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7/10/2014 - RMG - 150th Anniversary of Don Bosco’s first arrival at Mornese

(ANS – Rome) – October 7, 2014 is a significant date for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and for Mornese, where, 150 years ago (1864) Don Bosco arrived for the first time and met the population.  We celebrate, therefore an historic event in this time of preparation for the Bicentenary of the saint’s birth.

by FMA

We read in the Cronistoria “Don Bosco arrived in Mornese on the evening of Friday, October 7th, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  He was riding on a white horse that Fr. Pestarino had provided for him, and with him were about 80 boys, the best that he had at Valdocco.  Some were playing in the band and others had their instruments with them, others recited,  and in a particular way, Gianduia. Along the streets leading to the village, the people of Mornese had lit fires, as a sign of joy and celebration…After having established relationships in the place, Don Bosco left Mornese…”

Don Bosco went to Mornese, saw what was being done and what he wanted to do. He established relationships with other persons, and a few boys from the place went to study in his houses:  Valdocco, Lanzo Torinese, or Alassio.  He also met three significant persons for his educational mission:  Canon Alimonda, Domenica Mazzarello (Main) and Fr. Giovanni Battista Lemoyne, who asked to become a Salesian.

Here there began, in time, a mutual interest between the girls and Don Bosco, and in a particular way, between the Saint and Main.  “Maria Mazzarello was 27 years old, and some speculated that a mutual respect and attention was formed, because Don Bosco in his frankness manifested the serenity, commitment, faith and constancy of his Mother, Mamma Margherita”.

From then on between the Founder and future Foundress there developed a mutual relationship marked not only by spiritual direction, but also by the educational mission.  The reciprocal relationship between the two of them was made up of gratuity, sharing and communion.  Between the years of 1862-1869 Don Bosco became aware of and had the understood the value of the persons, the spiritual significance and the moral value of the group of the Daughters of the Immaculate, while on Maria Domenica’s part there was highlighted the significant intuition of the humanity and the holiness of Don Bosco, and his educational charism.

We read in the Cronistoria “Don Bosco arrived in Mornese with his boys in 1864 to open a school for the boys of the village.  Maria looked at him and exclaimed: “Don Bosco is a saint; I feel it”.  Don Bosco visited the little workroom of the Daughters of the Immaculate and remained very impressed”.  With the passing of years, there was an exchange of “meaning”: of views, proposals-acceptance, sharing, collaboration for the rise and consolidation of a new reality toward which the two “poles” of the relationship “corresponded” not only psychologically and spiritually, but also historically.  In fact, Maria Domenica was a real “help” for Don Bosco precisely because of her understanding and feminine intuition of the Salesian charism, and for her total, absolute commitment in bringing to completion a providential design.  Her contribution to the foundation of the Institute was, therefore, substantial.

Today Mornese is a village of approximately750 inhabitants and it is still full of life.

Published on 07/10/2014

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