Rome (Italy). On 24 June 2024, on the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, the Salesian Family celebrates the name day of Saint John Bosco and the origins of the Feast of Gratitude at the oratory, special occasion for the young people of Valdocco to show affection and gratitude to the Father and Teacher of Youth.

Still today it is moving and is often recalled and represented with creativity, the tender gesture of Carlo Gastini and Felice Reviglio, in 1849, to set aside with sacrifice for several months the sum necessary to present to Don Bosco on the eve of the Feast of Saint John, two hearts of silver. So much so that since then, this name day celebration remains linked to the celebration of the Feast of Gratitude, an effective way for Don Bosco and for all the Salesian Houses to educate to gratitude.

Another significant episode tells the desire of a father to please his children in everything and that of a “model pupil” of the oratory – Domenic Savio – to correspond to him with the highest ideals. On the evening of 23 June 1855, Don Bosco smilingly said to his boys:

“Tomorrow, you want to celebrate for me, and I thank you. For my part, I want to give you the gift you most desire. So, everyone take a card and write on it the gift they want. I’m not rich, but if you don’t ask me for the Royal Palace, I will do everything in my power to make you content.”

When he read the cards, he found serious questions and bizarre questions. A little boy asked him for, “100 kilos of torrone to have for the whole year.” A boy who had just arrived from his town asked him for a puppy “in place of the one I left at home and I was so fond of.” Giovanni Roda asked him for “a trumpet like that of the bersaglieri, because I want to join the band.” On Domenic’s note he found 5 words: “Help me make myself a saint.”

The anniversary was also very important for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the General Council, who on that day, as the Cronistoria tells, went to Turin to bring to Don Bosco “the homage of his daughters”.

The Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sister Chiara Cazzuola, from Sant’Agnello of Sorrento, in the Southern Province, where she is with the Sisters of the General Council for the Spiritual Exercises, as every year, she does not fail to reach the Rector Major, “Don Bosco today” with greetings full of gratitude from all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the world:

“We join the Salesian Family to express our affectionate good wishes to the Rector Major, Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, whom we entrust to Mary Help of Christians, so that his mission at the service of the universal Church may be fruitful in good”.


  1. Dearest Mother Chiara viva gesu,
    Thank you for sharing with us.May Our Blessed Mother bless our Rector Majar and you mother Chiara, as the head of the family. With good health and success. This is my prayer for you. With love. 🙏


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.