Used, as planned, on Saturday 7 December for the last scenes of the Rector Major's Strenna for 2020 - thanks to the collaboration of many young extras - the work was inaugurated at the end of the morning Mass on Sunday 8, presided by Fr Angelo Santorsola, Superior of the “Blessed Michael Rua” Province of Southern Italy (IME).
The ceremony was attended by a large crowd of faithful, many youth from the oratory and many inhabitants of the neighborhood. First, a brief artistic representation animated by the youngsters took place, then followed the traditional Marian circle - the Salesian custom of reciting a prayer to Mary on the feast of the Immaculate Conception by forming a large circle, in memory of the birth of the oratory; then followed the final blessing-inauguration of the great work of art.
There were also official speeches. "Don Bosco feels at home in this neighborhood, because it is a neighborhood populated by young people and where there are young people, he is there. Young people are the present, to cultivate, to welcome, to help grow. The commitment of the Salesians is to bring out the beauty that every young person has in himself," said Fr Santorsola.
The event was also attended by Fr Filiberto González, General Councilor for Social Communication, and the General Bursar of the Congregation, Salesian Brother Jean Paul Muller, who came from Rome specifically to represent the Salesian General Directorate, which commissioned the work; and the mayor of Foggia, dr. Franco Landella.
"Don Bosco wanted to come here," reiterated Fr González, also underscoring the opportunity of the Saint's portrait being among the youth of the popular or working classes. Then, also in reference to the feast of Mary Immaculate, he stressed that to educate the young of Foggia the Salesians do not feel alone, but know rather that they can count on families and, especially, on mothers.
Brother Muller highlighted the mural's message of hope, that is that in the end good is stronger than evil and violence. To this end, he emphasized the particularity of this work, which, contrary to Jorit's traditional style, does not feature a dark background from which the subject's face emerges by contrast, but in this case we have a colored background, of red and blue, which serves to place Don Bosco halfway between earth and Heaven.
Finally, the Mayor of Foggia, who worked very hard to ensure that the mural could be created in a short time, thanked the Salesians for choosing his city for this art work, expressing how this monument redevelops and requalifies the entire district.