The Salesian Society celebrated its General Chapter in Rome. Some of its members got to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The new Rector, Spanish Angel Fernandez Artime, started off the audience.
FR. ÁNGEL FERNÁNDEZ ARTIME
Rector Major of the Salesians
"We love you, Holy Father. We appreciate your courage and testimony. We observe with joy your love for the Lord Jesus and the Church, and your desire of deep renovation in the community you lead in both service and charity.”
In his speech, Pope Francis talked about the founder of the Salesians, St. John Bosco. He said his life had two pillars: work and temperance, which reminded him of his school days.
"I remember that in school it was forbidden to take a nap... Temperance! For Salesians and for us. 'Work and temperance, St. John Bosco used to say, will make the Congregation blossom.' When one thinks about working for souls, the temptation of spiritual wordiness is now match. God and His Kingdom are enough.
He also stressed the importance of helping young people find their vocation, and called on Salesians to go and meet the youth, specially those who are socially excluded, don't have a job or are struggling with an addiction.
The event didn't finish without a surprise. During the greetings, one the members of the delegation gave the Pope a gift from a kid.
"He told me: 'Give the Pope this candy.' So I kept it and brought it to you.”
"I will keep it too.”
As usual, Pope Francis blessed them all and asked them to keep praying for him.