Celebrating Br. Peter Enria, SDB's Vocation

Celebrating The Vocation Of The Religious Brother 4  Bro. Peter Enria Sdb

By Amy Marinaro

Br. Peter Enria was born in San Benigno Canavese in the province of Turin in 1841. Shortly after his family moved to Turin, Peter and his brother were orphaned. During his time in an orphanage, Peter met Don Bosco in 1854. Don Bosco invited Peter and his brother to live at the Oratory—an invitation that they accepted. At the Oratory, Peter first worked as a blacksmith before being assigned to assist Bro. Joseph Rossi’s work in the general supplies department at the Oratory. The skills that he thus acquired allowed Peter to become an invaluable help to the Oratory.

Peter was renowned for his array of artistic talents, including his musical abilities, theatrical prowess, skit writing, and painting. As a result, he was often requested to assist with religious celebrations and theatrical skits. Still, one of Peter’s greatest gifts was his ability to care for the sick. In December 1871, Don Bosco became seriously ill and in need of constant attendance. This assistance was divided between Peter and a cleric at the school of Varazze. After two months, Don Bosco’s health began to return, and he was able to move to another school with Peter’s continued attendance. On three other occasions (in 1872, 1878, and 1887), Don Bosco would again need Peter’s assistance during his illnesses.

In 1878, after many years of serving the Oratory and Don Bosco, Peter professed his vows as a coadjutor brother. Br. Peter and Don Bosco shared a great love for each other, and Br. Peter often spoke of the great privilege he felt in being able to take care of Don Bosco during his sicknesses. Don Bosco’s death in 1888 had an immense impact on Br. Peter. Br. Peter Enria passed away at the early age of 57 in 1898.

Based on the biography of Bro. Peter Enria included in Profiles of Thirty-Three Salesian Coadjutor Brothers by Fr. Eugene Ceria, SDB (New Rochelle: Salesiana, 2005), pp. 44-53. See also Enzo Bianco, SDB, Don Bosco’s Lay Religious, trans. Peter Swain, SDB, 2 vols. (New Rochelle: Don Bosco Publications, 1984), 1:51-53; Eugenio Valentini and Amedeo Rodinò, Dizionario biografico dei Salesiani (Turin, 1969), p. 116; and Michael Ribotta, SDB, “Peter Enria Remembers,” Journal of Salesian Studies, vol. 3 (1992), no. 2, pp. 93-108.

February 27, 2018 - 10:36am
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