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VENERABLE MARGARET OCCHIENA

VENERABLE MARGARET OCCHIENA

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VENERABLE MARGARET OCCHIENA

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  1. VENERABLE MARGARET OCCHIENA A SPIRITUAL PROFILE Rev. Enrico dal Covolo sdb

  2. MAMMA MARGARET – A SPIRITUAL PROFILE • 25th November 1857 – MM passes to her heavenly reward – in the Oratory all were sure that she was “truly a saint” • cause of her Beatification and Canonization introduced 8th September 1994 • diocesan phase concluded in 1996 • documentation presented to the Sacred Congregation on 25th January 2000 • declared ‘Venerable’ on 15th November 2006, about 150 years after her death

  3. MAMMA MARGARET – A SPIRITUAL PROFILE • We will concentrate on 4 characteristic elements that sum up the person of MM. She was… • A HEROIC MOTHER AND A WISE EDUCATOR • A GUIDE AND COLLABORATOR IN THE NASCENT SALESIAN CHARISM • A WOMAN OF AUTHORITY WHO SHINES IN HER OWN LIGHT • A RICHLY ENDOWED HUMAN AND CHRISTIAN FIGURE

  4. 1. A HEROIC MOTHER AND A WISE EDUCATOR • Uniqueness of MM’s style as a mother • awareness of the responsibility that motherhood entails • blessed with natural gifts: kind and firm, understanding and demanding, patient and decisive • sacred respect for the priesthood • active participation in the ministry of her son

  5. 1. A HEROIC MOTHER AND A WISE EDUCATOR • Uniqueness of MM’s style as a mother • Spiritual Roles • God the Father – DB = loving father and wise educator • Mary – MM = kind mother and profound teacher • harmonized tenderness and firmness since she had to be both mother and father to her orphaned sons • able to give both paternal and maternal love • ability to deal with an ailing mother-in-law and a difficult step-son

  6. 1. A HEROIC MOTHER AND A WISE EDUCATOR • Uniqueness of MM’s style as an educator • an exemplary educator able to transform her difficult family situation into an effective educative ambient • could draw a faith-lesson from all the events of life • able to identify and develop the hidden talents of her sons – esp. DB – gave him autonomy and support

  7. 1. A HEROIC MOTHER AND A WISE EDUCATOR • Uniqueness of MM’s style as an educator • the dream at the age of 9 was interpreted best by her – ready to do all to make it come true • JP2 in Turin (1988) – the key role played by MM in the life of DB – • she was successful in “creating the family ambient” in the Oratory • which gave rise to goodness and kindness in DB making him friend and father of his poor boys

  8. 2. A GUIDE AND COLLABORATOR IN THE NASCENT SALESIAN CHARISM • MM - remote inspirer of the Salesian educative system – influenced the concept of the “family spirit” – heart of the Salesian charism – with her presence in the Oratory for about 10 years • many elements of the PS bear traces of MM’s maternal figure: sweetness, reassurance etc. – eg. “good night” and “word in the ear” • first Salesian cooperator

  9. 2. A GUIDE AND COLLABORATOR IN THE NASCENT SALESIAN CHARISM • MM aware of her new vocation – accepted it with humility and clarity – responded to this call with heroic generosity • DB also aware of the precious role that his mother was playing in the Oratory – not only material assistance, but also a guide and collaborator in his educative pastoral task • Don Lemoyne – a succinct but accurate judgement: “In MM one could see the spirit of the Oratory personified.”

  10. 3. A WOMAN OF AUTHORITY WHO SHINES IN HER OWN LIGHT • impossible to deny the greatness of this humble woman often overshadowed by the brilliance of her son’s achievements • impossible to understand DB without MM - the last 15 years of MM’s life interwoven with that of her priest son • MM shines in her own light - stature of her interior life ensured that her son had much to learn from her • recall how DB would sometimes hide behind the curtains of his room to listen in on her advice to the boys

  11. 4. A RICHLY ENDOWED HUMAN AND CHRISTIAN FIGURE • three preceding points present three diverse angles of the spiritual profile but do not do justice to her person • the more we observe MM, the more we study the testimonies regarding her life: the more she appears as a person very profound andat the same timevery simple

  12. 4. A RICHLY ENDOWED HUMAN AND CHRISTIAN FIGURE • rich - not in worldly goods or in cultural attainments • rich as a woman of exceptional intuition, of deep wisdom richly endowed with a very affable humanism, with a big heart, with a very exquisite sensitivity and serene self-control • richlyblessed with courage to affront the trials of life and with interior energy to work tirelessly

  13. 4. A RICHLY ENDOWED HUMAN AND CHRISTIAN FIGURE • she was also simple - poor and humble woman without any formal learning other than the catechism • her simplicity was due to her whole existence being centred on God • all her life was nothing but service rendered to God and others: her sons, her neighbours who were sick or needy, the poor boys collected by her son in need of a clean bed, some warm food, and also the warmth of a family

  14. 4. A RICHLY ENDOWED HUMAN AND CHRISTIAN FIGURE • deep personal relationship with God - directly proportional to her simplicity and humility • she did not need to make an impact or be noticed • it happened automatically due to the esteem and affection that she showered; due to the coherence of her dedicated service, of her wisdom, of her goodness, her simplicity and her lovable originality

  15. 4. A RICHLY ENDOWED HUMAN AND CHRISTIAN FIGURE • simple MM is a part of the spiritual aristocracy that shines with other holy mothers who live in the presence of God - the result of constant silent prayer • MM would recall – sanctity is easily attainable by everyone - results from faithful obedience to one’s unique vocation • JP2 says: Sanctity is the best test of ordinary Christian living • MM teaches us that the simple events of everyday life can lead us along the path of sanctity

  16. Let us strive to imitate her…in her virtues; be like her in holiness and become like her in love and compassion!!