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Posted by on in Turin Pilgrimage

Day two of our pilgrimage and time is slipping away. I was up fairly early this morning ready for a day at Valdocco, the heart of the Salesian family. Our day started there with morning prayer led by Jess Wilkinson. We were each given a pair of white rosary beads as a gift and we used these reciting the glorious mysteries, something Jess reminded us Don Bosco would have prayed many times here himself. After the rosary we split into groups and were given a guided tour of Don Boscos rooms. I had no idea what these were but all was soon explained. These rooms were once upon a time where he lived. Entering the first floor we were greeted with a large painting of Don Bosco, it was placed there as a welcome to everyone who visits. Although modernised, it felt like stepping back in time as we wandered around the rooms trying to get a feel of how Don Bosco lived all those years ago. There were lots of writings, in glass cabinets, a room with the original furniture belonging to the man himself, we even saw the bed that he died in. I can't really explain at this stage as to how I felt! At 1pm we went to celebrate mass in the Great Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. I was struck by the amount of marble, it did look beautiful. The basilica was built by Don Bosco after having a vision of our lady. Fr Martin yet again had me in an emotional state. He told us that we are all Don Bosco in Great Britain, something to live up to when we get home. After mass we all had lunch together, everyone expecting bread, cheese and ham etc, but we sat down to three courses of lovely Italian food. We assembled for our prayer service in the St Francis de Sales chapel. This was an extra special service as Lynn, Gina and Kate were about to make their promise to become cooperators for the Salesian family. It was very moving and it did make me think about whether it is something I could do and live up to. At the end of the service Bob gave us our good afternoon. All I can say is Bob, you are amazing.


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Posted by on in Turin Pilgrimage

'Friend of the Young' 

So the BiCentary celebrations have begun and being part of a pilgrimage from the GBR Province I have just spent our first full day at Colle Don Bosco, the place of Don Bosco's birth, about an hours drive from Turino. Today was the day to get to know the young Don Bosco, his life and his family. You can read book after book about Don Bosco but to actually stand where he lived and listen to people who had so much knowledge about him. So much more real and fulfilling. Several times my mind wondered, several times my mind wanderd and thought about St Bernadette and the similarities between the two saints. How they both came from very humble backgrounds, both families removed from their homes and had to lived in cramp accomodation, and finally both of them lived in a beautiful part of their country surrounded by mountains. Mama Margaret (Don Bosco's Mum) what a woman! You knew by listening that she was a loving mother and taught don bosco well until he was twelve years of age. Her prescious advice to her son was 'learn the joy of praying, sharing and self sacrifice' we were fortunate to celebrate mass in Don Bosco's temple, Fr Martin's words and beautiful singing had me close to tears. We all joined in, in a group photo before having lunch. A few of our 'Younger' pilgrims decided to join in with the French youth dancing. I was able to take a few photos of this joyful gathering. After lunch I went in search of the souvenir shop to see what they had on offer, but to also take part in the challenge Soo set. I think I did good! Final prayer session in the lower Bascilica but before this I was able to have a look round. Behind the sanctuary is a relic of Don Bosco. It was an ideal oppotunity for me to say a few personal prayers. My day today has been such a wonderful experience and I cannot wait for tomorrow to learn about the great St John Bosco!

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Spring 2019

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