Rome (Italy). Among the proposals received by the Central Office of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, selected two posters that graphically represent Strenna 2022 on the theme, “Do everything through love, nothing through constraint”, for the 400th anniversary of the death of Saint Francis de Sales. The two works, with different styles and approaches, have the purpose of questioning and motivating the Salesian Family to act in the style of Don Bosco and with the typical trait of the loving kindness of the Saint of Geneva.
The Spanish artist, Agustín de la Torre, is the author of the first poster, characterized by a large red heart in the center of the image. The heart is the central organ, it brings life to the whole body. In the collective imagination, it is the seat of feelings, where hope, joy, love to share with others are born. In the Salesian heart, which beats for young people, as shown by the traces of an electrocardiogram sketched in the background, there is room for everyone. It is a heart where no one can consider themselves excluded.
The author represents young people with a perspective that frames them from above, like God’s gaze. This gaze is returned by them, who seem to project dreams and desires towards Heaven.
Don Bosco is placed at the point of convergence of the two hemicycles of the heart. With a loving gaze and with open arms, it depicts the virtue of hospitality. Many young people are waiting for him, boys and girls of different cultures and age groups, physical and social conditions, engaged in multiple activities: those who dedicate themselves to music, those who are dedicated to sports, care for creation, study … Every young person is important to Don Bosco, and they are invited to put their heart into every activity.
St. Francis di Sales and Mary Help of Christians, co-patrons of the Salesian Society, are behind Don Bosco, to recall the origins and roots of the Congregation and of the Salesian Family.
There are numerous references to the Salesian tradition included in the poster: from the roses with thorns of Don Bosco’s famous dream, to the chestnuts of one of the most famous miracles of the Saint of Youth; from the ‘gray’ dog, to the logos of the Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; from the Salesian cross to the Project of Apostolic Life of the Salesian Cooperators. The work of the Spanish artist wants to remind all members of the Salesian Family to put their hearts into every service rendered to young people.
The Roman street artist, Mauro Pallotta, in arte MAUPAL, is the author of the second poster, in which a scene from the Salesian Oratory is represented: Don Bosco playing with his boys.
Playing volleyball, Don Bosco hits an unusual heart-ball with the energy of love. The two teams are multi-ethnic. Don Bosco is the main player who shows the way to follow. The heart in his hands is the center of the person, from which every choice and every activity derives. Don Bosco plays alone, because in the game you do not remain individuals, you become a team. And the defensive game of the challenged team is transformed into an act of welcome.
In the background, as witnesses of the sharing of love inspired by Don Bosco, St. Francis de Sales, some young people, an SDB and an FMA smile, under the green foliage of a tree that represents the Salesian Family.
The environment also has a meaning: the field is the playground, a privileged place for meeting young people; the sky is the infinite reverberation of a love that is beyond the rules of the game.
The playing field also suggests the dynamic reality of life: every game presupposes someone who achieves a victory and someone else who suffers a defeat, but in this case the images say that active participation is more important than the result.
Don Bosco’s hit thus encourages the whole Salesian Family to make the maximum effort to give love without individualism, in a team game in which everyone actively participates.
Both posters will be available in six languages on the Website www.sdb.org