousal. So love, separated from the concrete forms in which it occurs, develops and matures, loses all its dimensions and proportions. The most striking is the sentimental, erotic and economic reduction that love has suffered in the transition from modern to postmodern: the delivery of love to the variations of the emotion, the mechanisms of instinct and logic of exchange, deprive love of those aspects of loyalty, freedom and generosity that constitute it. The other phenomenon, evident in view of the faith, is the reversal of the one and three-fold commandment of God, who asks us to love God with all your heart and your neighbour as yourself. There is an order in love that cannot be subverted with impunity: love of God, love of neighbour and love of self. What happens when the primacy of God is denied or marginalized is there for us all to see: irreligion unleashes selfishness and produces narcissism. Yes, because when self-care takes the place of the worship of God and the love of neighbour, it is not surprising that young people are guilty of weak identity, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, little fortitude to make decisions of life and in dealing with conflicts. The wisdom of God is clear: first, you can not love the creatures as we love the Creator, because that would be idolatrous, deceptive and overwhelming and second, to love is to properly give life to others, not to withdraw into themselves, and thirdly, there must be a measure in the relationship between love of self and of others, because otherwise it will not prevent the opposing temptations of domination and dependence, manipulation and resentment.
What then is love according to faith? Here are the essential traits.
1. Love is a gift and commandment. Marked by limitations and sin, we are not in a position to define love and establish its needs. "God is Love". It is He to say what love is, it is He who makes us capable of loving, it is He who will judge us according to our love!
2. Love is pure donation, reciprocity and fruitfulness. It is always and everywhere, in heaven and on earth. In fact, since man has been created in the image of God, "to the monotheistic God corresponds a monogamous marriage. It becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa, God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love "(DC 11). Love cannot therefore be reduced to attachment or sentiment, nor can we know love separating it from the first forms of proximity: the love between husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters. The family ties are so both sacred and natural ties: they are based on the love of God and return to the love of God!
3. Love is the gift of self and acceptance of others. It is mutual, but does not respond to the logic of the exchange: it becomes mutual only if it dares to be free, it becomes bilateral only if it has the courage to be unilateral: "There is no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends "!
4. Love is affection and service. Love goes beyond the rights and duties, includes and outdoes justice, has its apex in mercy. If love doesn't become service, self-love and the limits of the other prevail, our rights and the others' wrongs. At the Last Supper, Jesus has called us friends and became a servant, has shown us that the power of love is manifested in service!
5. Love requires humility and sacrifice. Those who are full of themselves, do not leave space to another, and those who just want to feel good can not be responsible for others. Without humility, God's gifts do not find a home, and without willingness to sacrifice the testimony of the Gospel is not effective. Therefore, Jesus says, "Who wants to follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me"!
6. Love is poor, chaste and obedient. So was the love of Jesus and Mary. The evangelical counsels are not added to love, they belong to it, they qualify it: you can not love where there is greed in relation to things, cupidity in affection, pride in the exercise of freedom!
7. Love is joy and peace; it is no coincidence that they are the first two fruits of the Spirit, which is the Love of God himself, the reflection of His presence in your heart and on the human face. Joy and peace are the fruit and the thermometer of love: where they are missing or in short supply, there is little love, or is very imperfect; where they grow and abound, there the love of God is perfected!


ANS - Vatican City) - Wednesday 27 March 2013, Pope Francis has given an audience to Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience the Supreme Pontiff authorised the Congregation to promulgate the Decree of Martyrdom for Servant of God Stephen Sándor, a professed Brother in the Society of St Francis de Sales; he was born at Szolnok (Hungary) on 26 October 1914 and put to death out of hatred for the Faith at Budapest (Hungary) on 8 June 1953.
Stephen Sandor came to know about Don Bosco through the Salesian Bulletin, and immediately felt attracted to the Salesian charism. In 1936 he was accepted at the Clarisseum in Budapest where he did a two year aspirantate. He attended courses in printing technology at the Don Bosco Press. He began his novitiate but had to interrupt it as he was called to military service. In 1939 he was able to take up his novitiate again and eventually made his first profession on 8 September 1940 as a Salesian Brother.
He was assigned to the Clarisseum, and was actively involved in vocational education. He was also an assistant at the oratory and promoted the YCW (Young Catholic Workers). At the end of the Second World War he began working for the material and moral rebuilding of society, giving special attention to poor youth. His interest was in gathering them up and teaching them a trade..
In 1949 the State, under Mátyás Rákosi, confiscated all ecclesiastical goods and began persecution of Catholic schools. Bro. Sándor tried to save what could be saved. Almost overnight religious found themselves reduced to nothing and had to disband. Stephen Sandor had to leave his printing operations - which had gained recognition - and "disappear", but instead of fleeing to the West he stayed in the country so he could keep working for Hungarian youth. He managed to find employment in a detergent factory in the Capital, and fearlessly but clandestinely kept up his apostolate, while knowing that it was a strictly forbidden activity. In July 1952 he was taken into custody at his workplace and was never seen again by his confreres. An official document shows that he was condemned to death and hanged on 8 June 1953.
"Let us give thanks to God for this gift of the Church to the Salesian Family during the Year of Faith", Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Salesian Family, said. "The new martyr, Stephen Sándor, a Salesian Brother, is a shining witness and intercessor who followed in Don Bosco's footsteps by offering the young the Gospel of joy through a pedagogy of kindness and by giving his own life. Let us be grateful to Pope Francis for this special gift at the beginning of his papal ministry"
The Decree of Martyrdom will now be prepared by the Congregation for Causes of Saints in collaboration with the Postulator General. Following this a date will be set for the Beatification, given that a martyr does not need a miracle. His complete sacrifice in the act of martyrdom, as the highest testimony to the Christian Faith, is considered to be the supreme act in his "sequela Christi".

May 15 to 23: Novena to Mary Help of Christians

We would like to invite our entire Association to participate in a special prayer campaign for the Salesian Congregation's General Chapter XXVII. It will begin in February 2014. We wish to invite all the groups to have Masses said and to pray the rosary for this intention. This is a very special event which touches the entire Salesian Family.

May 24: Feast of Mary Help of Christians


O Father,
you gave the Virgin Mary Immaculate, Mother of your Son,
as help for the christian people,
in order to fight fearlessly the good fight of faith,
and that safely anchored to the apostles teaching,
they might proceed surely among the world's tempests,
up to the final perfect joy in heaven.
Make us stay unshaken under her protection
so that in the trials of life
We might always feel her close, rescuer and mother.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen!

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                                  THE President OF ADMA:
                                  Signor LUCCA TULLIO (until 2014) |E-mail:  Tullio.Lucca@gmail.com   
     Spiritual Animator of ADMA:
     Don Pier Luigi CAMERONI / Istituto Salesiano | Via S. G. Bosco 1 - 25075 NAVE - BS
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