Italy – "Such a big church" for such a "big thing". Card. Parolin at "Don Bosco" in Rome

03 February 2023

(ANS - Rome) - On Sunday, January 29, the parish community of the Basilica "San Giovanni Bosco al Tuscolano," in Rome, gathered for the Sunday Eucharistic celebration in view of the feast of Don Bosco. The celebration was attended by a large number of faithful, civil and military authorities, all gathered around Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See and close collaborator of the Pope.

The presence of Cardinal Parolin offered the large community of the "Don Bosco of Rome" an opportunity to thank God for how much grace is present in the Church of Rome, and to remind themselves of the ever-more pressing need to walk a path of holiness - on the sign of the illustrious guests that the Basilica has had: St. John XXIII, St. Paul VI, St. John Paul II, St. Teresa of Calcutta.

While it is true that each of these Saints taught something and in a peculiar way, Don Bosco, recalled the parish priest, Fr. Roberto Colameo, in his welcome greeting to the Cardinal, showed the Salesian community how the road to salvation can be traveled with that joy, that cheerfulness characteristic of a heart that is at peace with itself, with God and with its neighbor.

In the meantime, the Cardinal, expressing his astonishment before "such a great thing" like the Don Bosco neighborhood, and before "such a large church" as the Basilica dedicated to the Saint, recalled the proclamation of the Turin Saint by Pope John Paul II as the "Father and Teacher of Youth" who affirmed how appropriate it was that he should be invoked and honored under that title, especially by those who consider themselves his spiritual children.

The Cardinal recalled that this title does not contradict the teaching of the Lord Jesus when he said "do not call Father any of you on earth because there is only one Father of yours, the heavenly one"; for the veneration of the Saints takes nothing away from God and because all the Saints are like windows open to God. This is also true of St. John Bosco, whose existence, animated not by paternalism but by fatherhood made from his fatherly heart, became a window through which to see God.

Don Bosco was precisely one such shepherd, an expression of God's paternal love toward humanity, a lieutenant of God's love, who bestowed the Lord's ineffable benevolence on young people, who did not pose as a guide, but placed himself on the same level as the people he loved, educating, aware that he was a conduit of God's love, a father to so many young people because he referred to the one Father. If the parish's pastoral educational community wants to act on the path of holiness marked out by Don Bosco, Parolin recalled, it is, therefore, necessary to follow his example, to refer continually to God, making ourselves a reflection of his goodness.

In fact, the Cardinal recalled that Don Bosco's success as a "master educator" of so many young people was due to his absence of conceit, his adherence to the evangelical spirit of making himself small, humble, which made him appear credible to young people who therefore confidently abandoned themselves to him, just as Don Bosco abandoned himself to the faith.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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