EWTN Vatican
First Successor of Don Bosco Appointed Cardinal by Pope Francis: Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime
Demo 2 Image
Don Bosco, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime and Pope Francis. Credit: ANS

Pope Francis recently announced the creation of 21 Cardinals, among them Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, the Rector Major of the Salesians. This appointment holds special significance as Fr. Fernández becomes the first successor of Don Bosco to receive the title of Cardinal. The Salesian News Agency (ANS) expressed that this announcement is a testament to the Pope's trust and hope in Fr. Fernández and the Salesians. The Salesian community celebrated this news with joy, with younger members expressing their excitement through social media posts showcasing their fond memories with the Rector Major. It is worth noting that while many successors of Don Bosco have played significant roles alongside the Pope, the curia, and the bishops, none had previously been appointed as Cardinals.

Pope Francis and the Salesians
In an interview with ACI Prensa in 2015, Fr. Fernández mentioned his collaboration with then-Cardinal Bergoglio during his tenure as the superior of the Salesians in southern Argentina. Fr. Fernández fondly recalled accompanying Cardinal Bergoglio during the Eucharist at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Almagro, where the Cardinal himself was baptized. Furthermore, in March 2023, the Rector Major revealed that he was traveling to Argentina to honor St. Zatti, a new Salesian saint and a close friend of the Pope. Fr. Fernández received a heartfelt message from Pope Francis, urging the Salesians to continue their love for Patagonia, a region close to the Pope's heart. Patagonia holds significant historical importance for the Salesians as it was their first missionary endeavor. In 1875, St. John Bosco dispatched a group of his religious led by Fr. Juan Cagliero, who later became the first Salesian bishop and Cardinal. With the expansion of Don Bosco's followers, a young Bergoglio had the opportunity to meet the Salesian religious and study at a Salesian school in 1949. At the age of 17, he found guidance and support from Fr. Enrique Pozzoli, SDB, who played a significant role in his health and vocation. Additionally, Pope Francis holds a special affinity for Club San Lorenzo de Almagro, which draws inspiration from Fr. Lorenzo Massa, SDB. The club's name honors both the priest and the martyred deacon. Finally, it is important to note that during the Pontiff's visit to the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin in 2015, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Don Bosco's birth, he emphasized his profound love for the Virgin Mary, nurtured through his association with the Salesians.

With the expansion of Don Bosco's followers, a young Bergoglio had the opportunity to meet the Salesian religious and study at a Salesian school in 1949. At the age of 17, he found guidance and support from Fr. Enrique Pozzoli, SDB, who played a significant role in his health and vocation. Additionally, Pope Francis holds a special affinity for Club San Lorenzo de Almagro, which draws inspiration from Fr. Lorenzo Massa, SDB. The club's name honors both the priest and the martyred deacon. Finally, it is important to note that during the Pontiff's visit to the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin in 2015, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Don Bosco's birth, he emphasized his profound love for the Virgin Mary, nurtured through his association with the Salesians.

This article was originally published on ACI Prensa. 


Author Name

Abel Camasca is a journalist of ACI Prensa. He was born in Pisco, Peru, and studied communications at the University of Lima. For several years he was the producer of the TV program EWTN Noticias in Spanish and responsible of the radio show Más que noticias on Radio Católica Mundial. He is a member of the Salesian Family.

Trending
EWTN Summer Academy
The Popes and the Power and Significance of the Saint Benedict Medal
The Three Secrets of Fatima Explained
Vatican Unveils the Holy Lance: A Solemn Tribute to the Soldier of Faith, Saint Longinus
On this day, Saint John Paul II made Cardinal the now Pope Francis