Beatification of Sister Maria Troncatti
I am very pleased to respond to the invitation to send a message on my own behalf on this occasion of the Beatification of Sister Maria Troncatti, a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians which takes place in Macas, Ecuador, on 24 November 2012.
It is a case of recognising in the light of faith the meaning of the events surrounding this outstanding consecrated woman, missionary, and mother for everyone who had the grace of meeting her. Above all it is the testimony of someone who truly lived out the apostolic passion of the “Da mihi animas, cetera tolle” by accepting the demanding ascetic approach of “work and temperance” as the essential condition for “bearing fruit”. This Daughter of Mary Help of Christians in Ecuador's Amazonian forests became “doctor” for bodies and souls: while she looked after people and succoured them, she evangelised, proclaiming and testifying the infinite love of the Father and the motherly tenderness of the Help of Christians to everyone. Her Beatification is a keen reminder of the long line of heroic and generous missionaries, Salesians and Salesian Sisters, who sowed the Gospel in the Ecuadorian Amazon through tears, sweat and often with their lives.
Sr Troncatti's Beatification is a privileged sign of God's love for the entire Salesian Family and for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in particular. Holiness in the Family honours every group that finds renewal in the Salesian spirituality of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello. It is an encouragement to live our charism passionately and pass it on to younger generations in a world full of challenges but also full of signs of hope.
Maria Troncatti's life was truly consecrated in truth beginning with God, in communion with Jesus Christ and in the love of the Holy Spirit. She was united with and conformed to Jesus Christ by her self-denial and her faithful living out of the commitment she had made in her religious profession. Thanks to her faith and ongoing self-sacrifice, she shines out for her extraordinary ability to know how to marvellously combine proclamation of the Gospel with human development, resulting in spiritual conversion and human and social liberty. She belongs to the large group of people from whom fresh rivers of water have flown and still flow, filled as she was with the joy of faith expressed through radical obedience and the power of love.
It is significant and moving, in this Year of Faith, that the Church officially recognises the holiness of this daughter of hers, wherein she becomes a sign of hope in a world where religious illiteracy is spreading and on the increase. She seized every opportunity to point to salvation in the name of Jesus and Mary: whether she was sewing, or at the side of the sick or being the doctor, the word of the Gospel was always sewn by her in terms of intimacy between people; it came down on them as a doctor curing wounds and inflictions of heart and soul. Her Beatification helps remind us that the proclamation of salvation in Jesus' name is at the heart of mission.
Finally I would like to remind you that this event of grace falls during our preparations for the Bicentenary of the birth of our Father and Founder Don Bosco. The newly beatified Maria Troncatti was the living embodiment of our Salesian motto “Da mihi animas cetera tolle” in a unique way, through her unconditional zeal for and dedication to souls, to the point of giving her life for them. Sister Maria was concerned about the whole person, his or her physical and spiritual needs. By her example and message she reminds every member of the Salesian Family that we are not only concerned about the body but also the needs of the soul. How many souls she saved! How many babies she rescued from certain death! How many girls and women's dignity she defended! How many families she formed and guided in the truth of conjugal and family love! How many fires of hate and vengeance she extinguished through the power of patience and by giving her life! Everything she did, she did with great apostolic and missionary zeal. Her constant availability, renewed dedication every day at the foot of the altar, and her final gift of the supreme sacrifice of her life was for reconciliation and peace.
May Blessed Maria Troncatti obtain for us the grace of generously corresponding with our Christian calling and may it reawaken in our Christian families and religious communities the gift of faith and a commitment to proclaim the Gospel especially to the young and the poor.
Fr Pascual Chávez V.