The Superior General of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr Juan Edmundo Vecchi, died yesterday, on the vigil of the feast of St. Francis de Sales. The Italian Salesian website carried this brief message last night: 'La Congregazione e la Famiglia Salesiana comunicano il loro dolore per la morte di don Juan Edmundo Vecchi, ottavo successore di don Bosco, avvenuta il 23 gennaio 2002 alle ore 9.50' A picture of Fr Juan can be seen at: www.sdb.org/successore/frame_successore.htm Born in Argentina, Fr Vecchi, had suffered from a brain tumour for over a year and a half. Despite his illness he managed to communicate regularly with the 18,000 members of the Salesians (SDB) and a similar number of Salesian Sisters. Fr. Vecchi's last handwritten letter to all the Salesian family, was a meditation on illness and suffering. A close relative, Br Artemide Zatti of Viedma, Argentina, will be beatified in April by Pope John Paul II. Fr Vecchi had hoped to be at the ceremony. A spokesman for the order, said: "in a real sense he will be."
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