The majestic work of art - 15 million tiles set in a surface area of 100 square meters - was presented during the afternoon Eucharistic celebration, presided by Msgr. Palmieri, in the presence of the parish priest of the basilica, Fr Roberto Colameo, and Rome's mayor, Virginia Raggi.
Four were the verbs the bishop wished to emphasize in the homily, "fundamental and to which we all aspire: that is, to breathe new hope, go out, meet and embrace each other."
"A precious work of art, as precious is the history of the parish and the neighborhood," said Mayor Raggi in her greeting to the community at the end of the celebration. "I think it's no coincidence to find ourselves here, in this place which was also one of the first to be sanitized in order to allow the faithful to participate again in the celebrations after the lockdown."
Another key point from which to take an example comes, according to Raggi, from the "courage of the restorers." Despite the fifteen million tiles and the 100 m2 of space to work on, "they did not get discouraged and went to work. The same courage," she concluded, "to which we are all called, to remain united as a community and to one day return to normal."
A moment, the one experienced by the entire parish community, of "extreme joy and emotion," commented Fr Colameo. "The happiness of being able to admire the mosaic in all its beauty again," he emphasized, "is combined with gratitude towards all those who made all this possible. Despite the ongoing health emergency, it was possible to continue and complete the restoration, a way to stay close to the faithful and the people of the neighborhood."
How important the mosaic of Don Bosco is for the community of the parish dedicated to him was seen on the occasion of the celebration. All the seats available inside - 200 in total, the maximum allowed by the last decree of the President of the Council of Ministers - were occupied and many of the faithful followed the celebration, remaining correctly spaced out in the churchyard in front.
"Returning the work in these days," concluded the parish priest, "also means being grateful to the many parishioners who, in the past weeks, have been generous to those who were and still are in economic difficulties."