by Gian Francesco Romano
May 24th cannot be a day like any other in Valdocco. From the morning to the evening the playground and the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians are full of pilgrims and faithful, persons coming from the other end of the world and simple people of Turin who on this day have rediscovered their bond with Don Bosco’s Madonna.
When, around midmorning, the Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia, delivers his homily at the solemn Mass, one listens to themes and words so dear to Don Bosco: just and supportive working conditions, attention to the youth, to women and to the weakest, the importance of education… “Let us be convinced that our common future depends greatly on how we know how to face these problems together: let us start anew from the poor and the discarded” said the Archbishop.
In the afternoon the Rector Major echoed back during the celebration of the Mass for the young of the Salesian Youth Movement. “We are living in this time of wait and struggle”, he said, quoting some of the many evils afflicting the present time: selfishness that brings about inequalities, wars, poverty, being closed and blind to the needs of the neighbour …
As a good Successor of Don Bosco’s, Fr. Á.F. Artime shows that the way out of these evils passes through the Mercy of Jesus – who makes us “neighbours” to those who are close and to those who are far away and makes us participants in the “battle” of Mercy – always keeping our filial trust in Mary, “the humble woman and servant” who has become “the Queen and Mother of Creation”.
The evening procession in the streets of the city thus becomes the tribute of faith and love of a people who, with the words of the Rector Major, is sure that “She will continue to do everything Herself”.