Blessed Clare Bosatta was beatified by St. John Paul II on April 21, 1991. On April 20th we celebrate her feast day. Twenty-six years ago we were delightedly surprised by the Holy Father’s decision to beatify our Sister Clare. In expectation of the celebration of the event we lived intensely a period of great enthusiasm in order to acquire a deeper knowledge of our Sister’s holiness and, as from the day of her beatification, we have certainly experienced her protection as well as her encouragement to deepen our knowledge of her message and to imitate her example.
As the years have passed, she has become ever more familiar to us and has enabled us to better understand the holiness and spirituality of St. Louis Guanella. Indeed, we might say that her beatification gave a further impetus to promoting our Founder’s canonization. There is no doubt that Blessed Clare contributed with her prayers from heaven to ensure that Fr. Guanella was declared a Saint. We know that Blessed Clare had a crucial influence on the Founder’s journey to sainthood. Still today, those who kneel before their urns at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Como cannot but receive that holy incentive to integrate hard-working charity with the contemplation of the sources from which the grace of our activity comes. May the memory of Sr. Clare’s beatification revive in all of us gratitude to the Lord for our holy origins. Faithfulness to living their spirit and putting it into practice will increase our faith and love.
Walking towards holiness together, as Fr. Guanella, Sr. Clare and all the good people of God did will reinforce communion and collaboration among the people of God. We also want to renew our commitment of spreading the devotion to Blessed Clare and to ask our Blessed for her intercession so that her holiness may be proposed to the entire Christian world with her canonization. St. Louis Guanella loved Sr. Clare. In the beginning he was puzzled by Sr. Clare’s religious life style. He had an inspiration that Sr. Clare was a mystic. Fr. Guanella was moved to intensely study the works of St. Theresa of Avila. From then on, he understood that Sr. Clare was a saint and a mystic. She was the “little flower” of Guanellian spirituality.
Fr. Guanella wrote a biography of Blessed Clare. It is available at the St. Louis Center upon request.
Prayer for the Intercession of Blessed Clare Bosatta
O Jesus, Savior of the lowly, who made Blessed Clare Bosatta shine through the spirit of sacrifice, by rendering her an untiring apostle of Your Gospel among the poor; teach us her total abandonment in Divine Providence, her love of prayer, her patience in suffering, and her spirit of dedication to the most needy. Grant us, through her intercession, the grace … that we ask you for trustingly through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Blessed Clare, intercede for us!
Chennai – The Divine Providence Province in India had the joy and privilege to spend quality time with the members of ASCI, the charitable movement from Italy. The representatives were Mr. Eduardo and Ms. Maura. During their trip they visited all the mission stations of our Guanellian family in India. After the fraternal visit, they expressed their sentiments,
“We actually see the inspired Guanellian charism, imitated love of Christ, witnessed Guanellian service amidst the poor and suffering of society such as abandoned children, orphans, disabled “good children”, and the elderly. The image of love and mercy that St. Guanella generated for the poor brethren is represented. In spite of extreme poverty the respect for human life is marvelous. The young Guanellian family in India including priests, sisters, brothers, seminarians, benefactors, beneficiaries and all the other Guanellian members, is really deep rooted in its faith, apostolate and evangelization in accordance with modernity.”
Having expressed this, they expressed gratitude for all the hospitality prepared by the province. They also assured their spiritual and manual assistance of any projects of charity to the poor.
On March 15th during a meeting at the St.Trudpert Abbey in Münstertal, we celebrated the 80th birthday and 50 years of Religious Profession of the Pious Union Director, Sister Bernita A generous donation for our Good Samaritan Pharmacy has been transferred to Brother Mauro in Manila as a result. With these funds, he’ll be able to purchase more life saving medicine. Just this week a young boy was successfully treated; thanks also to continuous support of the Pious Union and two German doctors he survived the complicated operation.
On March 16th we paid a visit to the bishop’s office in Freiburg to hand over a formal request for financial sponsorship of the 26 Indian and 4 Filipino Theology Students.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure.
Manila– Consecrated men and women are God’s gift to the Church. On February 26th the Juniors- Seminarians Forum; an organization of simple professed religious in the Philippines, conducted its 31st anniversary at San Sebastian College Recoletos in Manila. As part of the local church, the Guanellian professed brothers and Fr. Battista, SdC attended this event. The assembly gave a chance for every participant to encounter various religious congregations present in the Philippines. More than two hundred temporarily professed religious showed their support and vibrant participation.
Manila – February 18th-19th the Servants of Charity hosted the Search-In program which educates students and recent graduates what the religious life is like and what it takes to be in seminary. The participants were recruited through vocation campaigns of the Servants of Charity at different parishes and schools. Participants stayed overnight at the seminary. They participated in different activities and attended a series of talks by Fr. Charlton Viray, SdC and some seminarians. Topics included vocation awareness, spirituality, the Servants of Charity, St. Louis Guanella and his charism. Another goal of this program is to help the participants discern their vocation and not be afraid to respond to it.
Chennai – The DGMS community releases “Guanellian Deepam” each academic year and the theme this year is, “Guanella’s Spirituality and his Devotion”. Many confreres contributed to the booklet by writing articles, giving birth to the richness of our Founder’s Spiritual Devotedness and Maturation in Holiness. This year’s edition was released on February 11th, feast day of our Lady of Lourdes and the day seven seminarians professed perpetual vows to the Congregation. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, officially released the booklet and with his words of appreciation he insisted that the young confreres should excel in their intellectual and spiritual evangelization, drawing many modern souls to God.
For five years the eyes of the civil and especially the Christian world have been on a tormented country, where an infamous genocide is perpetrated while the Great Policy dispute for a ridiculous cease fire that only lasted a couple of hours continues. We Christians watch the events through the window, and we do not move a single finger! This is the sad reality which the Patriarch of about 4 million Melchite Catholics in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq is condemning in his desperate appeals to the remaining people of good will in Western Christianity. In his recent Christmas letter addressed also to our German Entity, he pointed out an often forgotten step of our history: Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Palestine; but Christianity was born and raised in Syria.
I have personally visited that region many times while acting as export manager of my former company. During that time I had many contacts in the capital, Damas, Aleppo and in the neighboring Lebanese Beka Valley, now the biggest refugee camp after that in TR. Through these former business partners we started a risky effort to bring substantial help to these stranded Christians. In fact after first our personal meeting with Patriarch Gregory in Munich in July 2010 in cooperation with the Knights of St. Lazarus of Prior, Mr. Folker Theis, former chaplain of this order, we collected medical equipment for the Catholic Hosptial at Khabab near Damas. Unfortunately was damaged by the war and reconstructed later on with generous help of Melchite Communities in Germany, Austria and also Catholics of Poland. The most efficient contribution of the German Guanellian laity was coordinated by our first councillor Dr. Helmut Müller and hospitals of the German Pious Union at Münstertal. Containers arrived in Damas via our friends in Lattakia, Syria and Beirut, Lebanon. This has been a fulgent Morning Star, a hidden path to Syria of our fledgling German Procure.
We recently sent an invitation to His Beatitude Gregory III, to visit our Guanellian entities in Pforzheim and Tiefenbronn in order to further develop solidarity programs for Syria. “Guanellian engagement” in Middle East is an inspired effort found hidden in Father Guanella’s personal journey to Palestine and Damas in 1902! He was the real designer of our path around the globe. Why did he visit Treviri in 1912? Why at the end of his tireless earthly life did he visit the USA? I guess he was able to see all the future carriers of his charism in all those countries. And I, as an old dreamer, still have a burning dream to link Guanellians from Nazareth to the old roots of our Faith! But how? By reversing the ancient journey of the three Magi from the cradle of Jesus, to the cradle of Christianity. Patriarch Gregory III could be a real bridge for a Guanellian shelter of charity on the border to Syria, in the green Beka Valley, where we both still have contacts in the city of Zahle, who could contribute to making this dream a reality. From there the path of Fr. Guanella into the Emirates is not far, because in 2009 our General Council received a formal invitation to establish a fully financed disabled center from the Apostolic Vicariate Msgr. Paul Hinder validated by a factive promise from Sheik Faris el Marzroui, Cousin of the Ruler, Sultan Mohammed Al Zayed, at Abu Dhabi.
May God grant the entire Guanellian family His privileged grace. At the beginning of Lent we wish all our readers a fruitful and blessed spiritual journey.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure
Manila – On January 21st, the Guanellian theological seminary in Quezon City celebrated the centennial anniversary of the episcopal consecration of Ven. Aurelio Bacciarini. Following his devotion to Our Lady, they went on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Regina Rosarii in Tanay, Rizal. Fr. Battista Omodei, SdC, the formator of the brothers, concelebrated Holy Mass in the morning. After Mass, they prayed the Rosary while climbing the hill where the biggest statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary is located. When they reached the top, they made an offering to the Blessed Sacrament, the first copy of their project and programs for a fruitful outcome in the life of the community.
Manila – Vacation is an opportunity to renew the bond of fraternity that unites all for the common good. At the end of the first semester of the 2016–2017 academic year, the temporary professed brothers of Venerable Aurelio Bacciarini Theologate spent their vacation in Baguio City, Philippines January 2nd-7th. This place is also known as the ‘Summer Capital’ of the Philippines because of its cool temperature.
It was a time to strengthen the fraternity and to deepen the brotherly love among the confreres. Each day began with the Eucharist, spiritual reading particularly on “Formation to Priesthood.” Then after breakfast, they visited various places in Baguio. In the evening, they gathered for Vespers, and after the Night Prayer they planned for the next day. It was gratifying to celebrate the joys and happiness with one another: times of prayer, preparing the meals, visiting various tourist spots and helping each other in all their activities.
Manila – The World Apostolic Congress on Mercy held the second day’s events at the University of St. Tomas, Manila January 17th. About 5000 participants came from many different countries; arriving at the venue early to be assured of a seat. Fr. Battista Omodei, SdC, The representatives from the congregation of the servants of charity were there seminarians together with their professed brother and also. The Congress was held in the Philippines for the first time with the theme: COMMUNION IN MERCY, MISSION FOR MERCY (CALLED BY MERCY, SENT FOR MERCY). During the event all of the participants were welcomed by a festive dance led by the UST students. For its second day at UST, there was a series of talks and testimonies given by representatives from some congregations and chosen individuals. All of the participants’ hoped to learn what Divine Mercy really is and were enlightened by the Congress.