On November 20, we celebrated a Eucharist of Thanksgiving in the Church of St. Pantaleo to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the Pious Schools as a religious Order with solemn vows. At the ceremony, presided over by Fr. General Pedro Aguado, there were also the religious professions of Brian Yuh Womei, André Serge Fouda, Brandon Sekuna Tchatien Nuvaga, Nguyễn Văn Việt and Goffredo Cianfrocca.

The event was attended by members of the Calasanctian family, represented by the major superiors, Fr. Manoel Pereira, of the Cavanis, as well as Anna Lucia D’Ospina, superior of the Calasanziane, Asuncion Pereira, mother general of the Piarists and Sacramento Calderon, superior of the Calasanctians.

After the solemn Eucharist, the Historian of the Order, Fr. José Pascual Burgués, reconstructed, through different testimonies of the time, the death of the Saint. “The first voice that alerted the city of Rome of the death of Calasanz was that of a child”, emphasized Burgués. The testimonies of a Piarist, a child and various characters of the Roman Trastevere, “cross the centuries and come down to us to tell us about the life, virtues and extraordinary events that occurred after the death of this certainly uncommon man who is Calasanz”. 

With a simple offering of light in front of the tomb of Calasanz, the Spazio Calasanz was inaugurated, a simple exhibition space that shows the keys to the life of the Founder and the fruits that the Holy Spirit has raised in these years through the various Calasanctian branches that emerged from the trunk of the Pious Schools.

Afterwards, the institutional act began with the presentation of the Piarist Vocational Year as well as different dynamics in which vocational challenges and testimonies were shared. Francisco Anaya, presented the main lines of the vocational year, and gave way to a round table with four young juniors from the 4 continents where the Pious Schools are present: Pierre Bacary from Africa, Heyder Vieira from America, Borja de la Rua from Europe and Nguyễn Văn Việt from the Asian continent. In a relaxed atmosphere, and led by José Beltrán, director of Vida Nueva, the juniors shared their vocational witness inviting the young people “not to be afraid of questions and to be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit.”

The Postulator General, Fr. Andres Valencia, presented the news about the process of beatification of the young Glicerio Landriani and presented the new website (https://www.landriani.org) that aims to promote his cause. Landriani, born into an important and distinguished family of the Milanese society of the time, worked with Calasanz in the first foundations and died at the age of 30, being an example of strength and Piarist youth.

Fr. General then introduced each of the superiors of the Calasanctian family who participated in a round table. For Pedro Aguado “living the paternity enriches the whole family and each of the branches of the Calasanctian family”, being aware that “the life of the Order does not come essentially from our work, but from the favor of God”, he explained. The event was attended by the Fraternity of the Pious Schools. Alfredo Marcos, member of the General Council, highlighted in his speech the joy of the meeting and encouraged to continue promoting a Piarist lay reality committed to the Pious Schools.

Finally, as a culmination, the different superiors of the Calasanctian family shared the joys and vocational challenges from each of the realities they live.

Let us give thanks to God for this IV centenary of life of the Pious Schools, giving ourselves every day for the children and young people that the Lord has entrusted to us, especially for the poorest, as St. Joseph Calasanz would do with love and joy.