Today we remember Blessed Phillip Rinaldi, a Salesian priest.
Phillip was born on May 28, 1856 at Lu Monferrato (Alessandria). Philip met Don Bosco at age 5, and at the age of 22, joined him in the Salesian order. When he was ordained, his first responsibility was the formation of aspirants and novices. He became the Salesian provincial superior in Spain where he opened many new houses and then served as vicar-general of the Salesians before becoming the Rector Major in 1922, Don Bosco’s third successor. As Vicar General of the Congregation, he displayed even more of his fatherly gifts and his willingness to assume many pastoral responsibilities.
He was elected Rector Major in 1922 and focused his energy on adapting the spirit of Don Bosco to the current situation. Don Francesia wrote “Don Rinaldi was only missing the voice of Don Bosco: he had everything else!” He was a master of Salesian ways and spirituality and brought about a renewal in the interior life of Salesians, absolute confidence in God and unlimited trust in Mary Help of Christians. He asked Pope Pius XI for an indulgence for ‘sanctified work’. He took great care of the missions and sent many young Salesians to learn languages and customs so that they could be more immersed in local culture and spread the gospel more effectively.
He died on December 5, 1931 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 29th April 1990. His remains are venerated in the crypt of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians.
“What must you do to have life? Before all else, the first thing you have to do is pray for courage every day to carry the cross the Lord has assigned you. Then let each of you do your own work really well, the work proper to your state, as God wants it, and according to your condition.”
~ Blessed Phillip Rinaldi