Confront 2017: At the places of Main

Mornese (Italy). For the 250 young people of the European and Middle East Salesian Youth Movement, Confront 2017 continues on the theme: “Agents of Don Bosco’s Vision, Passion, Mission”, with great enthusiasm and times of reflection, listening, and spirituality.

During the day of August 14, 2017, the young people of SYM studied the spirituality of Mornese in their encounter with the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, M. Yvonne Reungoat and visiting the places where Mother Mazzarello had lived: the Mazzarelli, were Main was born and the place of ties that favored her human and spiritual growth in her family and with her friends; the Valponasca, the place of recollection and silence, of the desire for God, of the discovery of her vocation; the Parish where her Christian life began, where the Eucharist was the center of Main’s entire existence; the School, the place of communion, where she learned to love as Jesus loved; the Oratory, the street passing between the houses of the town, which little by little reveals God’s plan to Main and the mission to which she was called, “I entrust them to you”.

After a short time of prayer, Mother Yvonne spoke to them saying: “It is important to know the places where Mother Mazzarello grew up, she who collaborated with Don Bosco in bringing hope, love, a home, and God to the girls.

Being here at Mornese and at the Valponasca is a very great gift as is that of being at Colle Don Bosco and meeting him. Being here and meeting Main. Here we are in the place where Main lived, right here at the Valponasca, with a united, Christian family of hard workers where Main labored in the fields and vineyards. A young person like us, she was so courageous that she aroused the envy of the men because she was stronger, dynamic, simple, and happy and she worked harder. It is here that she received the special call of Jesus. From this house, from the little window of the Valponasca we see the expression of her great desire to meet Jesus. It is this encounter with Jesus that fills her with such great love for the Eucharist that she would go to receive Him every day at the Parish Church.

Main was part of a Parish group and was guided by Fr. Pestarino who knew how to accompany the young Daughters of the Immaculate to live a Christian life with coherence. Main had times of darkness in her life, she was so strong and then so fragile, and it was precisely in suffering that God showed her His plan of love. “I entrust them to you”. This is why, with her friend Petronilla, she learned to sew in order to take care of the poorest girls. This can happen to us as well if we share with Jesus, if we are open and ready to listen to His voice, as Don Bosco and Main did. When Don Bosco came to Mornese on a hike with his boys, he understood that he had to take care of the girls as well. He met in Main the person to whom he could entrust this dream. Mother Mazzarello, without knowing him, had intuited: “Don Bosco is a Saint and I feel it!”

It is the Lord who guides history, even ours, and we should recognize His presence and His calls in our heart. Don Bosco founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians here, right at Mornese; a little faraway town that was little known, but that today has become very well-known and the destination of pilgrimages. What the same Spirit aroused in Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello touches us as well. A huge plant can grow from a small seed and you young people can be enthusiastic and dynamic, creative and ready for other young people, to help them discover God’s plan for their life. Today, you are Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello who can bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God to others. From here, as in the times of Mother Mazzarello, each of you is called to go…to Africa, China, America…to meet many young people and lead them to Christ.

Love does not remain closed. It must be shared in solidarity and peace, in cultural journeys transmitting joy, happiness, and hope”. She concluded by saying: “I want you to live in a climate of festivity and joy, but also of deep silence; to live the experience of Jesus who gratuitously chooses us, who loves us in goodness, and invites us to love. He invites us to solidarity. Courage, Jesus is all your strength and joy!”

The young people were able to spend a time of silence and reflection that showed them the beauty of the life and spirituality of Mother Mazzarello. The stop at the Valponasca re-lit in them the desire for God, like Main.

In the afternoon, they went in pilgrimage from the Valponasca along the ancient path of the vines that Main, while it was still dark, followed to go to the town to participate in the first morning Mass, and then they continued to the Mazzarelli where the Eucharist was celebrated.

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