Mary, Mother of the Church and Help of Christians
24 May 2012, South Korea, Kwangju
Finally today the list of the 143rd Salesian missionary expedition is complete! After a novena to Mary Help of Christians, this time spent in Korea, i would like to share the amazing grace of this 2012 month of Mary.
After two weeks in Korea, enjoying the Feast of our Mother, with many special graces, gifts received.
1. This year there are 43 missionaries on the list of the 143rd expedtion, scheduled for September 30, 2012 at Valdocco, Turin. Among them 17 vietnamese postnovices! Another ten missionaries did find during last few months their new destination after some period of health recovery or recharging in their homeland. I believe all of them were guided by Mary in their new vocation of missionary! Thanks be to God their life long commitment decision.
2. Yesterday evening before the last day of Novena prayer with the group home kids at Kwangju, Shin An Dong,
i met in the playground a young pakistani man, already living for 11 years in Korea, now prepared by fr. Robert Falk for baptism. A journey from muslim faith to Jesus Christ is not easy. But his determination and perfect korean accent was the best sign of a long and serious journey of faith. I firmly belive the hand of Mary in this journey.
3. This morning celebrating the Eucharist in the Kwangju Salesian Girls High School FMA convent i took the statue of Mary Help of Christians during the homily to speak about Her in front of the altar. What marvel! Below the statue
there were quite few small paper notes asking Mary different graces, giving thanks for Her intercession.
. Exactly as our Blessed Philip Rinaldi did during his life time. When he died, on his working table under a small statue of MHC there were many small notes asking special help in some 'helpless' cases.
4. This morning i had an interesting talk with one of the young korean salesian priests. He spent 3 years of studies in another province, where the habit of praying the Rosary together was never experienced. He tried to suggest in the formation house to the local Salesians, but was always put aside or laughed at him. In the same time this specific province has for many years almost no novices. We shared about the relation between devotion to the Mother of Jesus and vitality of our Charism. Definitely there is deep connection, showed by fidelity to the religious life, community life - family spirit, commitment to the entrusted mission.
5. The annual magazine SALESIANS 2012 shows on the cover late fr. John Lee with a Tonj boy, Patrick, as the ikon of the world wide salesian missionary commitment. But on the back cover, since the start of the magazine we can find every year the statue of Mary Help of Christians. Its a clear sign of our Salesian believe: WITHOUT MARY, we Salesians are good for nothing! (cfr. Mons. Luis Versiglia, 1920 advice to the china missionaries).
6. During the day spent with Caritas Sisters of Jesus in their Kwangju mother house during the 'CARITAS DAY' there was a chance to pray with all 300 sisters gathered from all 3 Korean CSJ Provinces to say three times Hail Mary for all challenges they are facing now. The celebration of 75th foundation anniversary was a good occasion to remind also to me the roots of our Charism, the Mother WHO DID ALL THIS!
Yes, as Don Bosco believed, Mary is here, in our midst, walking in the playground, within our walls.
She is going ahead of us, she is protecting us (unbelievble 10 years of service around the world without even a small health problem!), protecting us, inspiring us, guiding us in the footsteps of Her Son!
Thank you Mother!
Please, help us to stay faithful to your Son Jesus!
As every day also today with a special devotion i will finish with three Hail Mary before going to sleep
here in Korea the last night!
Hail Mary, Full of Grace....
Daejon, 24th May 2012