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Letter on Vocations

Letter on Vocations


Turin, 15 May 1921.
Pentecost and beginning of Novena Maria Ansiliatrice.
My beloved brothers and children,

1. Last year I repeatedly urged you and excited you to build upon our Venerable Father, - with your conduct - modeled on his shining examples, the only true and vital monument worthy of us and of us. With my exhortations, I mainly intended to promote the individual imitation of paternal examples; but together they also aimed at arousing in each of. you a love more alive and ardent then - our dear Congregation, which, having come out of the great heart of the Father, has to draw life and increase from the love of children, to whom he has left it in a most precious inheritance.
Now this love for the Congregation must spur us not only to give it all our best energies, but also to continually strive to increase the number of its members, with an intense search and cultivation of Salesian vocations, to enable it to always implement better, and in an ever wider circle, the program site, which is the glory of God procured through the education of poor and abandoned youth.
. Therefore, my dearest ones, after having stimulated you with all my poor strengths to copy the dear fatherly image in yourselves, I now want to talk to you about the obligation that we all have to work hard and earn Don Bosco new children and imitators, who at their time, following your example, may they pass on the living Father to other future sons.
So don't you feel it too, as I feel it, as other Major Superiors feel it, the anguished groan of our beloved Congregation: Da mini liberos, alioquin moriar? (Gen., 31, 1); give me children, otherwise I die? It wants gods. children, that is, many new religious vocations, because they are the indispensable condition of his life and his apostolate. The day in citi was struck by absolute sterility, it would also be the day of his death; and of this venerable mother of our religious perfection there would remain only a cold historical memory. For this; first Don Bosco, and then the unforgettable Don Rita, spoke and insisted so much on the need to cultivate vocations, with a frequency that to some even seemed excessive; for this reason I also wrote extensively in my first letter edif-, canto of May 31, 1913, and later (January 31, 191 = 5) in chapter VIII of Part II of the Dirett handbook, ure, where I collected almost to the letter wise norms of our Fathers in this regard, so that every director, having them always in hand, could put them more easily into practice and make them the favorite subject of his conferences. For this I finally took advantage of every. an opportunity that seemed to me propitious, to animate you, even if only incidentally, to arouse new vocations. he could more easily put them into practice and make them the favorite subject of his lectures. For this I finally took advantage of every. an opportunity that seemed to me propitious, to animate you, even if only incidentally, to arouse new vocations. he could more easily put them into practice and make them the favorite subject of his lectures. For this I finally took advantage of every. an opportunity that seemed to me propitious, to animate you, even if only incidentally, to arouse new vocations.
And my warm exhortations, I can say with real and profound satisfaction, did not remain a dead letter, but rather produced excellent fruits, of which our Pious Society is now proud.
However, perhaps never like today has the divine lament felt in all its painful truth: Messis quidem multa, operarii autem pauci (MATTA, IX, 37): the harvest has grown out of all proportion, and the number of workers is too small they consecrate themselves to collect it, for most of it goes miserably lost. Especially the terrible social upheavals of recent years have taken place, which have taken away from the Congregation numerous subjects already trained, making them more difficult than ever for the formation of new recruits.
Aware of all the gravity and urgency of today's situation, the Major Superiors dedicated several of their laborious meetings to the study of the most effective means of raising and cultivating numerous. and good vocations; and I intend now to communicate to you, my dearest friends,
some of the many things proposed, which, after a mature examination, were considered more apt to achieve intent.
Every day, after spiritual reading, we beseech the Heart of Jesus who wants to send good and worthy workers to our Pious Society, and to preserve them ... ut bon.os et dignos operarios Pive Salesian.orum Societati mittere et in ca conserve digneris, te rogamus, aedi. nos. This prayer is certainly supremely pleasing to blessed Jesus, and we can be sure that, as far as he is concerned, we will always have all the vocations that we will be able to deserve with our work. Now our work consists primarily in preparing the ground favorable to vocations, then in sowing them, and finally in cultivating them to perfect maturity. In other words, the vital question of vocations awaits its positive solution from each of us; and if the, our Congregation does not have as many as it claims the
2. To make this better understood it seems to me convenient, my dear friends, to remember first of all with the greatest possible clarity the fundamental principles which govern every vocation: they will also be of great help in overcoming the difficulties we had to encounter in the enterprise.
The vocation in general - that is, the election of a specific state of life - comes from God, who, as is the Author of all creation, so also inspires every reasonable soul which way, it must travel to achieve the his end. But in general he does not communicate this inspiration in an extraordinary way, nor does it reveal it with signs of such certainty as to leave no doubt as to the choice; instead He usually puts, so to speak, the seed of the vocation in the same natural gifts that appear, in different degrees and manner, to the souls, that is, while creating all men in his image and likeness, while determining for all the same purpose, according to his consent gives them different personal qualities, which incline them to one state and to another;
This is, in the ordinary way, the part of God in the vocation of his creatures. The positive embrace of one state rather than another is left to free personal election, assisted by divine grace (which is never lacking for those who do everything possible not to demerit it), and by the work of those who are_ in charge of development and the education of individuals.
What are the ways of God, in this distribution of gifts and qualities, is exposed to us admirably by St. Thomas. "Providence, he says, as a general rule does not impose on anyone a specific state of life, but disposes so well of the temperaments and inclinations of men, that, following a free election made under this double influence, which mostly reaches its purpose, every human career always has a convenient number of free candidates (Supp., q. 41. a. 2 ad 4) ». Given this, our first task with regard to vocations consists in seeing who has the qualities required for, some of the various branches of the state of perfection, that is, either for the priesthood, or for the simple religious state, or for the religious missionary: gifts that can be reduced to three mainly, namely: sufficient science, probity of life,
The state of perfection, precisely because it is such, is left to the free election of souls. It can be said with truth, my dearest friends, that for every priestly or religious vocation the evangelical scene of the young man is mysteriously renewed, who asks Jesus what he must do to achieve eternal life: the Lord is content with observance, with the Commandments: serva mandata, and most stop here; but next to this, which is, so to speak, the minimum program necessary to reach one's goal, Jesus continually echoes the sublime invitation to the most generous souls, in the most diverse and unexpected ways: Si vis perfectus esse ...! And these souls, when they are well guided, are not saddened by this invitation, like the youth of the Gospel, but rather rejoice in ineffable joy;
I said: "when they are well guided", and this is the part of man, our part, in the formation of vocations. Jesus makes no one an absolute obligation to listen to his loving appeal, Z) because he wants to respect in the reasonable creature the great gift of freedom, of which he himself adorned it. Therefore, in order for the seed of the vocation to grow and ripen its fruits, we must provide it with a favorable environment and surround it with the most prompt care. "God - I told you already in my first edifying letter - is the author of vocations, but let us not forget, dearest ones, that he wants to use our cooperation to make them sprout
Are bear fruit. In every vocation there is the part of God and the part of man. Every call to religious life and to the apostolate has its natural fruitful source in the heart of God. And God, because he loves the Church, because he loves institutions. religious who serve her, because she loves souls and wants to save them, incessantly and with full hands she throws the seeds of vocation into the hearts of her children. But as the harvest of the fields comes (t maturity for the union of man's labors and the blessings of Heaven, so vocations do not develop without our work. So we must work in them as if success depended only on us , but without ever losing sight of the fact that every good comes from God: Om.ne donum per
fectum desurstim est, descendens in Patre luminum (JAC., 1, 17) ».
Yes, every good comes from God, therefore not only the seed of the vocation, but also our potentiality and will to work effectively for the development and maturation of these germs: utra9ue autem sunt dona Dei (Ecel., 1.13). Therefore every priestly-religious vocation, is divine both for the direct part that God himself has there, and for that which he leaves to us, since in the end even our work is his gift: unusquisque proprium donum habet ex Deo (1st Cor. , 7, 7).
But for a vocation to be considered divine, it is not necessary for God to reveal his will directly to the person called. Not that He does not sometimes call for revelation, or for direct inspiration, but such extraordinary calls are not frequent, but form the rule; and for the most part He only heals them from those whom he assigns to some particular mission. "God - writes Cornelius a Lapide - often leaves the choice of his own state of life to the free election of each one; nevertheless, a similar choice can be said to come from God since it is from God the direction of secondary causes
It is the providence of every good. God in fact with his ordinary Providence directs each one through relatives, friends, confessors, teachers and all other occasions and secondary causes, which make one embrace marriage and the other the priesthood: but freely, since these directing causes do not necessarily impose themselves, but leave freedom ... Once the choice has been made, Diq gives each one the graces that conform to the embraced state ... Choose, says Sant'Ambrogio, the state you want, and God will give you the grace proper and convenient to live there honestly and in a holy way "(C oEN. A LAP., in 1 ° ° Cor., 7, 7).
3. Normally therefore the priestly-religious vocation consists in the free election of this state, made for supernatural reasons, in having the qualities required for it, and in the call of the Bishop, or, for those who aspire to enter a religion approved by the Church , in admission to the novitiate and religious profession. The Bishop or the religious Superior, in order to be able to legitimately call or accept anyone, suffices to find in him the right intention combined with suitability, that is to say a complex of gifts of grace and nature, a science, a life probity , that they give hope that he can conveniently fulfill the offices and duties of priestly and religious life; and before this call or acceptance no one has the right to be ordained a priest,
Questo e il concetto che della vocazione ci da un document autorevole Published negligence Journal. See, del 15 July 1912. One of the cardinal noted Commissione di dal S. Padre, dopo mature esame, formulated sulla question della vocazione I priestly following principle: Pope Pius approvati dat di SM 10 "1. No, to have any right to any antecedent to the organization of free etectionem Bishop. - 2. The condition of the part to be considered for ordination, which is called the priestly calling means consist at least of necessity the ordinary law, the interior of the exhalations of a certain subject or other inducements Holy Spirit to enter sacerdo'tium. - 3. But on the contrary, is nothing more than the organization that life has approved, as required together with good intentions, and thanks to the suitability of the gifts of nature, there is and by means of the doctrine of the sufficiency of the comhrol ta not to the dog to the probity of his life, which would be well-founded hope they can do to cope with and the same as the obligations of the priesthood of r_nunera sanate to keep it justly. "He speaks when the soil della vocazione priests, a clear ma e che le faite & graces proporzioni, gli stessi principle valgono Also vocazzicni addressed by the religious;
Now, my dear ones, these principles are not new, but they summarize in a clear and precise way the pure doctrine of the Church on the question of the priestly and religious vocation, a doctrine already expressed in the Catechism published by order of Pope Pius X, where it is said that "no one can enter into his will in Orders, but must be called by God. through his own Bishop, that is, he must have the vocation, with the virtues and attitudes to the sacred ministry, which he requests "(Part III, Section I, Chapter VII, No. 403). Also here it is expressly stated: a) that no one can access the Orders or religious profession on his own; b) that the right to access it acquires whoever is called by God; e) that the divine call is manifested to the subject by means of his own Bishop, or of the religious Superior; d) that those who have been called in this way have a vocation in their genuine meaning, as Saint Paul intended when he proclaimed the great law: nee quisquam sumit sibi honorem, sed qui vocatur a Deo (Hebr., 5, 4); because, as the Catechism of the Council of Trent explains, those who are called by the legitimate ministers of the Church are considered to be called by God: Vocari autem a Deo dicuntur qui a legitimis Ecclesiae ministris vocantur (De Ordine). e) That this vocation requires in the subject the virtues and attitudes necessary for the sacred ministry and for religious life. those considered to be called by God those who are called by the legitimate ministers of the Church: Vocari autem a Deo dicuntur qui a legitimis Ecclesiae ministris vocantur (De Ordine). e) That this vocation requires in the subject the virtues and attitudes necessary for the sacred ministry and for religious life. those considered to be called by God those who are called by the legitimate ministers of the Church: Vocari autem a Deo dicuntur qui a legitimis Ecclesiae ministris vocantur (De Ordine). e) That this vocation requires in the subject the virtues and attitudes necessary for the sacred ministry and for religious life.
Pongasi mind to the conclusion that comes from the things said. _ For a young person to be called to the religious or priestly state, it is sufficient (with the admission of the legitimate Superior, always necessary) that he has the suitability for this state, that is, that complex of gifts of nature and grace, of science and virtue for which he gives the hope of faithfully fulfilling the duties of this state; and that with a right intention conceive the purpose of dedicating oneself to the priesthood, to religion. This purpose, it should be noted, can be prepared, suggested, excited, and promoted by appropriate advice and by insistent exhortations (because without the moral pressure to rid the liberty) of the educator, of the confessor or of another person, tooth .
4. Returning now to our task with regard to vocations, we work, I repeat, as if their success depended only on us, and with the intimate persuasion that we will have as many of our zeal will know and will want to arouse in our apostolate. The Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide, in its Instruction to the Bishops of the East Indies on the conversion of the Gentiles, on March 19, 1893, expressly declares to be the duty of the Bishops to seek and train as many as possible of the most worthy subjects, and to promote them at the time to Holy Orders: ut ad sacros ordines' quamplurimos et quam aptissimos adducerent, instituerent et its promore tempore (1). Now, if the Holy Church makes numerous vocations to the priesthood depend on the action of the Bishops, it follows' that religious vocations in their turn depend in an ordinary way on the action of the members of each religion. Therefore, just as the Bishops are the principal instruments in arousing, forming and calling to the priesthood suitable subjects, so we, or my charities, "we must be so for Salesian vocations to all incumbents the duty to arouse and form more than we can, but the the right to call definitively and to admit to the religious profession belongs only to the Major Superiors. It is indeed true that the Bishops have the mission directly from God to admit to the priesthood the candidates who consider them worthy, while the Superiors who accept and admit to religious profession repeat their direct authority = Mind by the Church and only mediately by God ; yet those whom they admit to the profession,
5. So great is our task, and our responsibility is grave, my dear brothers and sons! The Venerable Don Bosco used to say that the acceptance of a young person in some

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(1) Seeking candidates for the priesthood, training them and in turn promoting them to Holy Orders are the responsibility of the Pastors in charge of the custody of the flock of Jesus Christ. I know they are pastors, they do not wait for God to send the candidates to the sacred ministry, Ina they seek them with the loving care with which the woman of the Gospel seeks the lost drannna: adducerent; find them, they do not wait for God to form them with extraordinary grace, but they devote themselves to formation: instituerent; and only after having formed them well do they promote them: its promoverent tempore. With incessant supplications they also do violence to the Lord because he sends numerous workers into the evangelical vineyard; but never forget the invitation of the Master: ile et vos in vineam meamn (MAT'r11., 20, 7) can and must do it to those young people who believe they are fit for high mission. And since to the saying of St. Thomas, God does not abandon his Church to the point that it is devoid of suitable ministers, or not enough helium for the needs of the Christian people (Sappi., Q.36, art. 4 ad 1): so they will always find those who want to embrace the ecclesiastical-religious state. They therefore put all their efforts into it: 1d potius ceranduna est, ut quae Deus humanae per) nisit industriae, fideliler erequantur; and the Lord will not leave, never miss the sacred vocauioui. which means that the human) than industrial, fidelil erequantur; ed il Signore does not lascierìl, mai mancare le vocauioui sacré. which means that the human) than industrial, fidelil erequantur; ed il Signore does not lascierìl, mai mancare le vocauioui sacré.
The Bishops (Benedict XIV also said in the Encyclical Ubi primum) usually complain that the harvest is a lot or the few workers: but perhaps it would also be to complain that they themselves do not use all the due solicitude to form suitable workers and in convenient numbers for the harvest : because they are not born, but the good and valiant workers are made, and the care taken of them is mainly due to the intelligent activity and the industries of the VesCOVi: DONI NAMQIJE ET STRENUI OPERARII NON NASCUNTUn 8131) rIIINT; UT AUTEM IIANT, AI) EPISCOPORUM SOLERTIAM, INDUS'rRIAMQUE MAXIME PERTINET.
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our House (still in the Valdocco Oratory) was a precious sign of vocation. Not that all the young people of our houses are called to embrace the state of perfection; but certainly many of them, under the salutary influence of the environment that surrounds them and penetrate them, will come to know that they have qualities and qualities in order to aspire to such an excellent state, so a little at a time they will also be able to freely arrange themselves to embrace it . In terms of vocation, the good Father possessed the genuine doctrine of the Church (as I have just explained above): therefore, because his young people were completely free in the election of the state of life, he avoided every word that it could indicate any kind of imposition or coercion, whether on the part of God, as of individual, family or social circumstances. Above all he placed, the salvation of the soul, which, he said, absolutely speaking can be achieved in any state, as long as chosen, and embraced after mature examination of one's personal qualities and qualities, in the light of the beyond and under the guidance of an expert in the ways of the Lord. And since without a special revelation no one can know with certainty the eternal designs of God above him, so he held that his task, and therefore also ours, with regard to vocations, consisted not in scrutinizing and guessing such drawings, but yes in helping young people to choose the state of life more in line with their particular gifts and inclinations; because he was sure that with this they could more easily achieve eternal salvation. which, he said, absolutely speaking can be achieved in any state, as long as chosen, and embraced after mature examination of one's personal qualities and qualities, in the light of the beyond and under the guidance of an expert in the ways of the Lord. And since without a special revelation no one can know with certainty the eternal designs of God above him, so he held that his task, and therefore also ours, with regard to vocations, consisted not in scrutinizing and guessing such drawings, but yes in helping young people to choose the state of life more in line with their particular gifts and inclinations; because he was sure that with this they could more easily achieve eternal salvation. which, he said, absolutely speaking can be achieved in any state, as long as chosen, and embraced after mature examination of one's personal qualities and qualities, in the light of the beyond and under the guidance of an expert in the ways of the Lord. And since without a special revelation no one can know with certainty the eternal designs of God above him, so he held that his task, and therefore also ours, with regard to vocations, consisted not in scrutinizing and guessing such drawings, but yes in helping young people to choose the state of life more in line with their particular gifts and inclinations; because he was sure that with this they could more easily achieve eternal salvation. and embraced, after mature examination, one's personal qualities and qualities, in the light of the beyond and under the guidance of an expert in the ways of the Lord. And since without a special revelation no one can know with certainty the eternal designs of God above him, so he held that his task, and therefore also ours, with regard to vocations, consisted not in scrutinizing and guessing such drawings, but yes in helping young people to choose the state of life more in line with their particular gifts and inclinations; because he was sure that with this they could more easily achieve eternal salvation. and embraced, after mature examination, one's personal qualities and qualities, in the light of the beyond and under the guidance of an expert in the ways of the Lord. And since without a special revelation no one can know with certainty the eternal designs of God above him, so he held that his task, and therefore also ours, with regard to vocations, consisted not in scrutinizing and guessing such drawings, but yes in helping young people to choose the state of life more in line with their particular gifts and inclinations; because he was sure that with this they could more easily achieve eternal salvation. And since without a special revelation no one can know with certainty the eternal designs of God above him, so he held that his task, and therefore also ours, with regard to vocations, consisted not in scrutinizing and guessing such drawings, but yes in helping young people to choose the state of life more in line with their particular gifts and inclinations; because he was sure that with this they could more easily achieve eternal salvation. And since without a special revelation no one can know with certainty the eternal designs of God above him, so he held that his task, and therefore also ours, with regard to vocations, consisted not in scrutinizing and guessing such drawings, but yes in helping young people to choose the state of life more in line with their particular gifts and inclinations; because he was sure that with this they could more easily achieve eternal salvation.
In the precious treatise given to our Constitutions, he sums up, it is true, the sentiments of St. Alphonsus around the religious vocation, and therefore at first sight it seems to inculcate the doctrine (prevalent at the time of the Holy Doctor) that each is absolutely predestined to a certain state of life, out of which he runs seriously the danger of not having the necessary graces to save himself. But on closer examination, those pages are not for those who still have to choose their vocation, but for those who have already chosen it: they are not to indicate the way to go, but to keep those who are already walking in it: in short, they are the commentary genuine of the words of the Savior: "No one, who after looking at the plow, looks back, is good for the kingdom of God" (Lue., IX, 62).
That our good Father here only wanted to admonish us to persevere in our vocation, and not to give norms for the choice of the state, is proved by his own attitude towards those who, either because of a lack of will, or for other reasons, retreated little after the test by the embraced vocation: not only did he complain, but he helped them in every way, so that they could recover and do their best to save their soul in the inferior state to which they had descended. Indeed, his help was as much wider and more constant as their number grew, as long as he knew from experience the very serious difficulties. that, more often than not, one must know how to overcome. to stay in the path of the perfect. Even in his dreams he witnessed the struggles his young people had to sustain to become apostles
6. "Great and long battle of young men - he wrote himself on 9 May 1879 - against warriors of various forms, of different shapes, with strange weapons. In the end I find very few survivors. Another more fierce and horrible battle occurred between monsters of gigantic form and 'tall, well-armed and well-exercised ovines. They had a very high and wide banner, in the center of which these words were painted: Maria, Auxilium Christianorum. The plague was long, bloody, but those who followed, the banner were as invulnerable and remained masters of a vast plain. They were joined by the youngsters who had survived the previous battle, and all of them formed a kind of army, having each one in the right hand the Holy One. Crucifix,
The new soldiers made many maneuvers in that vast plain, then divided and departed, one to the West, others to the East; some few in the North, many in the Mezzodì.
These disappeared, the same battles followed, the same maneuvers and departures. for the same directions. I know some of the first fights; those that followed were unknown to me, but they gave to divedere that they knew me, and they made me many dimande ».
In these few brushstrokes I seem, my dearest friends, to see the life of the Oratory of Valdocco outlined first, and then that of the beloved Congregation, of this beloved vineyard, which was planted with unspeakable labors by the 'Venerable Father in the garden of the Church, always needs new ranks of good workers. Like the master of the Gospel parable, Don Bosco, since he lived, never tired of wandering around cities, towns and villages in search of them, repeating insistently the great and the small, the rich and the poor: "Come, come you too into my vineyard! ». And he always found someone willing to respond to his invitation. But since the vineyard, besides working it, must also be guarded day and night by the Jews, so not everyone, in fact, at first only a few people persisted in the harshness of the struggle and intense fatigue; the others came back. The few survivors, however, even under the pondus dici and aestus, soon trained themselves with prolonged exercises, and they trained themselves so hard to resist enemy assaults; and a little at a time, having become a true army, after many maneuvers in the plain, they spread, as Don Bosco had seen in the dream, some to the east, others to the west, several to the north, and many to the south of the vineyard, both to cultivate it and defend it better, both. to find the new recruits needed to fill the gaps left by the disappeared. and they so braced themselves to resist enemy assaults; and a little at a time, having become a true army, after many maneuvers in the plain, they spread, as Don Bosco had seen in the dream, some to the east, others to the west, several to the north, and many to the south of the vineyard, both to cultivate it and defend it better, both. to find the new recruits needed to fill the gaps left by the disappeared. and they so braced themselves to resist enemy assaults; and a little at a time, having become a true army, after many maneuvers in the plain, they spread, as Don Bosco had seen in the dream, some to the east, others to the west, several to the north, and many to the south of the vineyard, both to cultivate it and defend it better, both. to find the new recruits needed to fill the gaps left by the disappeared.
The paternal eye, fixed in the future, witnesses the renewal of the battles, maneuvers and departures of others and then others, which are unknown to him, but which know him and bombard him with questions. He sees so much the brave ones who fall fighting, how much (I cannot say with what bitterness of his heart) the pusillanimous that they recoil and a little at a time abandon the battlefield at all; but in his place he sees with great joy that new recruits, full of richer energies, soon take over.
Then the vision widens: a shower of bright flames that look like fire of various colors: a very pleasant garden: a character with the physiognomy of St. Francis de Sales, c7ae offers him a book, in which he barely manages to read some notices for the novices, for the professed, for the directors and for the Superior ... At this point the Venerable, all absorbed in the thought of vocations, asks the mysterious person that one should do to promote them; and here is the answer given to him: "The Salesians will have many vocations with their exemplary conduct, treating the pupils with great charity and insisting on frequent Communion ... In accepting exclude the lazy and the gluttonous; watch over if you have a guarantee on chastity ... And for the Missions study and cultivate indigenous vocations ».
7. From these simple words, which we should all impress upon ourselves, deeply in our memory, it seems clear that the formation of vocations depends very much on us, and that with our good conduct and charity we can have as many as we want .. How is it going then that they are so scarce, and insufficient to the needs of the Congregation? Forgive me, my dear friends, but unfortunately it seems to me that the reason for this continues to be that which I already complained about in my first edifying letter. Allow me to repeat it here with the same words: «I have the persuasion that not a few Salesians leave each year more than a vocation. I often pick up the catalog of our Congregation, reread the reports, compare it with the past, and make sense, of sadness it takes me to see that various colleges and hospices that once gave abundant and excellent vocations, now they give very few or none. I do not hide the difficulties of the times, but it seems to me that, if we were all animated by the sacred fire of charity for the souls that burned in the breast of the Venerable Father, we would know how to find in our hearts such and many industries to overcome them, or at least make them less sensitive ».
Since that time, this lack of vocations has worsened! To mitigate our responsibilities, we have tried to put all the blame on the huge war that has also desolated the humble family of ours, depriving it of so many precious existences, and paralyzing its vitality and initiatives; however, if we listen well to the voice of our conscience, it will not be difficult for us to persuade ourselves that if we had worked more, the Pious Society would now rejoice in a greater number of vocations. Perhaps we lost sight of the fact that Don Bosco had ordered us to cultivate the human sciences especially for having the opportunity to teach the divine science that traces true Christians, and above all to arouse, with the help of God, many vocations in the immense youth camp entrusted to our care. Perhaps we have forgotten that this was one of the essential points of our Salesian vocation, and. we were content to be distinguished and tireless teachers and professors, of nothing else worried than to have students study, study and then study again, like any other lay teacher, so that the students had to bring back the most brilliant results in the final exams, and achieve the best professional diplomas, in order to compete for the most rewarding places. And in the festive oratory the prominence has perhaps been given to games, gymnastics, sport, theater, music and all other external things, minimizing the study -c, the practice of -religion. of nothing else worried than to let them study, study and then study again, like any lay teacher, so that the students had to bring back the most brilliant results in the final exams, and achieve the best professional diplomas, in order to compete for the most rewarding places . And in the festive oratory the prominence has perhaps been given to games, gymnastics, sport, theater, music and all other external things, minimizing the study -c, the practice of -religion. of nothing else worried than to let them study, study and then study again, like any lay teacher, so that the students had to bring back the most brilliant results in the final exams, and achieve the best professional diplomas, in order to compete for the most rewarding places . And in the festive oratory the prominence has perhaps been given to games, gymnastics, sport, theater, music and all other external things, minimizing the study -c, the practice of -religion.
Ah! my good brethren, if in our Oratories, Colleges, Hospices and Pensioners the study and practice of religion always had, as Don Bosco wanted, the place of honor, what propitious soil we would have to sow and make vocations flourish in abundance priestly and religious! I appeal to your own experience: have you not also observed that the Houses where piety has primacy, are true seedbeds of vocations, and that these instead are scarce or lacking at all where piety languishes? Why the first festive Oratory of Don Bosco, because the first Hospice of Valdocco, because the first Colleges_ in short gave so many and wonderful vocations, that the Pastors of numerous Dioceses of Italy and abroad used it for clergy? Here: in those first houses everyone looked in the first place at the things of the soul; the words of the Apostle: Non habemus hie manentem civitatem sed futurani inquirimus (Hebr., 13, 14), which encompass the entire program of the Christian life, were in everyone's heart, spurring them on to a holy emulation to correct faults and practice in every most beautiful virtue. In this way the directive mind of the good Father, enlightened by his ardent love for God and for souls, was insensibly preparing the most propitious ground for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me! soul; the words of the Apostle: Non habemus hie manentem civitatem sed futurani inquirimus (Hebr., 13, 14), which encompass the entire program of the Christian life, were in everyone's heart, spurring them on to a holy emulation to correct faults and practice in every most beautiful virtue. In this way the directive mind of the good Father, enlightened by his ardent love for God and for souls, was insensibly preparing the most propitious ground for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me! soul; the words of the Apostle: Non habemus hie manentem civitatem sed futurani inquirimus (Hebr., 13, 14), which encompass the entire program of the Christian life, were in everyone's heart, spurring them on to a holy emulation to correct faults and practice in every most beautiful virtue. In this way the directive mind of the good Father, enlightened by his ardent love for God and for souls, was insensibly preparing the most propitious ground for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me! Non habemus hie manentem civitatem sed futurani inquirimus (Hebr., 13, 14), which encompass the entire program of the Christian life, were in everyone's heart, spurring them on to a holy emulation to correct faults and practice themselves in every most beautiful virtue. In this way the directive mind of the good Father, enlightened by his ardent love for God and for souls, was insensibly preparing the most propitious ground for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me! Non habemus hie manentem civitatem sed futurani inquirimus (Hebr., 13, 14), which encompass the entire program of the Christian life, were in everyone's heart, spurring them on to a holy emulation to correct faults and practice themselves in every most beautiful virtue. In this way the directive mind of the good Father, enlightened by his ardent love for God and for souls, was insensibly preparing the most propitious ground for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me! spurring them on to a holy emulation to correct faults and practice themselves in every most beautiful virtue. In this way the directive mind of the good Father, enlightened by his ardent love for God and for souls, was insensibly preparing the most propitious ground for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me! spurring them on to a holy emulation to correct faults and practice themselves in every most beautiful virtue. In this way the directive mind of the good Father, enlightened by his ardent love for God and for souls, was insensibly preparing the most propitious ground for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me! he was insensibly preparing the most propitious terrain for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me! he was insensibly preparing the most propitious terrain for ecclesiastical and religious vocations. Whenever, therefore, the yes vis perfectus them resounded in the ears of the young, the divine invitation to the practice of the evangelical counsels and the apostolate, many and many full of holy enthusiasm quickly answered: I, I am ready! Take me!
Oh! the unforgettable scenes I saw several times renewed under - my eyes, in the most beautiful years spent next to the Venerable Father! Everyone was convinced that he had no singular gifts from the Lord, and in the first place that of the penetration and vision of consciences; but even apart from these supernal charisms, Don Bosco, with his natural qualities, succeeded in preparing the ground for vocations so well, that when he later made a distant nod, it seemed, the thing more. natural of the world, and it remained almost mortified not to have been able to think about it and decide first. It was in the recreations, especially in the more animated ones, that the good Father became a wonderful fisherman. For a long time he studied the character, the tendencies, the character of each, with more love than that with which a mother takes care of the good of his children; and the more one showed in the games vivacity and mastery of oneself, the more he prepared it with his eyes, with the words in his ear (in which, however, the vocation almost never entered), with small tasks of trust, with the charm of his paternal affection, which seemed entirely whole for each of his young men; so that when the propitious moment had come, it was enough for him to say in his ear: "Would you not like to consecrate yourself to the Lord to save souls?" »Because the lucky one saw his vocation already decided with luminous clarity. And they weren't passenger enthusiasms. with the charm of his paternal affection, which seemed entirely whole for each of his young men; so that when the propitious moment had come, it was enough for him to say in his ear: "Would you not like to consecrate yourself to the Lord to save souls?" »Because the lucky one saw his vocation already decided with luminous clarity. And they weren't passenger enthusiasms. with the charm of his paternal affection, which seemed entirely whole for each of his young men; so that when the propitious moment had come, it was enough for him to say in his ear: "Would you not like to consecrate yourself to the Lord to save souls?" »Because the lucky one saw his vocation already decided with luminous clarity. And they weren't passenger enthusiasms.
Now, in these sudden transformations and decisions, should we always see extraordinary and, so to speak, miraculous facts? That in many cases it really was this way, there is no doubt; but for the most part they were nothing more than the end result of the holy industries, of the assiduous labors, of the precious prayers with which the Venerable Father had prepared the ground for the vocation, and he had cultivated it fimo to its full development.
8. Well, if we too, my dear friends, will not spare industries, labors and prayers, I assure you that we will certainly not lack abundant vocations every year. Don Bosco did the most: we just have to follow its examples. His great mission was to found Oratorii, Hospices and Colleges everywhere in which to gather the children of the people to raise them in a Christian way. We are the continuators of this wonderful mission; therefore we must do as our Model did, that is, study young people well, "appreciate their physical, intellectual, and moral dispositions in time, to make them pose, as does the gardener of the plants in his nursery, the horns, others in the plan, others for the hill. He has no head or memory for nothing; and for this reason we will content ourselves with inoculating the things necessary for health. Quest ' he has no will or aptitude to continue it on books, and we will apply this to the arts. and trades, which, the more he likes. But then this one from the air. naive, of a frank character, of a happy memory, of an open mind, of the unfailing customs, ah! this, as the first-chosen, we will cultivate with greater care, so that it may be well done, invigorated, go high. He therefore awaits this young man in a regular course of studies, making himself strong in the first elements, stronger in Latin grammar, even stronger in rhetoric. Now, with such a cultivation sent forth, I pledge that, as will be the case for the young the competent age, and he will be a man of the Church, because the Master of the harvest will have chosen him to work and plow his vineyard ". (Mcm. Biogr., Vol. V, page 410).
As the fruit of such a diligent, careful, very penetrating selection made by Don Bosco during his life among young people, as many as 2,500 priests went out, by his own confession, from his Houses and went to work in the Dioceses! And if you keep it. also taking into account the other vocations sown and cultivated by him here and there, we can very probably consider the calculation of those who have ascended to a much greater number the priests and religious formed by him. And let us not forget, dear friends, that Don Bosco, in order to obtain this miracle of the apostolate, had first to look for all the necessary elements, namely the place, the individuals and the means to maintain and work them; whereas instead we - except, of course, the Superiors,
H is called "ordinarily", because in a broad sense we are also obliged to "search for vocations in the raw state" among our relatives, friends and acquaintances, both by good example, by word, and also by correspondence. If the Poverello of Assisi, in order to detach the hearts of his companions from the riches and the pleasures in which they were engulfed, he wanted his followers to live in the most rigid poverty of spirit and of fact, obtaining day by day the necessary for existence, for which they were called questing monks, or seekers; we in a certain sense should, in the footsteps of the Father, glory in being called the beggars or seekers of vocations to all peoples. And this begging of ours, not of food for the bodies, but of generous hearts for the priestly-religious apostolate, it will be a sermon as effective as that of the little friars of Assisi in their time: they, with their detachment from everything, caused to despise riches and to love the poverty that leads straight to Jesus Christ; by resounding in the ears of the young the divine invitation of the si vis perfectus, we will arouse in many of them the desire for perfection, and so we will preach to the unbelieving world the need to return to the supernatural, in the sincere practice of the Christian life, , what else is not I know not the life of Jesus in the individuals, in the families, in the whole society.
It seemed appropriate, my dear friends, to focus your attention on this kind of apostolate to be exercised in the sphere of our relationships not only of families, but also of friendship or simple convenience, because. it constitutes one of the most marked characteristics of the genuine spirit infused by Don Bosco in his institution. The more we study his life, the more the new genius of physical creation emerges. Seeing that he was the fierce hatred he fervently fought against our holy religion, and in particular against the religious orders and congregations that the revolution was suppressing with unjust laws even in the states that were hitherto Catholic; and sensing that it would not have been possible to give existence to a new religious family, if he had modeled it on those already suppressed, he put aside - what was pure. outward form, and began his Society with what was strictly necessary for religious perfection. To the traditional terminology of the former Congregations he replaced common and less showy names; his had to be only a pious society of people consecrated to the education of poor and abandoned youth; the partners had to preserve, with civil rights, the radical dominion of their goods, despite being bound by the practice to the evangelical counsels, and therefore in practice really poor, not being able to do any deed without permission; they had to join the spirit of personal initiative with due submission to the Superior: and precisely from this spirit ours. Society portrays the brilliant modernity that makes it possible to do the good required by the needs of the times and places; finally, although they said goodbye to relatives, friends, to the world to follow Jesus Christ, this detachment did not have to impose a violent separation that forced them almost to break the bonds of nature and every external relationship: being able very well the will to be for eptamtente detached from everything and everyone, without the need for material separations. . The entire educational system site is reduced to forming wills capable of fulfilling its duty and also practicing the evangelical counsels in a heroic degree, not out of fear - love, not outwardly, not by force, but freely out of love. His institution is a f e nge formed solely of brothers who have accepted the same duties and rights in the most perfect freedom of choice and the most vivid love for such a life. For this reason he absolutely wanted to exclude from his houses the laws and disciplinary provisions that in some way limited the freedom proper to family children: each had to observe the timetable and the regulation not already forced by extrinsic agents, but spontaneously, by free election of your own will.
Now this family spirit, in which the authority of the Superiors does not make itself felt with military impositions, and it is the filial love that moves the will of the subjects to prevent even its simple desires, this family spirit is the most propitious ground for vocations; therefore, my dearest ones, we must jealously preserve and increase it. Speaking with friends, acquaintances, strangers, let's let our spirit shine in all its light, both with the always cheerful and cheerful demeanor, and exalting the happiness of our state whenever it is offered the right one.
Thus, almost without realizing it, we will extend the terrain for vocations, perel not a few insensibly will be induced to lay down their prejudices around the religious state, and at the occasion they will perhaps praise our kind of life, - or maybe even recommend it to us he is still doubtful about the choice of state. And is this not indirectly an apostolate for vocations?
But above all, my dear ones, we must preserve this family spirit in the festive Oratories, in the Houses, in the Colleges and Boarding Houses in which we work, because only where this spirit reigns can vocations flourish. Let us therefore revive around us that familiarity which our good Father has so warmly and effectively described in his memorandum from Rome of 1.0 May 1884, which is the most authentic commentary on his preventive system. You can read and reread it, my dear ones, in the Acts of the Superior Chapter (pp. 40-48); and I make the hottest vows so that the students of our Novitiate and Student House will study it together with the Preventive System with true filial love, so as to impress them deeply in the mind and in the heart. Indeed, to make this study easier,
9. From what I have come here saying, you, dear children, you will have easily understood the importance of seeking vocations within the limits of your attributions and relations with outsiders. The true apostles of vocations do as the sculptor, who, before setting out to the conceived work, searches himself, the finest marble block, and then has it transported to the study site to work it with an intellect of love. During these years of my Rectorate I have joyfully witnessed the great youth movement of the students and former students of our institutes; and from the bottom of my heart I have raised the hymn of thanksgiving to the Lord and to our powerful Help of Christians for this marvelous abundance of bold young people, rushing with enthusiasm under the banner that brings Da mihi animas to every country in the world! of our good Father. Whenever in our houses I found myself surrounded by the gay crowd of students, in observing their good, naive face, on which the beautiful talents with which they were provided clearly appeared, the thought occurred to me that many of them would have consecrated themselves to Lord, if they were well directed and helped to choose the one he called "the best part". And in the memorable meetings of the former students, in so much sparkle of beautiful qualities of mind and heart in the fullness of their development, I also thought that perhaps many, and many of them would have embraced the career of the apostolate of souls, if they had been well arranged and worked by their "Superiors" and teachers. My good brothers, these things are not mere suppositions and pious desires; is, a fact that when the soil, while being well prepared and fertilized, does not bear fruit, guilt is to be ascribed to the peasant, who either did not sow, or shed no good seed, or did not carat himself to keep watch so that he grew well it was not eaten by birds or suffocated by tares. In the immense crowd of youngsters that Providence sends to our Houses, there are many that offer a lot of land capable of producing the flower of the priestly-religious vocation, that is they have special qualities for the state of perfection; but, as has already been said above, it is necessary to be able to guide them and guide them. And we must do this if we want to show ourselves loyal children of the Holy Church and of our Congregation. So what are the young souls who offer a more favorable terrain for vocations? We, my dear ones, must put our eye, as our Venerable did as a true specialist, on those who have a particular attraction for purity.
I am not speaking of that negative, unconscious purity, which is due solely to the balance or calm of the temperament, or to a fortunate but ephemeral ignorance of certain mysteries of life; but of a positive purity, conscious, desired, of the adolescent who already knows or at least begins to suspect the existence and nature of those pleasures, which perhaps already feels his lower nature drawn towards them, and which nevertheless in his reason, in his heart, in his soul he feels a disdain, a disgust for such things, and therefore a desire, a need to keep away from it, to spare his eyes, his imagination, his 'life-contaminating breath'. Young people who have this attraction for purity, in choosing the kind of life to be embraced they cannot but give preference to the ecclesiastical-religious state, because they will soon understand, first intuitively and then a little at a time through demonstration, that this is the only state in which can preserve purity in its highest degree. Indeed the general spirit. that reigns in the priesthood and in the religious Corporations, the lessons and examples of Jesus Christ and of the Saints, which the Church has studied and meditated on by the priests and religious, the cares of this divine Mother of souls for the honor and holiness of his ministers, everything speaks of purity, everything enhances purity, everything almost forces us to purity. Purity has an in- the same affinity with the ecclesiastical-religious state is inseparable and almost identifies with it. This senses young people in some way; therefore we can hope much from those who are hungry and thirsty for purity; whereas, on the contrary, we must not, in general, rely on those who have too lazy tendencies for the pleasures of life, which is relatively easy to know with the careful study of various temperaments, and even more with the constant observation of good and bad inclinations of each one.
10. We therefore turn our efforts and our attention mainly to preserve and cultivate the purity of the young people entrusted to us. As the Venerable did, we insist without ever getting tired of the need to always be busy in something; in recreation 'always be in motion, never put your hands on you, do not walk arm in arm or hold hands, or shake your partner's hand. Do not tolerate that young people "be rude to one another or hug each other even for the sake of stealth, but with prudence, inhibit special friendships, although they do not present any danger on the first few pairs; and in this we are inexorable. Not only we execute foul language, but we do not suffer that blatant words are pronounced, that they can arouse a thought, a feeling that is less than honest.
In the exhortations we speak of purity rather than the contrary vice, and of this we only mention with reserved and prudent terms. We avoid pronouncing the names of such sins. to temptations we give no other epithet than that of evil; a fall who blamed misfortune, just as Don Bosco did, to whom even the word chastity did not seem enough, capable of impressing on his youth that immaculate whiteness of which he wanted them covered. 0 my dearest ones, we beseech our good Father that he may obtain for us the grace of also being able to insinuate into the hearts of our young people the love, the enthusiasm for the queen of virtues, so that they will then have to proclaim "blessed those days when a small mole about customs _ he moved them to tears and pushed them insistently at the feet of the confessor, so great was the effect produced in them by our words, when we spoke of purity ". In short, we are constantly vigilant to remove from the eyes and hands of young people all that can give rise to some unhealthy curiosity in them, having in mind the grave warning that the good Father used to give to his first children: "Remember: de moribusi that's all:. save the morality. Tolerate everything, vivacity, insolence, carelessness, but not the offense of God, and in particular the vice contrary to purity. Be very careful about this, and put all your attention on the young people entrusted to you ». In short, we are constantly vigilant to remove from the eyes and hands of young people all that can give rise to some unhealthy curiosity in them, having in mind the grave warning that the good Father used to give to his first children: "Remember: de moribusi that's all:. save the morality. Tolerate everything, vivacity, insolence, carelessness, but not the offense of God, and in particular the vice contrary to purity. Be very careful about this, and put all your attention on the young people entrusted to you ». In short, we are constantly vigilant to remove from the eyes and hands of young people all that can give rise to some unhealthy curiosity in them, having in mind the grave warning that the good Father used to give to his first children: "Remember: de moribusi that's all:. save the morality. Tolerate everything, vivacity, insolence, carelessness, but not the offense of God, and in particular the vice contrary to purity. Be very careful about this, and put all your attention on the young people entrusted to you ». and in particular the vice contrary to purity. Be very careful about this, and put all your attention on the young people entrusted to you ». and in particular the vice contrary to purity. Be very careful about this, and put all your attention on the young people entrusted to you ».
In houses of education where purity reigns, priestly-religious vocations will never be lacking; I would even add that religious vocations will be more abundant, because it is in religion that this candid lily can be preserved better and surer. For a particular purpose, my dear children, I want you to notice this. For the very nature of our institution, we must give ourselves around to cultivate the religious vocation even in those young students or artisans, who, despite being good and desirous of a life of perfection and apostolate, cannot possess all the qualities of mind and heart. to aspire to the priesthood, that is, not to feel the soul. In the Congregations of the past - the lay brothers formed a sort of second order dependent on the first, and participant of spiritual goods only to a lesser degree. Don Bosco has suppressed the traditional dualism; and the members of his Society all enjoy the same rights and privileges; the character of the sacred Order imposes, yes, greater duties, but the rights are equal for priests and clerics as well as for the brothers; these are not a "second order", but real Salesian religious, who must exercise the identical apostolate of priests in the midst of youth, with the exception of priestly tasks only. So our brothers must be able to catechize, to hold religious-social conferences, to teach in primary and middle schools, to become heads of art, to assist young people day and night, to administer the goods of the community, in short, to carry out all that part of the varied program of our apostolate for which the priestly character is not required. Now, by presenting the mission of the Salesian coadjutor_ in all its social importance, in all its attractive beauty and variety to those young people of whom I have said above, they will be easily encouraged - to embrace it. These vocations, or dear ones, are one of the most imperative needs for our Pious Society, which without them would not know and could not achieve the high social aims that are imposed by the present times; and on the other hand the institution of the brothers pierced one of the most brilliant creations of charity, always eager to make the ways of perfection easier for all. We therefore cultivate with good commitment good vocations as brothers. Speaking of a Salesian vocation, we make it clear that we can have it completely and completely, without the priesthood, and that the brothers in our Pious Society arose in all equal ways to the priests, both for their rights. social as well as spiritual advantages. The teacher, the professor, the catechist, the prefect, the director, who will be able to say that they have succeeded in forming the good brothers, will have acquired a very special merit in the Congregation. But above all, these vocations of coadjutors must seek them and cultivate the same coadjutors, not only in the shakes and laboratories, where perhaps the right one is offered less easily, but in the recreations, during which they too must be among the young, taking friendly to their games and conversations. In this, good coadjutors can exert a far more effective influence than clerics and priests; in fact a cleric, a priest, can describe everything to the young the life of the Salesian coadjutor, but the coadjutor lives this life before their eyes, offers them the model, c is known that verba motives, exempla trahunt: if the words can move, examples drag ...
And since we are talking about the power of example, let us remember, my dear ones, that the most assiduous industries would be of no use for having good vocations as coadjutors, if the students did not see in our Salesian life that true equality and fraternity between priests and brothers , which we boasted in words. Oh! let the Lord make that none of us has any more to deserve the grave, however loving, reproach that is read in the Circular of Don Rua of 1 November 1906: "the-you went down to the bottom of the heart like a arrow - wrote this our venerated Father - the complaint heard sometimes by the coadjutors, that they are considered quali-brothers, but as servants! »(L. Ciro., P. 355).
1.1. Another character that the young person must have in order to be a propitious ground for the vocation, is that loftiness of feeling that he abhors from what is mediocre, banal and vulgar, and longs for great things; that before the goods and the earthly honors he makes him say, with sparkling eyes of noble pride: Excelsior! Ad maiora natus sum! Evidently the priestly-religious state cannot fail to have strong attractions for these young people, because it is a state superior to any other even from a purely human point of view. But in them a similar loftiness for the most part does not. .is in embryo, and it is up to us to develop it through education. Here mainly, dear ones, one must manifest all the value of the Salesian educator and the goodness of the preventive system. This system - which is ours. more precious inheritance - when it is well interpreted and better applied, it will make us easily distinguish the various. characters of our young people, and will indicate to us the means to improve them all, even, raising to a greater perfection those who feel called to higher things. Allow me to remind you of what I already had to say when I tried to describe to you Don Bosco as our model in educating and sanctifying youth: there may also be the norm of what we must do to shape our young people in accordance with the paternal examples. With the practice of our system we will not allow the already good characters to be spoiled by nature and by family education, keeping watch so that the companions of a more earthly nature do not have to draw them to their ideas, their tastes, their projects on the future, to nothing, in short to low, and not even in common, as would be the aspirations to fortune, luxury, well-being and comfort, to vulgar pleasures; to worldly successes and vanities. With dexterity let us induce them to look up towards a superior ideal, towards goodness and virtue, towards the arduous joys but all the more sweet that procures the duty fulfilled and peace with one's conscience, towards a serious, useful and worthy life. From time to time in the school, in the conferences, in the "good nights", in the recreations, we talk enthusiastically about these noble ideals; and if at times' in the family discourses of the recreations someone expressed concerns of self-love or interest, we do not fail to openly condemn them by saying: "This is low, it is petty, it is trivial, it is not worthy of a generous heart. »L especially in these '
In the first volumes of our good Father's life we ​​can find, reading them with love, a precious mine of norms and standards. examples for the practical exercise of this apostolate, wonderfully fruitful with excellent vocations. Let's treasure everyone, my dearest ones, by holding. but there is something very important for us, and it is that for Don Bosco they offered a good soil to the vocation the most naughty youngsters, as he used to call them, that is, restless and lively, but at the same time ardent and of such a great heart as to feel driven to go out of themselves, to love, and, consequently, to give, then to give oneself, and finally to sacrifice oneself totally for the good of others. His best achievements were among the children of this nature; many still living can testify to it truthfully, and if they put on the paper the memories of their first years and the genesis of their vocation, how the art of the Venerable would stand out more in raising the hearts to desire and to the perfection of perfection! We also put our every study into seeking such young people with a burning and generous heart: a word, a movirncrcto, an act of kindness or of. charity in favor of some companion, may be the first revelations; and by cultivating them with wise love, one day or another we will receive from them the confidence of a principle of aspiration towards the ecclesiastical-religious life, because a little at a time the thought that only in this state will they fully satisfy the need that they feel they give themselves and sacrifice themselves for others. I said "cultivating them, with love"; because our work is indispensable to this, both to fight ceaselessly in them selfishness, correcting every smallest manifestation, and to accustom them to frequently perform small acts of generosity, showing. them, too. only with a simple glance, that we are happy and we approve them. Let us encourage them to be generous in giving to their companions and to the poor, but mainly in giving themselves, that is, in being helpful and full of activity for good. Let them love study and work as the safest way to do good soon. Let's start with the feeble charges of the various companies, the surveillance in the recreations, in the games, as many means to do some good for the companions. Let's stimulate them to give good advice, to protest vigorously against bad speeches,
But our young people, though they are lovers of purity, of the height of feeling and of the most generous self-denial, will never be a propitious ground for vocations, if they do not possess a profound supernatural spirit. We know that all our work as educators must - in the footsteps of Don Bosco - inspire and form convinced Christians who are practicing, which we cannot achieve without penetrating them supernatural. And this spirit is all the more necessary in the young people provided by the Lord with the qualities necessary for the apostolate of souls. Therefore let us study them to give them supernatural ideas: let's imbue their minds with the great truths of faith, mainly those that concern more closely the direction of our life, what they are: the greatness of God, his good / services and other multiple titles which give him the absolute right to dispose of us for his service; - his infinite amiability, the sweetness of giving oneself entirely to Him; - the certainty of death, coupled with the uncertainty of his hour and of the divine judgment which will fix in eternity our happy or happy fate; - the vanity and fragility of earthly things; -- the capital importance of the salvation of the soul; - the infinite malice of sins, the, the H / <tntcrtsv value of grace, the inraable value of the soul; the dignity and merits of man's efforts to save himself, the need to follow Jesus as closely as possible. - We take all the favorable opportunities to instil these supreme truths deeply and deeply into the soul of our young people. and persuasive, more with the luminous example of our faith than with speeches,. Let us take them to make a short daily reading in the form of meditation, as suggested by the Venerable Father in the Proved Young. How beautiful and precious are the readings and considerations written by him in the early years of his career. stolate among young people! As in them he reveals all his ardent charity and his educational method wholly inspired by the supernatural!
Cori supernatural ideas arouse in them the corresponding feelings: uri a strong fear of God (oh! The God sees you! Of Don Bosco as it was effective!); but fear fear from a filial piety; the horror of everything, what can offend God, the fear of hell, a longing for paradise; the contempt of the world, its pleasures, its pumps, its maxims and its spirit. Let us excite them above all to a virile and tender love together towards Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jesus of the Nativity, of Calvary, of the Eucharist; to study his life, his sublime and sweet physiognomy in the Holy Gospel; to visit him in the tabernacle, to _ join him frequently, indeed every day with the Holy Communion, at least spiritually; to arm the Church with transport,
Moreover, supernatural ideas and feelings must make young people flourish - to a degree compatible with their age - with supernatural virtues: charity, humility, the mortification of which it is a daily practice, the exact observance of the Regulations; self-denial, zeal for souls. For the purchase of these virtues, and above all for the correction of defects, which is the indispensable condition, we teach our young people to handle the powerful weapons of general and particular examination. Thus insensibly supernatural tastes will be formed in them: the taste of prayer, of the word of God, of devoted readings, of church functions; and sarartno eager, happy to serve the Mass whenever he will offer them the opportunity. Read, read, my dearest ones, those real jewels'
Nor should we think that this supernatural formation of our young people belongs solely to the director, the catechist, the confessor: no, no, it demands the participation of all, and therefore also that of teachers and art leaders, from whom indeed sometimes it depends mostly, since they are more in touch with young people than any other. The masters, the professors, the heads of art, the assistants, if they are up to their mission and know how to take advantage of the opportunities they have continuously, they can better infuse the supernatural first, in intelligence, then heart and nor the whole life of their students. The Salesian teacher must be well convinced of the need to give students a solid religious education; and history, literature, philosophy, sciences, mathematics, geography, etc., offer him at every moment the right to at least indirectly insinuate some religious truth. This is one of the main points of our educational system: if we neglect it, vocations in our institutes will inevitably disappear.
12. However, dearest ones, if we are well understood of our educational mission, as Don Bosco wants it, we cannot be satisfied with preparing the ground favorable to vocations, of which I have entertained you so far; but we must also sow them and cultivate them lovingly. First of all, sow them, that is to say, you use the means we have so that in that favorable soil the vocation really arises and takes shape. These means are: prayer, exhortations, ascetic readings, the thousand pious industries of which Don Bosco was our incomparable teacher. "The Salesians will have many vocations with their exemplary conduct," said the mysterious personage of the dream; therefore to give birth to many vocations around us, we must order our conduct, our whole life for the purpose of the Pious Society, which is the purchase
of perfection in the exercise of every work of, charity both spiritual and corporal towards young people, especially the poorest, and also the education of the young clergy. Why on earth did Don Bosco, in the 1.0 article: of the end of the Salesian Society, have the will to determine that the members also deal with the education of the gi, or clergy? Not because we have to deal directly with diocesan Seminaries - which indeed Part .. 77 forbids us to do without the express permission of the Holy See in individual cases - but because we give ourselves rnassirna care, to cultivate in piety and in voeazi.oiìe those that they would be particularly commendable in study or piety (art. 5). To be true sons of Don Bosco we must always have this goal in mind, and, whatever our occupation, to study ourselves in every way to raise the greatest possible number of vocations in the field assigned to us by Providence. No one says they cannot: even those who have occupations that do not directly reflect the young must be a sower and a diligent cultivator of vocations. Among the many means suggested several times by Ven. Father and by Don Rua, many are those that they do for everyone; and I seem to be doing something useful to remind you of some here.
The Ven. Dori spooky made the many vocations he formed very dependent on prayer. If we now lack vocations, who knows if it is not because we are not asking the Lord seriously, or why we do not pray well? Many times also from us we pray mechanically, out of habit, without reflection, and then how can prayers reach their goal? - We therefore place in them well-defined intentions, combined with that greater fervor that is possible for us, and we will experience the powerful efficacy on the heart of God. In daily prayer and consecration to Mary. Help of Christians we say from our very heart to this good Mother and Queen of ours: "promote holy vocations, and increase the number of sacred ministers, so that through them the kingdom of Jesus Christ may be preserved among us, and extend to the ends of the earth! Also, Mary Help of Christians, let us be mourned under your mantle. of mother, and that no one ever abandons you! "... And we repeat frequently with ardor along the day the beautiful. Supplication to the Heart of Jesus, already mentioned by me at the beginning of this letter:" Cor - Jesr.u Sacratissimurn, -tot bonos et dignos operarios Piae Salesianorlam Societati nmittere, et in ea to preserve digneris, te rogamns au-li nos! ». Believe me, dear ones, these prayers, if well done, will not be in vain: the Salesian who prays in the true sense of the word transfigures and sanctifies himself, and is a home of divine life that warms souls and opens them to grace. and let no one ever abandon you! "... And we repeat frequently with ardor along the day the beautiful. Supplication to the Heart of Jesus, already mentioned by me at the beginning of this letter:" Cor - Jesr.u Sacratissimurn, -tot bonos et dignos operarios Piae Salesianorlam Societati nmittere, et in ea to preserve digneris, te rogamns au-li nos! ». Believe me, dear ones, these prayers, if well done, will not be in vain: the Salesian who prays in the true sense of the word transfigures and sanctifies himself, and is a home of divine life that warms souls and opens them to grace. and let no one ever abandon you! "... And we repeat frequently with ardor along the day the beautiful. Supplication to the Heart of Jesus, already mentioned by me at the beginning of this letter:" Cor - Jesr.u Sacratissimurn, -tot bonos et dignos operarios Piae Salesianorlam Societati nmittere, et in ea to preserve digneris, te rogamns au-li nos! ». Believe me, dear ones, these prayers, if well done, will not be in vain: the Salesian who prays in the true sense of the word transfigures and sanctifies himself, and is a home of divine life that warms souls and opens them to grace. et in ea to preserve digneris, te rogamns au-li nos! ». Believe me, dear ones, these prayers, if well done, will not be in vain: the Salesian who prays in the true sense of the word transfigures and sanctifies himself, and is a home of divine life that warms souls and opens them to grace. et in ea to preserve digneris, te rogamns au-li nos! ». Believe me, dear ones, these prayers, if well done, will not be in vain: the Salesian who prays in the true sense of the word transfigures and sanctifies himself, and is a home of divine life that warms souls and opens them to grace.

To these prayers for vocations we join the spirit of mortification, because the generosity of God is proportionate to that of our desires and our supplications. The desires consisting of words alone are cheap and worth less; but those who make us strong against ourselves, who make us overcome our repugnances, resist bad tendencies, practice painful duties, bear the defects of our neighbor, manifest to God all the vividness of our aspirations, and incline him more strongly to hear us. I do not mean to say that we have to do appropriate penances to get vocations: our regular work and regular observance are already not small mortification in themselves; but certainly those good confreres who could do nothing else would imitate the example of our Ven.
The mortified souls have always exercised an extraordinary ascendant over the heart of God; therefore my assertion should not bring you wonder: the Salesian who is humble, hidden, continually intent on his duty, who manages to arouse them without even noticing when he bravely mortifies himself to obtain vocations to the Pious Society. During the journey I made through the Americas as a representative of the unforgettable Fr Rua, some of these humble confreres asked me for permission to do so; and having granted it or granted it, I later found that the Houses, where they were staying, produced good vocations every year; and that by transferring them to other houses which up until then had been completely sterile of vocations, such sterility soon ceased, thanks to their prayers and hidden mortifications.
But prayers and mortifications would be worth little, without the exemplary conduct and personal holiness of every single Salesian. It is an undeniable fact, my dearest friends, that vocations are in direct proportion to the fervor and sanctity of their members in the righteous communities. Our good Father has always inculcated this truth in his exhortations, and even more with the practical example of his holiness, which made vocations flourish everywhere, inducing generous hearts to follow him closely in the harsh way he beat. Then, that is, in the early days of the gay youth, we esteemed a great honor of being numbered among his sons, and it was in us the firm will to consecrate ourselves to the Lord entirely and not only by means, not for temporal advantages, but. for the joy of being able to lead, like him, a life completely of a savior, though apparently ordinary and common ... The holiness of the Father was the effective cause of the vocation of all his first children: we wanted to follow him, because from him emanated a secret virtue that made our heart more ardent , the most enlightened spirit, the most calm passions, spurring us at the same time to imitate him in everything. This secret virtue shone so habitually from his serene gaze, from his perennial smile and from all his physiognomy, that we saw him already transfigured in God and in full possession of that divine peace - and of that superhuman courage that are proper to the saints; wherefore our hearts burned with the desire to be like him and with him, at the cost of any service. Well, we too - my dear, - and with the exact observance of the Rules, with the exercise of the most solid virtues,
Our living standard must then be so attractive, to make our young people want the ingenious activity, the unalterable gaiety. Don Bosco always wanted us to be cheerful, even in the midst of the greatest burdens and sorrows, even in the midst of privations and sacrifices. Furthermore we often speak of Salesian life, highlighting the innumerable advantages, the manifold variety of occupations, suitable for all natures and for the most common twenty characters; the large number of institutions and houses, so that when one could no longer work with fruit in one place, it is difficult to transfer it elsewhere, so that it may continue to be useful; the beauty of our apostolate, the sweetness of the spirit that animates it; the modernity and vastness of the works.
13. So far I have spoken to you about what the Salesians in general can and should do for vocations; but, in addition to this, special duties are incumbent on the Superiors of the Chapter, the Provincials and the Directors with their respective Councils or Chapters, teachers, art leaders, assistants, all those who have some authority over Young people. Now the Superiors of the Chapter have recently held various meetings around vocations, to draw from the treasure of practical norms inherited from the Fathers everything that seemed most appropriate and appropriate to achieve the desired purpose. All were unanimous in recognizing the urgency of an intense apostolate for the promotion of ecclesiastical and religious vocations, especially Salesians, and the grave duty incumbent on the individual members to put themselves at once to the he works to exercise it according to his own strength; and in this persuasion they resolved the following:
Prefer, among the new foundations that are proposed, those that give more founded hope of providing many vocations, both for the good spirit of the local people, as for the comfort of concentration of the subjects, of visits by the Superiors, - and of the means. of financing.
Send - when it seems convenient - some able-bodied confreres with healthy criteria and prudence to give lectures to call for vocations, and, if necessary, to recruit young people, especially artisans and families, in the countries, as do other religious corporations.
Concern for the same purpose the Cooperators and the Parish priests through special circulars, or articles 8261 Bulletin, or in the prescribed conferences that are held on the occasion of the feasts of St. Francis of Sales and of Mary. Help of Christians. - And in order to comply with this last resolution, I considered it convenient to address to our good Cooperators, in my letter of January this year, a warm appeal to help us prepare new religious and priestly vocations. "I am almost daily - I said - the questions of new foundations, and one of my most serious penalties is precisely that of having to respond negatively to the continual requests we receive, or to centers that are extremely in need of immediate help to save such poor youth, or from eminent and august characters, which we would not like and we should never say no. And yet - with all the goodwill of never backing away from work, I openly confess that we cannot do more. How to provide for this serious need? By multiplying vocations. How many good children, if they were properly encouraged and supported, would be happy to consecrate themselves to works of charity and zeal in the religious and priestly state! This divine culture is primarily for the parents and for all those who feel love for the glory of God and for the health of souls. if they were duly encouraged and supported, they would be happy to devote themselves to works of charity and zeal in the religious and priestly state! This divine culture is primarily for the parents and for all those who feel love for the glory of God and for the health of souls. if they were duly encouraged and supported, they would be happy to devote themselves to works of charity and zeal in the religious and priestly state! This divine culture is primarily for the parents and for all those who feel love for the glory of God and for the health of souls.
"Let us remember - said Don Bosco - that we are giving away a great treasure to the Church, when we give it a vocation. It serves it for the Dioceses, or for the Missions, or for a religious institute, it is always a great treasure that is given to the Church of Jesus Christ ». You will therefore do a holy work of the highest importance, if in the new year and in all the years to come, with the council and with every best moral and material support, you will work to send some new vocation to the Salesian Society. I protest to you before God that it will be the best and dearest alms for us! "
Another deliberation of the Chapter was that the Major Superiors make frequent visits to the Houses, stopping the necessary time to animate all high perfect compliance with our Rules; and this because, as I said above, vocations depend on the good conduct of the members. They will have to insist particularly with the Directors that everybody be asked to make the monthly statement, calling those who do not present themselves spontaneously; let bi-monthly conferences be held; that great importance be given to the exercise of good death, making it do for the brothers separately from the young, because otherwise it is of little use; and that the annual Spiritual Exercises of the confreres be well prepared, warning the preachers in time, and exhorting them to speak also of the vocation, of its great value, of the
The Superiors of the Chapter will do everything possible so that these norms be practiced everywhere everywhere, but their efforts then to be fruitful need, my dearest ones, for your cooperation; therefore I adjure you with all my soul, and in the name of affection that I bring you, not to deny us this indispensable help; and I appeal in a special way to you, my good Provincials and Directors.
The Provincials are the arm, or rather the soul, of the Superior Chapter for the preservation of the true Salesian spirit in our Houses, and for the universal diffusion of the Work of Don Bosco in favor of youth - poor and abandoned. In fact, according to the art. 73 of the Constitutions, govern the Provinces and hold 1.0 of the Major in the houses and shops that they admit to: that is, they must do for the Provinces what the Major Elector with his Chapter does for the whole Society. Therefore, they too, with their Council, must study in depth the causes of the lack of vocations, and the means to remedy them. In each area, in addition to its own Novitiate, which is indispensable, there must be at least one truly 'Hospice-House', which is intended to form vocations for students and craftsmen. and where the charity is done with this precise purpose, which is good that. is declared in the program sheet; and the Inspector sees to it that he does not have to transform the Hospice little by little into a College. May there also be a House for the children of Mary, possibly modeled on that of Penango.
Remember the dear Provincials the supernal illustration with which the good Father was inspired to found the Work of Mary Help of Christians for adult vocations. to the ecclesiastical state.
The more his work was developing, the more his mind was dominated by the thought of vocations; and one evening in 1875, while he was in the sacristy of the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, he seemed to be in the. his room at the table with the register of young people in his hands, and to hear a voice saying: "Do you want to know how to increase, and soon, the number of good priests?" Observe that register, from it you will get what to do ». Don Bosco observed, but did not know how to extract anything. Then, fearing to dream, he rose abruptly to see who had spoken to him. The young men at that sight thought he was ill, and they tried to support him, but he, after assuring them that he was nothing, resumed confessing. Finished the confessions and went to the room, to obey that mysterious voice he began to leaf through all the registers of the house, and at last the thought of the elte thought of many young men who undertook studies to embrace the ecclesiastical career, just, 1.5 out of 100, that is not even two out of ten , they came to put the ecclesiastical habit; the others were distracted from family affairs, from high school examinations, from change of will, frequent at that age. Instead almost all those who came to the Oratory more adults, that is 98 out of -100, put the ecclesiastical habit and succeeded priests with less time and effort. He then came to this conclusion: "These are safer and can do more - soon: that's what I was looking for. It will therefore be necessary for me to take care of them, to open houses expressly for them,
Today, perhaps, this Work of Mary Help of Christians for late vocations is somewhat -saslim; yet it has not ceased to have all its importance. Certainly it is not a question of making priests in the middle, without the necessary studies, and this would be immense damage both to the Church and to our Society, and it is now rendered impossible by the precise provisions of the Code concerning studies clergy; it is a precious secret for having more numerous and more solid vocations. Let the Work of __Maria Ausiliatrice be one of the most dear to our Provincials, as it was to Don Bosco, a, Don Rua, and it still is today to all the Superiors of the Chapter.
The choice of good Directors and of truly suitable and worthy personnel, above all on the religious side, is another thing that has a great influence on vocations, and which largely depends on the prudence and prudence of the spectators. They also procure that possibly in the Novitiate the coadjutors may keep themselves exercised in their own art, as the lack of this possibility may distract some artisans from going to the novitiate. Recalling what I said above, we will better understand the importance of this rule. It would also be very useful that, as there are Houses where the three-year professed clerics are perfected in religious formation and studies, there were also similar ones for the artisan coadjutors, where these could become good heads of art and good religious.
The Provincials also, understanding how they are of that family spirit that Don Bosco always wanted to see in our Houses, make use of all their authority to prevent them from having their military spirit infiltrate, a sad fruit of the war that unfortunately has perhaps some proselyte also among us. Where it had already penetrated, they give explicit orders for gymnastics to be limited, to preliminary exercises only, and sport to be used only with great prudence and parsimony. Our houses must not be turned into barracks, nor into squares nor arms, nor into gyms or playgrounds; such an abuse is one of the main causes of the stupid ~ r., painful of vocations. Hence the precise will, not only mine, but of all the Superiors of the Chapter, that it be eliminated as soon as possible;
Another abuse to be taken away, unheard of in our educational system, is that of the premium holidays during the school year. They are not allowed under any pretext: not for a theme that decreases the number of young people; not because the brothers have some days of relief (we, as our good Father, will rest in paradise!); not because young people are higher courses, or just boarders who attend public schools, in which case, indeed, we must take advantage of those days to intensify their religious education with spiritual exercises and conferences, if we want to avoid the serious danger of being reduced to being of hoteliers, or at most of the tutors on the stamp of those of certain civic boarding schools!
In this regard the Inspectors also procure avcórciar and, as far as is possible, the holidays, to the newly accepted novices, because at home they do not have to lose their vocation, as unfortunately frequently happened. Being able to, they provide them with a convenient recreation by sending them to spend their holidays in some of our Houses with pleasant surroundings and beautiful walks.
Give great importance to the Spiritual Exercises of young people, choosing good preachers of ours (strangers, as I have already recommended other times, it is used only in case of extreme necessity), and exhort the preachers themselves to talk a lot about the vocation, especially the preacher of the instructions, if possible. should be an experienced Director. In the Provinces where these norms will be practiced, vocations will no longer be lacking, and Salesian action will flourish admirably - in new and more magnificent institutions.
14. But as far as the Superiors of the Chapter and the Provincials do, they will not succeed in arousing and cultivating abundant vocations without the collaboration of the Directors of the Houses, with their respective personnel. _It is up to the Directors, to maintain and increase piety and virtue in each Salesian, according to the teachings and examples of our Founder, and, as the unforgettable Fr Pua wrote to the Directors of America on 24 August 1894, "to preserve for our institutes that character which he imparted to them, a character which consists especially in the unanimous, generous and constant effort of the Superiors, teachers and assistants for sin to be removed, so that true and firm piety may be practiced spontaneously. The education and education of youth without a religious spirit, here is the plague of ours
century. God never let our schools be infected! ». They are the 'Directors who must carry out most of this very important work, from which, as has been said several times, the desired vocations depend. Don Rua himself wrote in 1897 that he would conveniently meditate on it: "You will not do wonders if I confess that, formed at the school of Don Bosco, I cannot call a religious or a priest a true zeal, the which was content to instruct and educate the young people of his institute or school, and did not try to set off towards the sanctuary those in which signs of calling are seen, and which are usually the best ». I have the certainty that the Directors, when they are deeply penetrated and convinced of this thought, they will always have a rich seed of vocations in their home. While striving to do good to civil society by giving asylum to so many poor youngsters who are in danger of walking on the path of vice, and while practicing charity with. to give these youngsters the bread, by instructing them, by making them good Christians and honest citizens; while doing all this, I say, the good director will aim higher, that is, he will strive to increase the number of Salesian priests and brothers, always bearing in mind that without this our Pious Society would be reduced to being unable to fulfill its mission, and that the Salesian apostolate would be incomplete, if it did not tend in the first place to make proselytes. While striving to do good to civil society by giving asylum to so many poor youngsters who are in danger of walking on the path of vice, and while practicing charity with. to give these youngsters the bread, by instructing them, by making them good Christians and honest citizens; while doing all this, I say, the good director will aim higher, that is, he will strive to increase the number of Salesian priests and brothers, always bearing in mind that without this our Pious Society would be reduced to being unable to fulfill its mission, and that the Salesian apostolate would be incomplete, if it did not tend in the first place to make proselytes. While striving to do good to civil society by giving asylum to so many poor youngsters who are in danger of walking on the path of vice, and while practicing charity with. to give these youngsters the bread, by instructing them, by making them good Christians and honest citizens; while doing all this, I say, the good director will aim higher, that is, he will strive to increase the number of Salesian priests and brothers, always bearing in mind that without this our Pious Society would be reduced to being unable to fulfill its mission, and that the Salesian apostolate would be incomplete, if it did not tend in the first place to make proselytes.
a
To obtain such an intention, the Director is truly a father to his own employees, promptly providing for their needs, including material ones: this opens hearts, while indifference closes them and generates disgust and temptations against the vocation. "The most culminating point to inculcate in the Directors - wrote Don Rua to the Inspectors in 490 - is that their special care must be to direct the confreres, priests and laity well. Yes, their great commitment must consist in keeping their vocation glue, charity, piety, prudence: treat everyone well, and remember especially that the confreres, even coadjutors, are not servants but brothers and tigliuoli; therefore they should be treated with fraternal charity, with solicitude, with confidence. They also teach the Directors to the members and inculcate poverty, and let them observe; but let them begin, set an example, and meanwhile they should cover themselves with fraternal solicitude never to let them have nothing necessary, rather they are rather abundant in providing them. Teach the Masters to the members to be truly obedient, but they will study not to weigh too much. obedience, using good ways with them, and not demanding from them more than they can do.
Inculchino also to take the means to preserve the chastity, therefore the escape of the intemperances, of the particular friendships, of the comforts, of the caresses; but meanwhile they are the first to set a good example in all these things; then listen to the partner when he says he is in danger, do not leave him in circumstances too difficult for his strength, put him in favorable conditions to preserve the beautiful virtue. Don't send them out of the house to serve as offices or to do jobs that are no longer safe. "
For the same reason the Directors make sure that the clerics can carry out their studies regularly, so that they do not have to complain about the non-observance of what the Constitutions have in their favor, and then deplore to be priests only through.
The various Directors of the Houses - so Don Rua at the Inspectors in 1902 - carefully watch and use the necessary means so that the three years of practical training, which the clerics must pass in the Houses after the philosophical residence, are well regulated; let the practical work be done and be ordered on the way to occupy that time, and the Directors, especially during these three years, should make a fathers of their own, and take a very special care of these new children that they are given, and that more of the others they need their attentions, not yet being fully formed ».
In addition, the Directors often retain the confreres on how to cultivate vocations; give special conferences to confessors about the healthy and prudent way of using their ministry for this purpose; inculcate to everyone that we are not afraid to speak of a vocation to young people, it is that they make the most of the means we have available for this purpose, recalling the special attention of catechists. When a zealous missionary passes by, ask him to speak to the young about the life of the Missions, the vocation and the apostolate: this, if. it's good, it's very fruitful. It is not out of place to recall once again that it is principally dependent on the Directors to promote family life, the cordiality among the confreres, so that everyone can say from the heart:
This greatly affects young people in the Salesian environment, and it is their desire to always live there. What was it that distracted Don Bosco from his youthful purpose of entering a religious order? That dream in which he was told: «Alla Pace - it was the name of the convent in question - you will not find peace! "(Mem. Biogr. Of Don Bosco, vol. 10, p. 301). - We recommend the maximum charity with the young without ceasing!
In acceptances, the managers of the hospices prefer young people who give greater hopes of vocation; lay off those who disappoint this hope, to make room for others. With good people who are poor, they do not skimp on retirement. All the Directors then avoid the luxury of clothes and the table, because this does not favor vocations; promote the frequent confession - communion, the various Companies founded by the Venerable, especially those of the Holy One. Sacrament and the Little Clergy; and make sure that in the house everything speaks of God and brings to mind the eternal truths, also making use of inscriptions or signs hanging on the walls of the study, school and other places where it seems convenient, with maxims and sayings. scriptural. They continually demand less discipline from their subordinates,
- more family life. They often speak of Don Bosco's youth, of the beauty of the life of the Oratory in the early days, when a Dominic Savio flourished, a Michele Magone, a Besucco, a Gavio, a Passio, all a marvelous garden of youthful holiness; of our 11lissions and heroic missionaries who have consecrated their whole life to them; of the vocation, explaining well what the concept is, and how it is not necessary to hear it, but it is enough that it be recognized as such by those who have from God grace and the office of judging them. We must speak of similar subjects in all our houses and to all our young people, even those of the higher courses, but with special frequency in the Hospices.
Some Directors keep young people in other Houses: this is not enough, one must cultivate vocations in one's own House, otherwise the good spirit of it will also suffer. The books to be read in the church, in the dormitory, in the refectory are conveniently chosen - elsewhere, the theatrical and cinematographic representations, scrupulously and always following in this choice the norms that Don Bosco has left us: At the end of primary schools we suggest to the youngsters of entering the gymnasium instead of in the technical schools, and enumerating the major advantages, whatever may be the profession they will later want to choose.
Again: the Directors do not limit themselves to taking care of vocations only among the students, but they value and cultivate with love those young artisans, farmers or even families of their home, who aspire to become Salesians: they think about their cultivation, they use in their favor the beneficence, that then there will be greater hope of vocation; help them in every way to overcome their difficulties, and then propose to the novitiate those who give a trust of success. And when these coadjutors, already brothers, go to work in a House, do not believe the Director of it that their education is already fully accomplished: indeed, then the more elite one must patiently and zealously be around them, because it is especially at beginning of the life of Salesian action which must be well taken care of, so that they may take you well, and then persevere until the end (Cf. Lett. Ed. by Don Rua, No. 3). The Sons of Mary who do not succeed in the study, try to get them started to become coadjutors. The families should be accepted as proof with ease and width: omnes probate! Let them be used with charity and patience, and be assisted with loving concern in their practices of piety: many vocations may also come out of here.
Finally, let the Directors not forget to cultivate and let vocations be cultivated even in the festive Oratories, which in fact must be considered as a nursery for the most conspicuous and ferocious. «: Yes, - exclaimed the venerable Don Rua in 1906 - even in the festive Oratories it is better to cultivate vocations. Let us remember that our good Father gathered his first recruits in the festive Oratory; and so in our other Provinces the first and good recruits for our Pious Society came from the festive Oratories. In general we work to cultivate vocations in the Colleges; but in the festive Oratories we sometimes hardly think of this important part of our mission ". Follow the rules given above, adapting them to the particular circumstances of each individual Oratory. However, half a sovereign is what Don Bosco practiced to have his first vocations, that is, the Spiritual Exercises for all the Oratorians, and then a special course in a secluded place for those who seem to have qualities and qualities for a good vocation. The Oratorii fest: 'who used this medium already gave excellent vocations, and continue to give more, almost by tradition. I will add that the vocations exited by the festive Otr atarians possess in general more pronounced the true characteristic of the sons of Don Bosco, which is, I would say, the passion for the festive Oratory, in which they succeed wonderfully. Now, since the festive Oratory is the main training ground of our apostolate, it is not who does not see the necessity and importance of these vocations. and then a special course in a secluded place for those who seem to have qualities and qualities for a good vocation. The Oratorii fest: 'who used this medium already gave excellent vocations, and continue to give more, almost by tradition. I will add that the vocations exited by the festive Otr atarians possess in general more pronounced the true characteristic of the sons of Don Bosco, which is, I would say, the passion for the festive Oratory, in which they succeed wonderfully. Now, since the festive Oratory is the main training ground of our apostolate, it is not who does not see the necessity and importance of these vocations. and then a special course in a secluded place for those who seem to have qualities and qualities for a good vocation. The Oratorii fest: 'who used this medium already gave excellent vocations, and continue to give more, almost by tradition. I will add that the vocations exited by the festive Otr atarians possess in general more pronounced the true characteristic of the sons of Don Bosco, which is, I would say, the passion for the festive Oratory, in which they succeed wonderfully. Now, since the festive Oratory is the main training ground of our apostolate, it is not who does not see the necessity and importance of these vocations. almost by tradition. I will add that the vocations exited by the festive Otr atarians possess in general more pronounced the true characteristic of the sons of Don Bosco, which is, I would say, the passion for the festive Oratory, in which they succeed wonderfully. Now, since the festive Oratory is the main training ground of our apostolate, it is not who does not see the necessity and importance of these vocations. almost by tradition. I will add that the vocations exited by the festive Otr atarians possess in general more pronounced the true characteristic of the sons of Don Bosco, which is, I would say, the passion for the festive Oratory, in which they succeed wonderfully. Now, since the festive Oratory is the main training ground of our apostolate, it is not who does not see the necessity and importance of these vocations.
15. But the Superiors of the Chapter, the Provincials and the Directors, in order to carry out the vast program briefly outlined by me here, need the active cooperation of the personnel of each individual House. '. This is why - I wanted to address this letter to all of you, my dear brothers and sons; and I have a good hope that it will encourage you to pursue this great apostolate, on which the life of our Pious Society depends. Everyone, it seems to me, can find in it the main things to be done for this purpose: from all of us our Pious Society expects vocations: from the Prefects as well as from the Treasurers, from the Catechists as well as from the scholastic and professional Councilors, from the teachers and from the heads of art as from assistants, in larger houses as in smaller ones. No one must believe himself dispensed from doing his part, but all go to the race because the number of vocations is increasing year by year. In 1920 we had a total of 487 ascribed in our Novitiates: on average one roughly for each of our Houses, since the Houses are currently 433. What is so difficult to achieve a starvation of two vocations per house? If we all feel good, I don't think so. What a fat our Congregation could not do if we could have eight hundred novices each year in place of four hundred! That it is so difficult to reach a starvation of two vocations at home? If we all feel good, I don't think so. What a fat our Congregation could not do if we could have eight hundred novices each year in place of four hundred! That it is so difficult to reach a starvation of two vocations at home? If we all feel good, I don't think so. What a fat our Congregation could not do if we could have eight hundred novices each year in place of four hundred!
I now want to repeat here, at the conclusion of this letter of mine, some thoughts that I have already exposed to you before, and that, cloths, will never be sufficiently meditated.
In the children that Providence sends to our Oratories, Hospices and Colleges, the teachers, the heads of art and the assistants must first of all suppress those defects that constitute the main obstacle so called germination of religious and priestly vocations, that is, to name a few: the precocious corruption, the weakening of the Christian spirit, the softening of character and worldliness; all things that we can easily and insensibly remove with the constant application of the preventive system, on which Don Bosco wanted the whole Salesian education to be founded. But this work of elimination is purely negative, and in itself will not benefit at all the desired end, if at the same time we do not try to develop in our students all sides, all tendencies, all supernatural tastes, or even only natural ones, that can excite them or attract them to religious and priestly life. The Lord will then use this or that attraction, made shine by us to those young hearts, to invite them to his service. When a young man says he has heard the divine call, if he tries to find out from him how or how he has heard it, he will touch it with his hand. his vocation came precisely to one of the doors that were open to him, developing the best inclinations of his soul. The one, a noble and elevated nature, will not know how to say anything other than that being a Salesian religious and a priest is both beautiful and great. Another one, full of charitable compassion, will say «Why do I want to become a Salesian, a priest? Because the Salesians, the priests do good to the poor young people, and I want to do the same! ". A third, pious soul, lover of Jesus, he will consider his desires in another form, manifesting the vehemence of affection that drives him to unite himself more and more to his Lord: and this. will be the most frequent case. One day a holy educator questioned a twelve-year-old boy about the way he was listening to the Holy Mass. On reaching the consecration, he asked him what he was doing at that moment. The boy leaned towards the father of his soul, and shy, moved, but decided to take advantage of that occasion to reveal a holy ambition that he had been caressing for some time in the depths of his heart, without ever daring to manifest it: "Arrived at this point - he replied - when I see the Priest holding Jesus in his hands, I pray to Jesus, who will give me the same happiness one day! ».
To tranquility then of every conscience, St. Thomas Aquinas expressly declares that those who excite others to enter religion, not only do not sin, but deserve a great reward (Summa Theol., 2nd 2a, Quaest. 189, art. 9), provided they do not use neither violence, nor simony, nor fraud. "It is good to induce one to the good," writes Dr. Suarez; and further on: "It is necessary to help those who have received a first motion of the Holy Spirit, both because he remains in his resolution, and because at least he does not resist, to the Holy Spirit, rather a trip with prayers and good works, he is set to receive from the same Spirit more effective motions D then always a very good thing to excite and move to the fear of God ,. to escape the occasions of sin, and at the same time propose the advantages and excellence of the religious state. »
"One of the greatest services that can be provided to young people," says the P. Surin - it is to help them in the choice they have to make of a state of life. Since it is usually at this age that God does, knowing his will about the different states that they can embrace, and since most do not know what the religious profession is, it is very important to let them know the advantages and the security that you they find themselves so that if God will call them, they will have to defend themselves against the love of the world, of the pleasures and grandeur of the earth, which prevent an infinite number of people from following the vocation of God ».
Raising the desire for the priesthood and religious life in a soul is therefore an excellent thing, as long as this desire is covered with all the qualities enumerated above. Most of the boys do not even suspect that they have the qualities for the vocation to the state of perfection: dissipation, unreflection, perhaps even the shortcomings, prevent them from seeing them ... In very many circumstances therefore the teachers, the art leaders and assistants must prevent these souls, with discreet prudence calling their attention to the possibility that they, with their qualities, might one day do a great good, if they give themselves to the apostolate with the election of a superior and better life in every respect ... How many, having become adults, had already said: "If in my childhood I had offered myself the right to open my soul, I would have been talking about vocation, well I would have made myself a religious, and a priest! »
So use all the delicacy and seriousness that such a subject deserves, but also avoid the opposite excess of letting go for an overwhelming and inappropriate prudence, excellent. vocations.
Come on then (I'll finish with the words of Don Z? Ua), let's work, yes, we all work tirelessly to multiply the evangelical workers, and so the sphere will expand more and more. of our pious action in favor of the Church and society. And in the meantime, let us try ourselves to better correspond to the grace of our vocation, by making sure that, while we try, according to our strength, to save others, we will try to avoid the slightest deliberate fault in ourselves. Let us make our own the warning of the Holy Spirit: recover proximum secnndum virtutem tuam, et await tibi ne incidas (Feci., 27, 29). And while I exhort you, my good children, to a holy emulation of ever new progress in perfection, I beg you not to forget mine in your prayers: of me that I feel more and more the need of the divine grace and of your competition because the weight of the place in which God wanted to put me less serious me. For my part I will not cease to invoke on each of you the divine blessings, while with a father's heart I reaffirm myself

your affmo in CJ

APPENDIX.
To complement and illustrate my own, I think it appropriate or convenient to add here some thoughts on the vocation drawn from our Fathers.
I. - From the writings of the Venerable Don Bosco.
1. «... Oh! if I had had a guide then, helium had taken care of my vocation, it would have been a great treasure for me .. But I missed this treasure. I had a very good confessor, and he thought of making me a good Christian, but of vocation he never wanted to mix. Advising myself, after reading a few books that dealt with the choice of the state, you decided to join the Franciscan Order. - If I remain cleric in the century, he said to me, my vocation runs the danger of shipwreck. I will embrace the ecclesiastical state, I will renounce the world, I will go to a cloister, I will give myself to study, to meditation, and so in solitude I will be able to fight the passions, especially the pride, which in the heart had placed. deep roots. " (From Don's Manuscript, .Bosco: - Memoirs of the Oratory from 1835 to 1855. - Cfr. D. LFMOYNE, Men: Biogr., Vol. l °, p. 286).
2. "With retirement and frequent communion, the vocation is perfected and preserved, and a true ecclesiastic is formed". (Parole del Teol. Berel at the Chierico Bosco in 1839. LEMOYNE, Mem. Biogr., Vol. 1% pag. 460).
3. The conversation a young man had with Don Bosco around the vocation deserves to be meditated on, and helium * left us written. The young man had repeatedly asked him what kind of life he advised him to cling to after completing high school.
- Be good, Don Bosco would answer him, study, pray, and in due course God will let you know what helium will be better for you.
- - What must I practice so that God may make me know my vocation?

- Saint Peter says with good works we can make ourselves sure of the vocation and election of the state.
- What are the signs of the elce that are or are they not being a young man called to the ecclesiastical state?
The probity of the constituents, the science, the ecclesiastical spirit.
- Commode to know I know there is the probity of the customs?
- I know the probity of the customs especially from the victory over the vices contrary to the sixth commandment, or of this we must refer to the opinion of the confessor.
- The confessor already imi said that for this cautious I can go ahead
in the ecclesiastical state all tranquility. But is it for science?
- For science you (let yourself put back to the judgment of the Superiors, clicks will
give you the appropriate tests.
What do I know from an ecclesiastical spirit?
- the ecclesiastical spirit is aware of the tendency and the pleasure it takes to take part in that function of the church which is compatible with age and occupation.
- Nothing else?
- There is a part of the ecclesiastical spirit that is more important than any other. It consists in a propensity to this state, for to quote one is eager to embrace it in preference to any other state, even more vanntosioso and more glorious.
- All these things being in dispute. Once I wanted ardente incute to make me a priest. I was not opposed for 1 two years, for those two years. helium you know; but to present happy quarrels I hear to no other inclined thing. I will encounter some difficulty on the part of my father, who would like me in a civil career, but I hope clich God will help overcome any obstacle. - Don Bosco even made him observe helium, becoming a priest meant renouncing the pleasures of the earth; to renounce riches, to the honors of the world; not to have, aim for bright charges; be ready to support and any contempt on the part of the malignant, or willing to do everything, to all-suffer to promote the glory of God, earn him souls, and to save his own first.
- Precisely this observation, the young man resumed, fights push to embrace the ecclesiastical state. lrnperocchè in other states. there is a sea of ​​dangers, helium being far inferior in the state of which we speak »(.illem. / iogr., V, p." 04 e seg.).
To the same young man, when he winds (, the father to withdraw it from the 'Oratorio not to let him embrace the ecclesiastical state, Don Bosco in dismissing him - he gave these suggestions:' "My good son, a battle jar is waiting for you .. (Iuàrdati by bad companions and bad readings. Always 1a Madonna for your mother and use her often. Let me soon taste the news. "(11lem. Iliogr., V, p. 706). A
few words are worth a treaty!

5. «... This young man is really deliberate, to pursue the career of the studies for the ecclesiastical way. His good conduct, his retreat, his attendance at religious practices, his attitudes towards education leave nothing to be desired for a successful outcome. But he is poor: for these three grapes he was to my spouse; Providence will open some way. The hope of young Fusero is addressed to her. From what VS will write to me it depends on the examination of the cleric dress or dilleriro again ». In this passage from a letter from Don. Bosco to the Tool. Appondin.o,

Archpriest of Carainagna, dated June 8, 1855 (1llem. Biogr., V, p. 390) clearly enumerates, as in the interview mentioned above, the requisites according to him necessary to become a priest or religious. In his opinion the divine call had to be recognized by personal qualities and qualities. Precisely the genuine doctrine of the Holy Church, a doctrine so distorted and contorted in certain books and pamphlets of his and our times around the vocation!
6. "... The election of the state here in the house is completely free, and without all the necessary requisites, for example, no one is admitted to dress the clerical habit. Whoever was dressed in this has a sign of vocation; but whoever is not called to this state, in the miserable times in which we live, I judge much better that the earth works ... n (Mena. Biogr., VII, p. 182).
7. «... Many of you will be priests, many will remain secular. But you need not oil, because you say: I will make myself a priest, believe yourself to succeed priests; and you why you say: I don't want to be a priest, click believe you have to be secular. No and then no. Many times God clans to be priests certain young people who do not even dream of him; and many times young heliums believed themselves called to the priesthood, indeed clerics who had already taken the garment, changed their way. Therefore, as long as they have time, let us pray to the Lord to teach us the path by which we must walk. And the first means of making our vocation certain is that of Saint Helium: I + ratres, satagite ut per bona opera certam vestram vocationem et electionem f aciatis. Lead a life full of good works, a life with the holy fear of God. We do all that helium,
"The second means is that of which St. Paul speaks thus: Oportet autem illum et testimonium habere bonum ab iis qui foris sunt. Who are these, since they are outside of us, must they bear witness to us? They are the father, mother, pastor, fellow villagers, director or superiors of the college or house of education in which we find ourselves. The young people soon show their conduct where God calls them, and according to this conduct those who f s oris sunt utter their, their sentence. Seeing certain young people who are gathered in the church, reserved for them, affable with everyone, you feel that you go saying of them: - Clio will be a good priest! - Of that other one says: - What a good lawyer he will become! - A third party: - A brave soldier will be! etc ... We must be careful to do everything diligently, even the smallest duties, I know we want the Lord to make us know the way by which I mean oil we live. There will be a young man, to the country of which we all know that among the intention to become a priest, but as to study he studies little, in church he goes less than he can and is there with little devotion, he likes to play, he goes to some companions, he leaves escape certain swear words. The population speaks of him and gives his testimony: - What a bad priest he has to succeed! - The population speaks of him and gives his testimony: - What a bad priest he has to succeed! - The population speaks of him and gives his testimony: - What a bad priest he has to succeed! -
"Ali! my dear, bring yourselves well, so that the Superiors can tell you their opinion on vocation frankly. Be attentive to what I tell you now, so things are not found in the books or found in books that you present in your state cannot procure. Trust us your superiors, come and consult them, because it is our pleasure to benefit you in all we can. There are young people who never approach the Superiors in the whole area and do not care about the idea of ​​thinking of their vocation ...

"Now I will speak of the internal test of our vocation, which alone can judge the inner things of our soul, and this is the confessor. To him we must therefore openly open our conscience, and he will be able to say where the Lord wants us. Chosen that we have a confessor, we must assiduously go to the same one, because otherwise what judgment can give of our vocation, if you know us do we know each other perfectly? So you don't have to have two confessors, one for weekdays and the other for holidays; that when you have on your conscience something that is more serious than usual, or at least you seem more serious, go and confess, from another, leaving the usual: in this way it will happen that your confessor will believe he has a little angel and instead he will have a little devil, and he will judge oils! how different from the truth! You will then set out on my own journey for which the Lord did not want you. Worse, you did like some young men who confessed themselves every time they changed their confessor ... However, by this I do not mean helium who changes his confessor sins. This no. On the contrary, I point out that I know that some of you had unfortunate sin, and had not had the courage to confess it to your ordinary confessor, it is much better, rather than do a sacrilegious colifession, to go to another confessor: change everything too the face. And it is better to be uncertain of one's own state, to commit a sacrilege, to remain a sin in confession. But before deciding on the vocation, at the end of the year he makes a good general confession. The confessor will listen to him with charity, it will help him to say what he is ashamed to say and will show him what his vocation is. Remember, therefore, that the first judge of your vocation is your confessor. If your relatives, I know the parish priest, if your superiors told you to become priests; if you had a certain inclination to do so, one confessor would say to you: - Son unio, this state is not for you! - all the other testimonies are worth nothing, you can only follow this helium.
»In the secular state, then, there are also many grades of work, profession and social degree. Even in this it is better for you to say what he knows your interior well. P can tell you ex .: - being a teacher is not for you; to be a lawyer, doctor or mili. tare, not for you. Take this or that art or profession instead. - The confessor, a man of, experience, no longer knows you. It can ring to suggest the means to make your career. Naturally I would like to make you, for example, lawyers and not and had the means, he will not be able to give them to you, but at least so often he will be able to point out to you the junction with which to achieve your own up "(.Mem. Biogr., VII, p. 828, 831-33).
8. «... And now let's think about increasing our staff; but to have it, we must all make a commitment to earn some new brother. This depends mainly on the directors of the houses. They must seek to gain and maintain the confidence of those youngsters, for they clearly see that they can. a great deal happens. And this is due to the unic d purpose of triarei in the Pious Society. I tell you this from experience: I can assure you that I know there is a young elce doing his studies has always had unlimited confidence with his Superior and Director, you will easily succeed in earning it. Seeing in his Director not the superior, fraught his father, he will pour his heart into his heart, and he will do what he advises him to do. So he will put the action to the house, without knowing the Society yet, he will practice the Rules, and, as soon as he knows it, he will embrace it in order not to leave it behind, having removed the case and helium would lose confidence. The coutrario there are, young people who come here, do all their studies, there is nothing to say about their conduct, they will be good, they will deserve good grades; but I know they do not have this confidence, one cannot have two tenths of hope if they are to enter or stay with us. The reason lies in this, which concerned their Director, not a father, a horn a superior, helium invites them on their conduct outside and no more. From this we take norm to judge the need to inspire affection to know the propensities of the students or the other employees "(1! Lemo ie Biogr., IX, 69-70). he will embrace so as not to leave her, but once the case has been removed, he will lose confidence. The coutrario there are, young people who come here, do all their studies, there is nothing to say about their conduct, they will be good, they will deserve good grades; but I know they do not have this confidence, one cannot have two tenths of hope if they are to enter or stay with us. The reason lies in this, which concerned their Director, not a father, a horn a superior, helium invites them on their conduct outside and no more. From this we take norm to judge the need to inspire affection to know the propensities of the students or the other employees "(1! Lemo ie Biogr., IX, 69-70). he will embrace so as not to leave her, but once the case has been removed, he will lose confidence. The coutrario there are, young people who come here, do all their studies, there is nothing to say about their conduct, they will be good, they will deserve good grades; but I know they do not have this confidence, one cannot have two tenths of hope if they are to enter or stay with us. The reason lies in this, which concerned their Director, not a father, a horn a superior, helium invites them on their conduct outside and no more. From this we take norm to judge the need to inspire affection to know the propensities of the students or the other employees "(1! Lemo ie Biogr., IX, 69-70). there is nothing to say about their conduct, they will be good, they will deserve good grades; but I know they do not have this confidence, one cannot have two tenths of hope if they are to enter or stay with us. The reason lies in this, which concerned their Director, not a father, a horn a superior, helium invites them on their conduct outside and no more. From this we take norm to judge the need to inspire affection to know the propensities of the students or the other employees "(1! Lemo ie Biogr., IX, 69-70). there is nothing to say about their conduct, they will be good, they will deserve good grades; but I know they do not have this confidence, one cannot have two tenths of hope if they are to enter or stay with us. The reason lies in this, which concerned their Director, not a father, a horn a superior, helium invites them on their conduct outside and no more. From this we take norm to judge the need to inspire affection to know the propensities of the students or the other employees "(1! Lemo ie Biogr., IX, 69-70). elio invigila on their conduct outward and no more. From this we take norm to judge the need to inspire affection to know the propensities of the students or the other employees "(1! Lemo ie Biogr., IX, 69-70). elio invigila on their conduct outward and no more. From this we take norm to judge the need to inspire affection to know the propensities of the students or the other employees "(1! Lemo ie Biogr., IX, 69-70).
9. "... Our Pious Society is one of the last religious Congregations, but like the others it was aroused by the goodness of Mary, helium of all we can say the founder and mother, from the Upper Room to the present day. It has no other purpose than to prepare good ecclesiastics and good lay people to co-involve the mission entrusted to them. We must therefore procure first and foremost the sanctification of one's own soul or therefore that of others "(Dleni. Biogr., IX, 347).
10. «... We have chosen the best thing for this: save the souls. 1. it is true that we are not in sufficient numbers for necessity, because there are so many who need help to save themselves. But let's do that helium we can. The field is open. From the Burmese Empire, "from Africa, from America, from Genoa, from Rome, they write to us invoking our work. Pray to the Lord to send workers ... Dlessis multa ... operarii auto-mas pauci. Rogate ergo Dominum messis ut mittat operarios in messem suam (Lue. X, 2). Courage! the saving of souls, among divine things, is the most divine! The men of the world say that helium has passed the time of the religious, (I have convents ruined everywhere: we, at any cost, want to cooperate with the Lord in greeting the soul ... "(Alem. Biogr., IX, 714) .
11. "God called the poor Salesian Congregation to promote ecclesiastical vocations among poor or poor youth. Families, well-behaved, in general, are too mixed with the spirit of the world, from which their children are often soaked, to which they thus lose the principle of vocation, and God has placed them in their hearts. If this spirit is cultivated and developed, it comes to maturity and yields abundant fruit. On the contrary, not only the seed of vocation, but often the same
vocation already born and begun under good auspices, suffocates or weakens and is lost.
»The newspapers, the bad books, the comrades, the non-reserved speeches in the family, are often 'fatal reasons for the loss of vocations, and not infrequently they are unfortunately the failure and the misleading of those themselves, clicks have already made the choice of state.
»Let us remember that we give a great treasure to the Church when we procure a good vocation; that this vocation or this priest goes to the Diocese, to the Missions, or to a religious house, not in port. It is always a great treasure that is given to the Church of Jesus Christ.
But do not give this advice to a young man, note oil is sure to preserve the angelic virtue, in the helium degree it is: established by sound theology. One passes over the mcdiocrità of the ingenuity, one never on the lack of the virtue of which we speak.
»When a young man manifests dreams of vocation, he tries to reite - give him a friend. It is indispensable to remove him from the bad readings or from the companions helium make obscene speeches. With frequent confession or communion, you will keep your pupil the queen, the virtues, the purity of the customs ".
12. "Cultivated the Work of Mary Help of Christians according to the program you already know; for lack of hubs not ceased to arai to receive a young helium give good hopes of vocation. Spread all that helium you have; if you make trades, go also to seek out; or I know after that you are in need, do not worry, that the Holy Virgin somehow, even prodigiously, will come to help. "
13. "The work, the good and strict conduct of our confreres earn and, so to speak, drag their students to follow their exaggerations. Sacrificial and personal sacrifices are made, but the preventive system is practiced, and we will have vocations in abundance. If they cannot be canceled, at least try to reduce the days of the holidays, as much as possible. - Patience and gentleness, the Christian relations of the masters with the pupils will gain many vocations between them; however, great care should be taken here to never accept among the members, so much for the ecclesiastical state, if there is no moral certainty that the angelic virtue is preserved. -
»When the Director of some of our Houses sees a student of simple costumes, of a good nature, make sure you make him a friend. He often addresses some good words, listens to them willingly, commends himself to his prayers, assures him that he prays for him in the Holy Mass; invite him for example to make the Holy Communion in honor of the BV and in suffrage of the soul of purgatory, for his relatives, for his studies and the like. At the end of the gym he persuades him to choose that vocation, that place which he judges most advantageous for his soul and clicks will console him more in death.
»-But you studied to prevent the ecclesiastical career in those heliums who wanted to embrace it to help their own family, because of helium it was poor. In these cases, any council, embrace another state, another profession: a limb, a trade: but never the ecclesiastical state;
14. "Study and make plans, pay no heed to expenses, as long as you get some priests to the Church, especially for the Missions" (From a letter from Don Bosco to D. Luigi Lasagna, 30 - J - 1885).
15. "To cultivate ecclesiastical vocations, insinuate: 1 ° Love for chastity; 20 Horror of the opposite vice; 30 Separation from the urchins; 40 Frequent communion; 50 Use with them charity, kindness and special kindness ». (From the Memories given to the first Missionaries, 1875).
16. Furthermore, we never forget to read and re-read the five means suggested by Von. Father in his Circular Letter of January 12, 1876, click here I report in their entirety:
"... In the desire to come to things valid to cultivate religious vocations, and effective to preserve the spirit of piety among the Salesians and among the young at we entrusted to him, I recommend him some things that the experience made me see as necessary.
"In every house, and especially in the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales, each one giving the utmost solicitude to promote the small Associations, horn would be the Little Clergy, the Company - of the SS. Sacrament, of St. Louis, of Mary Help of Christians and of the Irnnaculate Conception. Ninno is afraid of talking about it, recommending it, encouraging it, and explaining its purpose, origin, indulgences and other advantages that can be achieved from this. I believe that these Associations can be called Key, of piety, Conservatory of morality, Support of ecclesiastical and religious vocations.
»2 ° Look at yourself well from relationships, friendships or brilliant conversations
- details both in writing and for interview, or by means of books or gifts of any son-in-law. So hand lard, caresses on the face, kisses, walking arm-in-arm or walking with arms in each other's necks are strictly forbidden things, I don't say only between you, or between you and the students, but I am fond of the students themselves. We hold the words of St. Jerome very firmly in our mind. Helium says: Affection for none,
· affection equally for all.
»30 Escape of the century and its maximum. The roots of sorrow or disorder are the relationships with that whole click we have abandoned, and who would like to draw us back to him. Many as long as they lived in the Religious House appeared models of virtue; having gone elsewhere, with relatives or friends, they soon lost the good will, or returned to religion could no longer recover, and some came to lose the same vocation. Therefore never go to the family I know not for serious reasons; and for these grave reasons he never went there without due permission, and as far as is possible, accompanied by some Brother chosen by the Superior.
»Assuming that you receive grants, recommendations, dealing in business, buying or selling for others are things to be constantly avoided, for you find it ruinous for vocations and morality.
"40 In the evening after the prayers, everyone immediately goes to rest. Stopping to walk, chat or finish some work, are things that are harmful to spiritual and even physical health. I know that in certain sites, thankful to God not in our Houses, we had to deplore painful disorders, and search for the origin, yes. found in the conversations started and continued in the hours we mention.
»50 The punctuality in going to rest is connected with the exactness of the rising of the morning, which with equal insistence I intend to inculcate. Believe it, dear ones, the experience has inevitably made it known that the prolonged hour of rest in the morning without necessity was always found a very dangerous thing. On the contrary the accuracy in the rising, besides being the beginning of a good day, can also be called a good permanent example for everyone. In this regard, I cannot omit a warm recommendation to the Superiors to make everyone click, after appointing the Coadjutors and the people of service, to have time to attend Mass every morning, the convenience of receiving Holy Communion frequently or regularly approaching the Sacrament of Penance, according to our Constitutions (L. Cire. By Don Bosco, pag.
17. This collection of thoughts or feelings of the Venerable around vocations is a complement or an illustration of what I was expounding in my letter. By meditating on the words of the Father, it will be easy for you to understand the breadth of his views on the very important question of vocations, to
convince you by practicing his advice, we can raise many
- a lot around us. I will end with this words of the Latin letter he addressed to the Directors or Superiors of each House, dated December 8, 1880:
"Filii nei in Christo dear ones, maneamus in vocation, qua vocavit nos Dominus, et satagamus, ut per bona opera -vocationeni et electionem nostrani certiorem faciamus. Nam, quod Deus avertat, si nos posuerimus manum ad aratrum et respexerimus retro, apti non erimus realm Dei ».

IL - From the writings of the venerable Don Rua.
1. «... Each Director, with the agreement of the other superiors of his own House, is to give the utmost care not to let the ecclesiastical or religious vocations that the Lord had entrusted to cultivate fail. To this end it will be very useful to read carefully what the Deliberations to Distinction III, Chap. IV (Religious customs) prescribe and to put into practice the rules will be better possible. Let us make a helium so that we do not have to render account to God of vocations He had raised up in the service of the Church and of our Pious Society, and that they had been lost by our negligence "(L. Ciro. 1893, p. 33 e seg.).
2. "... The little love for sacred studies or precedes or follows the weakening or sometimes the loss of vocation" (L. Giro, 100).
3. (To the Directors of America) "... We began the great work of the formation of your confreres, to you. (Directors) it is especially up to you to carry out with regard to the youngest: it is up to you to cultivate them in the spirit and to watch for no one to have losing one's vocation, helium is the greatest grace that God grants after that of Baptism. And here you have to unveil a thought while you helium wholly disrupts the thujah nothing, tears me abundantly from my eyes or is a very sharp thorn in the heart trio. Several Confreres crossed the Ocean, they were willing in this region to gain souls for Jesus: and instead they perhaps lost themselves. In fact, in vain I look for their vernier in the catalog, the more one does not mention them in your very interesting reports: they tion are more children than Don Bosco! They certainly have to be blamed for these defections, and I am far from blaming others for it. However, you will excuse me, I know in my deepest pain I thought "they might have been saved, I know in their Directors they had found a father of the mold of Don Bosco, who with charity and with Salesian sweetness had found the way to descend into those helium hearts were about to close themselves to grace and give in to temptations. May God click the past to serve us as a lesson for the future! "(L. Ciro. 1894, 114 et seq.). who, with charity and with Salesian sweetness, had found the way to descend into those hearts; May God click the past to serve as a lesson for the future! "(L. Ciro. 1894, 114 and following). who had found the way to descend into those hearts, with charity and with Salesian sweetness, they were about to close themselves to grace and give in to temptations. May God click the past to serve as a lesson for the future! "(L. Ciro. 1894, 114 and following).
4. (recommending the economy): «... Perhaps with that coin that you economize, we will be made to supply bread to a poor young man more, who will be welcomed in our Charity houses: making the sacrifice of something not necessary, you will contribute to giving the Church one more minister, to our Missions a good worker, a savior with such a soul in danger of losing himself "(L. Circ. 1897, p. 155).
5. "... Pol character cho is proper to our Pious Society, not only is abundantly reserved for the ecclesiastics, but our dear coadjutor confreres are also called to exercise a true apostolate in favor of youth in all our Houses, and especially then in our professional schools; therefore it is necessary that religious vocations be cultivated also among our young artisans and families ... It is absolutely necessary to observe which young artisans show some signs of vocation, cultivate them as aspirants, let them participate in spiritual exercises during the holidays, receive and easily 'fulfill the request of those helium wish to be ascribed when they have reached the age of 16 or 17 years. Then it is convenient, as far as possible,
6. «... At this moment it seems that yes. do more (I never feel the need to form artisan confreres and coadjutors of firm and proven virtue. What a vast field to their zeal I open in all our Houses, but especially in the Missions! They would therefore show better understanding of the true interests of our Dear Congregation, those who work in our young artisans aim to arouse and develop vocations to Salesian life "(L. Ciro. 1898, p. 165).
7." ... Whoever lacks the spirit of sacrifice he will have the strength to practice poverty, he will expose himself to the danger of being shipwrecked in chastity, or he will have much doubts about his perseverance in his vocation "(L. Cire. 1899, p. 204).
«I know the Lord puts us so much between hand, it is dream helium prepares us and wants to give us the workers; but this matters that we cultivate vocations more. He wants to bear the fruits of the countryside; Your job is all necessary to the peasant, sow it, look after it. Don Bosco assured us that the Lord always sends us into our colleges, many of which have the vocation gernno; and if these germs do not bear fruit, it is a sign of helium they are not cultivated properly. I assure you that it is a pain to my heart to hear some, even Directors, blather almost against the Superiors, saying: "Houses open too much, we want to do too much;" and meanwhile these are those that do not cultivate vocations, helium neglect to take 'the means to cultivate the young, that is, helium that the companies do not support, do not recommend the. frequency of the Sacraments, they do not establish hothouse means to conserve illibacy in young people; and so clerics and brothers never leave their colleges ... I know your Salesians are good, diligent, exemplary, they will exercise a beneficial influence on your students, or by example they will draw them to good, helping you powerfully in the cultivation of vocations "(L. Circ. 1901, p. 264 e seg.).
8. "One thing Don Bosco considered to be the master key for making the houses proceed well and at the same time to take care of the vocation, we confreres: and it is never that the two monthly conferences are left out of the directors, or never fail to receive the reports from the Confreres ... ». (L. Circ. 1902, page 296).
9. «... I would like to helium all the Salesians, but especially the Priests, they felt the need to raise up among their students the beliefs of their sublime mission. I don't know how to explain to myself the horn you don't see from everyone the need to fill those voids that death and loss of vocation will be made between the file of our members. It would appear that once they have retreated they do not realize the great shortage of personnel to which our Works are subjected, some of which have already been suppressed and others which can no longer continue. And yet many, who are perhaps the most demanding in asking for personal knowledge, think for nothing of arousing or developing and maintaining vocations to Salesian life. And to say that in the past year there were _into the province of helium they did not even give a novice! How much pain I feel, click I was a witness for so many years of sacrifices helium was imposed on the Veli. Don Bosco to help some helpers! I am comforted by the hope that my complaint will not remain without effect ... "(L. Circ. 1908, p. 394).
10. "... Our amatissiino Father Don Bosco was consulted one day by a great lady on the way to repair so much blasphemy, so many profanations and so many impiousness, helium is deplored in our day. lilac proposed various means, offering for this purpose large sums. Don Bosco made him touch with his hand that by helping a young man to become a priest one would do much more and better than with any good work, thus repeating the words of St. Vincent do Paoli, with whom he had so many traits of resemblance, helium no work is as beautiful and as good as helping to make a priest. And did he not give his preference to all of his works? Which were not the holy industries he used as wires from the beginning of Oratory to form pupils of the Sanctuary? Who does not admire Don Bosco's training, seeing him repeatedly start again when his attempts were in vain, seeing him diligent in cultivating a young man in whom he had recognized the dreams of a true vocation, seeing him finally brave in facing sacrifices or helium spouses does it require the formation of a priest? Don Bosco knew by experience that many are fortunately young the helium have the seeds of ecclesiastical and religious vocation, thus arranging God for the good of his Church, and he found the most effective means of preserving and developing them, piety and good morals. I trust that not only the Directors, but also the teachers, assistants and all the Brothers, each in his own sphere, will strive with holy emulation to foster vocations ...
11. "... I urge you to cherish and take great care of those young artisans, farmers or families in your Houses, who aspire to become Salesians; think of their culture, help them in every way to overcome the helium difficulties they encounter for their vocation, or then propose for the Novitiate those heliums give hope of success ... ». (L. Circ. 1896, page 450).
12. "... St. Paul wrote that the priest must live on the altar; likewise the peasant of the fruit of his field, the shepherd of the milk, of his sheep. Likewise, a religious community must live on works and it is by doing so, and by this I mean helium, not only must its work provide it with sustenance, but it must still provide workers with it. Cultivating vocations, the ranks of soldiers are filled with death and (unfortunately) defections have thinned out, the Pious Society is rejuvenated, I know it extends its sphere of action, old heliums slow down, they see their spiritual posterity "(L. Circ. '1905, p. 496).
13. "Don Bosco, in drawing up the program of the Sons of Mary Help of Christians, quoted the following words of St. Vincent de Paul: there is no work of charity more beautiful than forming a priest. Hand then at work; nothing was saved; let us work, let us be vigilant, let us pray because in each of our houses some flowers sprout to be offered to Mary Help of Christians "(L. Circ. 1905, p. 497).