Among the documents and photographs of the prestigious archive, a truly precious object was found: an original letter written by Don Bosco. The letter, dated 30 September 1885, is kept in a reliquary. It is a letter present in the Biographical Memoirs (Volume XVII, Chap. XXII, p. 622).
"This relic is added to other extraordinary relics that our Province preserves with singular affection," they write from the Recife Province, "the chalice and paten used by Don Bosco, symbols of the primary source of all his educational activity; a priestly stole, a sign of his vocation and holiness lived to the last breath in favor of young people and now the letter that reveals the missionary commitment of his work which has reached us by divine providence," they continue.
Below is the text of the letter:
Dearest Fr Giordano,
With great pleasure, your companions and I have received your letters and have read them in these spiritual exercises. These writings will always be appreciated when you send them.
You shall certainly have many difficulties especially in the beginning of a mission as extensive as that of St. Paul, isn't it so?
You must thus work hard to seek companions and to make vocations for yourself. They assure me that these are very rare; so if you manage to find any of them you will have to make any effort and any financial expense that is possible for us in order to succeed.
Here we have many, however, if you could send me even a few hundreds you would please us, and we would try to instruct them and send them back, but able to assist you in the missions up to the Matto Grosso.
In the next exercises or on other occasions when you will be able to speak to our confreres, you will say that I am informed that the harvest is large and the number of workers is scarce, but we will pray and God's help will not fail to provide as many as will be needed.
I am here in San Benigno with 160 novices who do the exercises to make their vows. Preachers are Fr Francesia and Fr Lemoyne who have repeatedly spoken of you and your companions.
Same number as previous but those are ascribed to begin their regular novitiate year next week.
Farewell, always dear Fr Giordano, take care of your health. The Lord bless you, bless those of our brothers who work with you and earn many souls in heaven. Greet them all on my behalf and you will tell them that every day in the Holy Mass I pray to Jesus and Mary to help us gain many souls and for all to be one day happy in time and in blessed eternity. Amen.
All our confreres greet you and pray for you. You then pray incessantly for yours.
San Benigno, 30 September 1885.
Affectionately your friend in J. C.
Fr Giov. BOSCO.