(ANS – Budapest) – The site where the blessed Stephen Sándor, Hungarian Salesian brother and martyr, carried out his saving mission for the young, the “Clarisseum”, in Budapest, was filled with enthusiasm and joy on Saturday, October 20: Salesians and members of the Salesian Family celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Salesian martyr’s beatification.
Already the location chosen to honor the fifth anniversary of his beatification was symbolic: the “Clarisseum”, which in the past was also the seat of the Hungarian Province, was a building in which Stephen Sándor himself lived, but was alas taken away from the Salesian community by the communist regime. Only a few days ago, however, the good news: a part of the whole complex has returned to the Salesians.
On October 20, the center’s grand auditorium turned out to be too small compared to the large public who had come to listen to the presentations of the following speakers: Fr József Havasi, former Provincial of Hungary, who had personally met the Blessed; János Pokorni, who had shared the cell with Br Sándor; and Judit B. Varga, who presented a historical paper on the Salesian. The conferences had a dual purpose: to commemorate the figure of Stephen Sándor and at the same time to celebrate the return to the new Salesian life of the “Clarisseum” building.
Then Fr Béla Ábrahám, Provincial, during the celebration of Mass, underscored how Blessed Stephen Sándor fulfilled the desire of Don Bosco to educate street children so they too might become saints. He made an example of laboriousness and human closeness, making simple gestures in the daily life of the mission for the young. “He literally offered his life, remaining consistent with his deep convictions. In this way he came to holiness and now intercedes with God for us, that we have the joy of continuing the work as Salesians, here where he started it,” the provincial said.
At the end of the celebration, Fr Béla blessed the returned part of the building and expressed words of thanksgiving to God, Blessed Sándor and to all those who worked for its return to the Congregation.
“This center is a new possibility for us, which we must exploit with vitality,” he concluded.