Giovanni Bosco – Personal letters to Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of christians

These brief items of correspondence, written in familiar tone, contain simple advice on spiritual life. Don Bosco knew those he wrote to, their character, defects, the circumstances in which they worked. In a practical way he invited them to focus on concrete attitudes essential for nurturing their attachment to their Salesian vocation, constantly keeping their hearts leaning to God and charity.

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Giovanni Bosco – Circular letters to Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of christians

Don Bosco’s Circular letters to the Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are small masterpieces of spirituality. The Saint expresses in them a vigorous view of consecrated life: by the vows we give ourselves completely to the Lord, ready to follow him through tribulations until death, courageously facing up to fatigue and difficulty in order to win souls for God. Seen this way the Salesian and the Salesian Sister are encouraged to remain firm in their vocation; to flee worldly spirit; to practise obedience and poverty magnanimously; to cultivate union with God and confidence in their Superiors; to know how to put up with all kinds of inconvenience serenely to “save souls”; to faithfully observe the rules.

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Giovanni Bosco – Constitutional documents

The first document contained in this part (no. 225) is the oldest text of the rule that we have. It was written in beautiful handwriting by cleric Michael Rua between 1858 and 1859, beginning from an earlier draft by Don Bosco which has not been preserved. From this draft came all the other constitutional drafts up to the definitive document in 1874. To draw it up Don Bosco, who had no experience of consecrated life, had recourse to constitutions of other religious institutes.

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Giovanni Bosco – Recourse to public charity

As we have just said, for the financial resources needed to supply the everincreasing costs of his work, Don Bosco appealed to institutions: the Royal family, Government authorities, public officials (local council, provincial, state …), existing charitable organisations locally, the National Bank, parishes, dioceses, the Holy See itself through his best supporters, including the Pope.

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Rik Biesmans – Don Bosco & Saint Francis De Sales (1842-1880). Concerning the question whether Don Bosco was influenced by Francis de Sales in both his personal faith and his pastoral-pedagogical practice

While preparing pilgrimages and spiritual exercises in Annecy and the neighborhood, I discovered reliable sources among the German and Dutch Oblates of St Francis de Sales. As a consequence of keeping contact with various participants, they invited the undersigned to take part in the annual meetings of their Arbeitsgemeinschaft (“study group”) in Eichstätt, Germany.

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Dominic Veliath – Encounter of the salesian charism. South Asian context

The theme of this reflection, entitled: “Encounter of the Salesian Charism: South Asian Context, is self-explanatory. Drawing out its implications, the topic can be articulated in three focal points, implied in the very title, that is, “Salesian charism,” “South Asia,” and finally, the issue of the “Encounter…”.

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Francis J. Moloney – The salesian charism and the good shepherd motif

Fr. Moloney offers an historical look at how the image of the Good Shepherd came to be connected with the person of Don Bosco and the Salesian charism, and how this connection is relatively new.

He then presents an interesting insight on the Good Shepherd image on the Salesian cross received by those who take their perpetual vows within the Congregation.

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Arthur Lenti – Key-concepts, concerns and fears of a Founder-Don Bosco in his declining years Part II

In an article which appeared in an earlier issue of this Journal, I described some of Don Bosco’s concerns, as he expressed them in meetings of his council and in sessions of General Chapters held during the last decade of his life.

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