RMG – CG28: Don Bosco statue in front of Basilica of Mary Help of Christians explained by Fr Bruno Ferrero

10 October 2019

(ANS - Rome) - 129 days from the beginning of the 28th General Chapter, the interviews with members of the Valdocco Community continue, all leading us to discover the most significant places. This week, the “Interviews with the eyes of ...” features Fr Bruno Ferrero, SDB, Director of the Italian Salesian Bulletin.

Fr Bruno Ferrero tells us about the statue of Don Bosco in front of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. “As soon as the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians was finished, here there was this clearing that was of beaten earth, very ugly,” Fr Ferrero explains in the video. “Already Don Bosco, looking at the facade, had said one day: 'Here a monument with Moses who strikes the rock and water gushing would be good.' In fact, the idea of the monument went forward,” he adds.

The idea of building a monument dedicated to Don Bosco was put forward by a group of Past Pupils in 1911 at the First International Past Pupil Congress. A commission of architects was created for the project with the idea of inaugurating the statue within a couple of years. But, with the outbreak of the First World War, it was possible to inaugurate the work only in May 1920.

The statue, by the sculptor Gaetano Cellini, shows Don Bosco together with a group of boys. The Saint jokes with them, looks at them with a loving expression and lifts one of them up. This last gesture is the representation of education, which raises children. At the foot of Don Bosco there is another sculptural group, which is always by Gaetano Cellini. This group represents the Faith that comforts man. On the sides of the statue, other scenes are depicted, which refer to Don Bosco's love for Mary Help of Christians, to missions and much more.

“What Don Bosco wanted,” continues Fr Ferrero, “was to form good Christians and upright citizens and, after all, this monument expresses it very well.”

Fr Ferrero's video, as well as Fr Lupano's published last week on ANS, wants to narrate the places of Valdocco, rediscovering our roots and our Salesian identity. At Valdocco the dream of Don Bosco began and, also through these videos, we want to continue to make this dream known throughout the world.

Please note that all the videos of "Interviews with the eyes of ..." were produced by ANS in collaboration with the IMEComunicazione team and will be uploaded, once a week, to ANSChannel.


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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