Rome (Italy). On 31 January 2021, the Feast of St. John Bosco, the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, 10th successor of Don Bosco, will preside over the Holy Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Rome, which will be broadcast live on the Italian television channel Rai Uno at 10:55 (Italy time).
The whole Salesian world is celebrating the Saint of Youth, and the place of the Basilica of the “Sacred Heart”, where the Headquarters of the Salesians of Don Bosco is located is also significant. It was built by Don Bosco on a mandate from Pope Pius IX and was consecrated on 14 May 1887. Here Don Bosco celebrated Holy Mass only once, on 16 May 1887, several months before his death (31 January 1888). During the celebration he had to pause fifteen times due to his emotion in rethinking how Our Lady “had done everything” in his life. Today a plaque commemorates that moment.
The celebration will be animated by a representation of the youth choir of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of Central Italy, directed by Fr. Francesco De Ruvo, SDB and will also be included in the episode of the program “A Sua Immagine”, on RaiUno, starting from 10:30 (Italian time), enriched with comments and themes, testimonies and works related to the Congregation of the Salesians.
Among the initiatives there are two interviews with Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime: one by the journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, which will be broadcast on 31 January 2021 on TGCOM24 (Mediaset) during the religious study program “Vatican Rooms” at 5.00 pm (Italian time). The other entitled “Don Bosco’s ever timely recipe”, created by the journalist Annachiara Valle, will be published on Famiglia Cristiana, national Catholic weekly, on newsstands from 27 January 2021.
For the whole Salesian Family, the Feast of St John Bosco is an invitation to look with gratitude to this great Saint, who was able to put his natural gifts and the gifts of Grace at the service of youth, giving life to a great educational work founded on the Preventive System.