Apostles of the holy family and the identity charter of the salesian family

Thursday 14 July 2022
Apostles of the holy family and the identity charter of the salesian family

Our Religious Family can be found in the fullness of its spirit and in the contents of the Salesian Family Charter of Identity. Our founder, Cardinal Giuseppe Guarino, an admirer of Don Bosco, immediately felt a fascination for Don Bosco’s youthful spirituality to the point of becoming a Salesian Cooperator. He even fervently asked for and welcomed the first Salesians in Sicily; he made a commitment to the Roman Curia for Don Bosco and had the inheritance of the Marino couple donated to the Salesians, which allowed the opening of the house of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Alì (1890) and the Salesian Work in Messina (1893).

With the Salesian spirit, along with a group of 'Daughters of Mary', Bishop Guarino founded the Congregation of the 'Little Servants of the Holy Family', today called 'Apostles of the Holy Family', in San Pier Niceto (ME), and gave them a rule inspired by the Visitation Sisters of St Francis de Sales 'for the moral and civil education of the children of the common people'. 

This was from the very beginning. Then, starting with the Special General Chapter of 1970, the Institute clarified its educational identity, adopted its current name, and sought the spiritual direction of the Salesians.

In the current Constitutions we find two articles that trace and seem to merge with those of the Salesian Family's Charter of Identity, and they are reproduced below:


"Our Founder was inspired by St Francis de Sales, a model of Christian educator and, in exalting his educational and ecclesial spirit, he wanted our consecrated life to express itself in the style of his spirituality". (Const. Art. 3)

Belonging to the Salesian Family

"In the wake of the testimonies offered by the Founder, who wished to be enrolled among Don Bosco's 'cooperators' and to maintain living and life-giving relationships with his spiritual children, in the name of an identity and vocation and a common spirituality, our Institute has asked and obtained recognition* as 'belonging' to the Salesian Family" (Const. Art. 4) *[Letter from the Rector Major, Fr Egidio Viganò, 24 December 1984].

Mission, Communion and Collaboration

This aspect, as far as we are concerned, certainly still needs to grow, and solidify. It is well stated in Article 41 that 'knowing how to cooperate does not go without saying; rather, it requires training that keeps certain essential elements in mind'.

It is an open road but started in theory and in the good intentions of each group.

We must engage in reciprocity and shared planning. I am sure we will get there

However, we cannot fail to thank God and all those who have worked hard and enthusiastically so that the great dream of seeing us united as one Family is increasingly coming true.


                                                                              Sr Luigina Bellomo, ASF


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