Monday, 12 June 2017

Around Valdocco

On the second day of our stay in Turin, we walked around Valdocco visiting places related to Don Bosco's initial work with the boys.  Among the places Fr John showed and explained to us, I felt greatly pleased to visit the relics of St Joseph Cafasso in the church of Our Lady of Consolata.  This was the Church Don Bosco frequented when he was a young priest and is specially mentioned when Mamma Margaret died, and Don Bosco prays specially to Mother Mary at this Church.

For me, the person of Fr Cafasso represents the person of the spiritual director, the guide.  It was this person's great advice that moulded many of Don Bosco's decisions, especially in his early years as a seminarian and as a young priest.  To truly find someone of that kind, to be able to able to open up and follow the advice of such a person of depth is a rare honour.

We also visited (from the outside) the Refuge, the Marchioness Barolo's palace, the place where Don Bosco studied pastoral theology for two years after ordination, the institutions started by the Marchioness Barolo for the education of children, the unwed mothers and young women, the church of St Laurence (beside the Royal palace), the cathedral of Turin (the one of the Holy Shroud and the only austere Church of all the churches I've entered in Italy!!), the marketplace (most colourful and fragrant and very orderly!)
the royal palace and the square

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