We had a bit of free time in the morning to go shopping or for personal reflection. Mass was celebrated in the Pinardi Chapel just before lunch. This place is a proof of Divine Providence: when Don Bosco and his boys were chased away from one place to another, and Don Bosco was crying out in crisis to our Lord because he had nowhere to tell his boys to come to in the following Sunday, the Pinardi shed came! Suitably enough, Fr Anthuvan reminded us in this Chapel how the young should be treated according to the example set up by Don Bosco – that the ‘person’ should come before the ‘law’, and the young should be allowed to express themselves in full freedom and creativity.
|Don Bosco's room in Turin - where he worked and died|
The afternoon started with the beautiful “Piligrimage towards Valdoco” which included seven stations in the large Salesian complex, which had significance in Don Bosco’s life journey. At each station, we paused, prayed and contemplated. The sharing of the bread at the Pinardi pump (original since Don Bosco’s time!) was enjoyed by all, as we were actually repeating what Don Bosco’s boys used to do – to go to the pump to eat bread soften with water, to socialise, talk and laugh together. (Yet this pump is Don Bosco’s “Preventive System station” – those educators who could not manage their pupils were sent there to get to know them, because he believed that this was the only way to obtain discipline!) The pilgrimage was ended with a visit to Don Bosco’s rooms, where he worked, lived and breathed his last. It was a moving experience to see all the things that he used, the cupboard altar that he said his very last mass on 11 December 1887 because he was too sick to go elsewhere, and the bed which was so high that after he died, the Salesians had to put him up on a chair so the little children could see him for the last time...
by Sr Thuy-Linh Nguyen SPR