Saints Make History

Saints Make History Tirano ( Italy ). A piece of this history took place on Saturdary, October 15, 2011 at Tirano (SN) when at 8:30 PM, the Salesian Family of the zone, along with friends and supporters, met in the splendid Sanctuary of ‘Our Lady of Tirano' in memory of Salesian holiness in the Valtellina area in North Italy.

Present were the Alderman of Culture and Instruction of the Commune of Tirano, the Mayor of Corteno Golgi, the Assistant Mayor of Concesio, Mrs. Domenica Troncatti , cousin of Sr. Maria along with other relatives, the FMA communities of Sondrio, Tirano, Milan-Via Timavo, and Coscesio, many SDB, Salesian Co-operators, and Past Pupils.

This event was promoted by Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni , SDB postulator of the Saints' Causes of the Salesian Family.

The encounter was introduced by Fr. Remo Orsini , Pastor of Tirano, and Fr. Remo Bracchi , SDB. The presentation of Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni gave it a powerful start. He spoke on, “The Flowering of Sanctity in and around the Valetlline area.” Four of the figures proposed to the affectionate attention of the participants were, Blessed Fr. Louis Guanella, Venerable Fr. Joseph Quadrio, SDB , Sr. Maria Troncatti, FMA, and Fr. Carlo Braga , SDB. The ‘in and around' of which the title speaks refers to Sr. Maria Troncatti who is not exactly from Valtellina, since she was born at Corteno Golgi (BS) in the north of Val Camonica at the confines of Valtellina.

Sr. Maria Vanda Penna spoke of her passionate missionary work, underlining above all her love for the God of life that she translated into an active love for the poor and weak of the Amazon Jungle, her true ‘country of the heart' for more than forty years.

The affirmation of the Salesian historian, Fr. Anthony Guerriero , who stated that without the work of Sr. Maria , the Shuar would have been at risk for extinction, happily summarizes how much she, at the price of unheard of sacrifice and strong unlimited trust in the Lord, was able to realize in East Equator. She touched by hand the prodigies that accompanied faith and reached the point of offering her life for peace between the Shuar and the colonists.

It is interesting to note that precisely 106 years ago, on October 15, Maria Troncatti left her native land to enter into our Institute at Nizza Monferrato .

Sr. Maria Vanda Penna reminded us of an episode of Fr. Guanella regarding the FMA Institute. We read in the Cronistoria that in 1875, Fr. Guanella , who had been Don Bosco 's pupil for three years, sent various Valtellinese girls to Mornese to become FMA. They brought dowries that helped to alleviate the privations of our first community. In fact, those monies served to buy a cow, which in those heroic times, was the source of milk needed for the community of sisters and resident pupils.

His Excellency, Msgr. Savio Hon Tai-Fai , SDB, and Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples, spoke of Fr. Carlo Braga , a great missionary in China . He placed his precious work in the historic context of China in the 1900's.

The commemoration of Fr. Joseph Quadrio was programmed for Sunday, October 16, in Vervio (SN), where he was born. The evening closed with the presentation by Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni , of a commemorative ‘comic book', in both Italian and Chinese, of Fr. Carlo Braga .

The cordiality and the admiration with which the guests participated in the various moments witnessed once again that holiness attracts attention even in times that seem to be distracted concerning spiritual things. It also showed how the Salesian spirit, with its roots in holiness, has still much to say today, above all in regard to the poor and little ones of the world.

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