Italy – Inauguration of the Exhibition on the Dream at the age of 9 of Don Bosco at the Casa Don Bosco Museum in Valdocco

23 May 2024

(ANS - Turin) - On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 22, the eve of the Feast of Mary Help of Christians, the Don Bosco House Museum in Turin-Valdocco inaugurated a temporary exhibition on Don Bosco's 9-Year Dream. The ceremony featured Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, and participants from the World Consultation of the Salesian Family, along with other prominent Salesian figures and cultural personalities.

The exhibition, conceived and curated by Dr. Ana Martín García, General Coordinator of the Museum, traces the history of this extraordinary prophetic dream 200 years later. It showcases its iconographic representation in the arts and illustrates the dream's ongoing resonance today. The display includes historical photographs, works, and objects from the period between Don Bosco's beatification (1929) and canonization (1934), marking the beginning of the dream's artistic representation.

At the opening of the ceremony, Dr. Ms. Martín thanked the distinguished guests and spoke about the celebratory purpose of the exhibition, highlighting its aim to trace the continued relevance of Don Bosco's dream today. She emphasized the special value of the exhibition, which for the first time presents a significant selection of display boards representing the dream. These plates were commissioned by the Salesian publisher Elledici from 1941 onwards and were disseminated through various publications, media, and languages around the world. "Let us think of how many other dreams, projects, prayers, vocations, and initiatives these works may have given rise to!" noted the exhibition curator.

The Rector of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, Fr Michele Viviano, also spoke at the ceremony, pointing out the relevance of the presence in the exhibition not only of the Elledici display panels, but also of some precious artefacts from the history of Don Bosco made available by the basilica - such as, for example, a historical stole of Don Bosco embroidered for him by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

Fr Valter Rossi of Elledici Publishers then took the floor, underscoring the importance of these plaques for their role in shaping the collective imagination about Don Bosco's dream at the age of Nine and the person of the Saint of Young himself. He also spoke about the process of selecting the works and the large archive of valuable graphic materials that the Salesian publishing house still possesses. "I hope that this exhibition will kick-start research work that will allow us to discover the many other treasures that are in our possession and of which we may not even be aware," he added.

Fr. Leonardo Mancini, Provincial of the Piedmont, Aosta Valley, and Lithuania Circumscription, and President of the Elledici Publishing House, then took the floor. "Don Bosco's dream is an event, but this exhibition makes this dream visible in many different ways," the Salesian remarked during his speech. He highlighted the discernment employed by Don Bosco, his successors, and many Salesians worldwide to correctly interpret and carry forward that dream. Fr. Mancini exhorted the entire Salesian Family, well represented by many of its Superiors, to continue this action of discernment to keep the original dream alive.

Finally, the Rector Major took the floor with a short message in which he thanked all the organizers and collaborators of the project. He noted the presence of 16 Major Superiors or Heads of various groups of the Salesian Family, who, together with their deputies or delegates, comprised a total of about 50 Salesian Family personalities. "I am really excited to admire this exhibition and to see the originals of those cartoons and drawings I saw as a child in what we called 'Filminas Don Bosco'!" he exclaimed.

"And I want to observe one last thing," he concluded, "so many things become possible when people give their best and collaborate with each other. This exhibition truly deserves it. Thank you all!"

The ceremony then concluded with the official ribbon-cutting and the awarding of prizes to four winners of the photo competition associated with the exhibition. Throughout the afternoon, numerous visitors crowded the various rooms of the Casa Don Bosco Museum to view the exhibition.


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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