The Via lucis was born in the summer of 1988, in the Movimento Testimoni del Risorto (Movement of the Witnesses of the Risen Lord). It was the first formulation and realization of a celebration centred on the Resurrection. The formula was and is that of an itinerant devotion to participate in the life and the joy of the Risen Lord. The Osservatore Romano and Avvenire have been interested in all these years, publishing many articles. More than once, also Il Corriere and La Repubblica.
In 1989 the Via lucis was presented to Don Bosco’s successor, Don Egidio Viganò who became involved and named a theological commission to study diversified criteria and formularies. Some were created for parish communities, others for committed groups and for the youth and consacrated people. Also, there exists a text for children for whom there is a dramatized version with music by Anna Benassi of the Rai television and the maestro Di Maio. The publication of the Via lucis for the suffering has also been prepared.
The Via lucis, born in a simple way in and for the Movement, which was searching for a prayer to express their particular charisma, was spread quickly thanks to the work and grace of the Spirit, so that in April 1990 the first Via lucis was solemnly celebrated by Don Bosco’s successor, Don Viganò, in Rome, at the Catacombes of San Callisto, for the general Capitolo of the salesians. And it was significant, solemnly celebrating it for the first time, there, where the martyrs, perennial witnesses of an unfaltering faith in the Risen Lord, lay to rest.
It was followed by the notification to John Paul II, by the Rector Maggiore, and the slow involvement of the Bishops. Some immediately introduced the practice of the Via lucis as a milestone to the joy of christian life, after the experience of the Via crucis, in their own diocese. The local groups of the Testimoni del Risorto(TR) are all active promoters and animators of the various celebrations of the Via lucis; in September 1992 and in various years to follow, the Via lucis was celebrated in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, under the rock of Calvary in the chapel of Saint Elena, during the pilgrimage of the Movement in the Holy Land, aimed at thanking the Risen Lord for this gem delivered to the TR for the entire Church.
The Resurrection is the event that changed history. It’s not a theory but a fact. It’s not an invention but a verification. The first incredulous followers, doubtful towards the fact, bent to the evidence. They were accustomed, due to their culture, to accepting after having verified. Luke transmits the word of the Risen Christ who orders to certify the seriousness of his live body with the expression “pselafésate” which literally means “pinch me, touch me not superficially”. Every man, like the Son of Man, no longer has a destiny – death – but a destination: a home, in God’s embrace, that welcomes His Son and all of us, sons in His Son.