|Italy – “Come to Bosco 2012”: The grand gathering of young people in Don Boscos own territory|
|RMG – Bicentenary: Countdown to 16th August|
(ANS – Rome) – Tomorrow, 16th August, the Salesian world will remember the birthday of its founder, Don Giovanni Bosco, who became father, teacher and saint of youth. The date marks the transition from the first to the second year and theme set out in the preparations for celebrating the Bicentenary of his birth (1815-2015). In the Basilica of Colle Don Bosco his ninth successor, Don Pascual Chávez Villanueva, will preside at the Eucharist. At 11:00 (GMT+2) there will be a live television transmission and streaming video.
Anyone going to Colle Don Bosco today can see obvious signs of the origins of the Turinese saint and of the great affection reserved for him by generations of Salesians and young people from every latitude and longitude.
The simplicity of the little house where he spent his childhood speaks of the style and values in which he was brought up from his earliest days by Mamma Margaret, lessons which he would pass on to his boys in Valdocco and consolidate in the Preventive System.
The great church – which today rises above the old Biglione farmhouse where little John spent the first two years of his life and where Francis his father died – and the adjoining college tell of the greatness and the extent of the work he began for the benefit of children and young people in every continent. The church, which became a basilica in 2010, is the destination for pilgrimages and youth events such as the Salesian Youth Movement Confronto and Harambee.
Then again there are places in the immediate vicinity which witness to episodes in his life as a child and as a priest, such as the spot where he met young Dominic Savio during the autumn excursion in 1854, as Don Bosco pointed out to Fr Barberis in the farmyard opposite his house.
Because of all this, Colle Don Bosco can be considered as the Zero Meridian of the Salesian charism, the origin not only of the historical life of John Bosco, but also of his daily experience of an educational style woven from reason, religion and loving kindness.
In the basilica, at 11:00 (GMT+2), the ninth successor of Don Bosco, Don Pascual Chávez Villanueva, will preside at a Mass of Thanksgiving. The homily of the Rector Major is eagerly awaited: he will introduce the year dedicated to the knowledge, study and analysis of the pedagogy of Don Bosco.