The Year of Consecrated Life will begin tomorrow, Saturday 29 November, the eve of the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the new liturgical year. It will end on 2 February 2016, World Day of Consecrated Life. One year ago, on 29 November 2013, when he announced the holding of this special year, speaking to the Superiors General of institutes of men, Pope Francis said about consecrated persons, "They are men and women who can wake up the world."
The Year of Consecrated Life coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium and the Decree Perfectae Caritatis. For the Salesian Congregation it has an additional value since it coincides largely with the Bicentenary of the Birth of Don Bosco.
The opening ceremonies will begin tomorrow, Saturday 29 November with a prayer vigil in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major at 7.00 p.m. Italian time, and will continue with the celebration of the Eucharist at 10.00 a.m. on Sunday 30 November in Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Both celebrations will have a strongly Marian character. The Mother of God is the model and patron of consecrated life in its various forms (religious Institutes, Secular Institutes, Ordo Virginum, societies of apostolic life, new institutes). “In Mary the Church is all who journey together: in the love of those who go out to the most fragile; in the hope of those who know that they will be accompanied in their going out and in the faith of those who have a special gift to share. In Mary each one of us, driven by the wind of the Spirit, fulfils our own vocation to move out!" (CIVCSVA, Rejoice, 13).
The two celebrations will take place in the heart of Rome, in communion with all the dioceses of the world, where there will be prayer meetings to implore the grace of the Holy Spirit who gives life and renews the Church.