Rector Major

Cari Confratelli_13, 11-2020


Dear brothers from all over the world, my dearest Salesian family, I greet you from here, from Valdocco, where on the 4th of October the Don Bosco House and the whole renovated Valdocco opened their doors again to offer us a profound and true experience of Salesianity, which will allow us to touch the true story of Don Bosco with our hands: his dreams, his reality, his faith, his problems.

An opportunity to have a profound Salesian and spiritual experience. My dear Salesian confreres, my dearest Salesian family, I can assure you that here the Don Bosco house will offer you much more than the beautiful things that are common to us in museums all over the world, it is certain that you will see beautiful things but, first of all, it will offer you an opportunity to have a profound experience of feeling, of emotions, of affection for our charism, of admiration for our father.

And also of experience of faith and encounter with the God who accompanied Don Bosco's life project. See for example how here, with the same emotions with which I look at this moment, we have two precious documents for everyone.

Think, for us dear Salesian confreres of Don Bosco, this little notebook where still a boy Michael Rua writes in 1854 that Don Bosco called a small group of young ones to his rooms, here, certainly the best that Don Bosco had discovered, to make a proposal: that of living a holy life, in serving the other companions and children who could come here to the oratory.

And 5 years later, on the 18th of December 1859, here on the table that was common to Don Bosco, the first council: to write this report which is the letter of foundation of the Society of San Francesco de Sales.

Here you will find the original, precious one of that moment, historical and of faith. As I say, to offer us an opportunity, to truly make a journey into the depth of the charism, into the depth of our beautiful Salesian history, as Salesians and as a Salesian family. Accompanying Don Bosco on this path but, above all, letting ourselves be accompanied by him shall also be an opportunity to feel very profoundly.

To touch and see what a whole school of humanity and holiness was like, what we know well as good Christians and upright citizens. It shall make us understand what the story of so many young people was, where some are very well known, such as Saint Domenico Savio and Francesco Besucco, Michele Magone with the life written by Don Bosco.

But many others we do not know, who have made this path. A path where they prepared for life, but in a deep friendship with Jesus. The same challenge that we have today, 162 years later. And here with the beauty of the many relics, like this door of the tabernacle, rightly Domenico Savio's tabernacle of ecstasy.

Or the balustrade: the original from the Church of Saint Francesco de Sales. And many other elements and objects that tell us that there was a school of life here, there was a school of Holiness of Don Bosco, mother Margherita and many others who made a beautiful journey.

Today we must take this path. The path to Don Bosco's house will allow us to make a whole spiritual journey, to touch the heart also with our hands. The dream for example of the 9 years that we find here in the hall of the pastoral dimension of our charism, where the wolves will be after lambs, where Jesus is the good shepherd, where the lady of the dream, Our Lady, is found with the young people of today, with the characteristics of today.

Where the missionary dream continues from Valparadiso to Beijing, with the faces of today, a fireplace that allows us to find the dream of 9 years: the original is written by Don Bosco himself, even with his corrections, that dream we find in the memories of the oratory many years later written by Don Bosco. Or the same letter from Rome, the original here, where Don Bosco tells us that we must never forget what the first oratory was like, where reason, religion, kindness rightly gave all unity.

Dear friends, it is a wonderful opportunity to make an interior journey to the heart of our Salesianity and of our Salesian spirituality. It is here, my dear confreres and SDBs, where Don Bosco awaits us. It is here, my dearest Salesian family, dear brothers and sisters, where Don Bosco awaits you. Here where many nights he did not sleep because he wrote to get good doctrine and good thoughts to the simple ones, to those most in need .... Here where Don Bosco dreamed of the congregation, the institute of the daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the whole Salesian family. It is here, where he had his Missionary dreams, where he thought of his youngsters.

It is here where he spoke, received people of great importance: the Nobles, to those who could help him economically, but also to the humblest ones who sought help from Don Bosco. It is here, dear brothers all, where Don Bosco is waiting for us to make a journey, a spiritual and interior journey, to touch close-up the same experience he lived, of how God dreamed of the best for girls and boys.

And today we are the ones who with our lives we can say that Don Bosco lives, and they live only in the communion of saints that we strongly believe, but he lives and is alive because in the whole Salesian world our Salesian family continues to make this dream a reality that leads boys and girls to an encounter with Jesus.

I'd like to confess to you a reality that I carry very much in my heart: I truly believe that Don Bosco in the Church is a heritage for all humanity and today the world of today, societies, nations, need the Salesian charism, his great figure and the fulfillment of Don Bosco, of many things through us.

Welcome, all of you, all of us to this pilgrimage to this spiritual journey of Salesianity and interiority with God. My dear brothers and sisters, on this pilgrimage to Valdocco the Lord always awaits us here to be with us, to give us consolation. The Mother Help of Christians receives us and awaits us in this house of hers.

In this Holy place we have our beloved Father Don Bosco who dreamed and thought about us. We have Mother Mazzarello who had this gift of great feminine genius to translate, according to Don Bosco's intuition, into life with the sisters and girls and make a beautiful journey of education and holiness. We have and find Domenico Savio, the beautiful fruit of Don Bosco's pedagogy and school of holiness. We find here, also among us, initiated Michele Rua and Filippo Rinaldi, successors of our father.

So I truly invite you with all my heart to make this journey of interiority, of a true experience of Salesianity, in the heart of our charism.

Greetings to all.