Ecuador – The letters written by Don Bosco kept in the Provincial Historical Archives

30 January 2024

(ANS – Quito) – As real treasures, the Provincial Historical Archive of Ecuador preserves two handwritten letters by Don Bosco: one written in Italian, in 1880, and the other in French, in 1882. In this month as the feast of Don Bosco is celebrated, these documents are an opportunity to get closer to his figure and his sense of paternity, which Don Bosco himself always expressed through his writing style.

Although the precise date of the arrival of these letters in Ecuador is not known, it is estimated that the documents were brought to the country around the 1860s by Fr Carlos Izurieta, who in those years made a trip to Europe. However, the letters only came to light in 2015, when they were found among Fr Izurieta's documentation.

Angélica Almeida, a Historical Archive technician, responsible for safeguarding the historical memory of the Province, explained that the letters were found folded and rather worn by the passage of time, since they had never received any kind of care. For this reason, it was necessary to carry out an appropriate restoration, to eliminate all types of bacteria and fungi and to carry out a clarification, in order to better highlight the ink. They are now stored in a container free of acids and any kind of external agent.

One wonders, now, how do you know that they are letters written by Don Bosco himself? After the discovery, a comparison was made with other documents and their authenticity was determined by the use of the paper of the time, ink and traces of Don Bosco's signature.

"Beyond the text, which is a message addressed to two benefactors, the main wealth is that of having preserved, in our Province, the writing of the founder of the Congregation" commented Mrs. Almeida. "In addition, in the two letters we can see his paternal way of writing and, above all, of always placing his prayer and his life in the hands of Mary Help of Christians", she concludes.


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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