Message on the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, Patron of the Congregation

Rome, 4 November 2018
“Called to be holy” (Rom 1.7).

 

Dear Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters, Formands and Lay Scalabrinian Missionaries,

Every Scalabrinian Missionary Sister should be proud to have St. Charles Borromeo as the Patron of the Congregation, especially in this historical time of our Congregation, full of changes, such as the internal reorganization process in view of a profound renewal of our consecrated and missionary life, in centrality to Jesus Christ, so as to be more faithful to the Scalabrinian charism that we have received.

It is not easy to make a synthesis of the intense life of St. Charles, from which a figure emerges animated by the charism of the good shepherd who, without pretending to see ostentatious results, offers his life with zeal. The same zeal moved him in the decision to undertake a reform of the Church and a serious journey of interior reform and holiness, to conform more and more to our Lord Jesus. In fact, he promoted the first and most radical work of renewal with  regard to himself. Thus, he was able to dedicate his whole self to the service of God and of the Church.

However, one could not understand the figure of our patron saint, St. Charles Borromeo, if one did not know his relationship with the passionate love of  the Lord Jesus, the trusting love contemplated in the Eucharist and in the beloved Crucified, who plunged St. Charles into the charity of Christ.

The exemplary life of St. Charles, the impact of his work as a pastor and as a reformer proved convincing and attractive are the result of the intensity of his love for the crucified Christ. His greatness is born out of the depth of his faith and the totality of his dedication to the mission received: in a Word, by his Holiness.

Dear Sisters, we too are called by grace to follow Jesus Christ in this singular and necessary form of fruitfulness, which “generates Christ” in ourselves and in the migrants and refugees we encounter on our journey as disciples and missionaries.

We are invited to turn our gaze to St. Charles, model of holiness and apostolic zeal, whose example inspires us and motivates us to live our call to holiness, knowing that the vocation to holiness must be discerned, understood, welcomed and nurtured and “so, under the impulse of divine grace, with so many gestures we are building that figure of holiness that God willed for us, but not beings self-sufficient but ‘as good stewards of the manifold grace of God’ (1 Pt. 4:10)”.[1]

With joy, I wish you all a Happy Feast of our Patron and be inspired of him, so that every community, every apostolic work take strength and fecundity. Happy Feast Day!

 

Sr. Neusa de Fatima Mariano, mscs

Superior General, the Council and the Secretary General

 

 

[1] Francis, Apostolic Exhortation,  Gaudete et exsultate, n.18

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