Thank you! Don Bosco Past Pupils begin 150 year Jubilee
By Mr. Pier Luigi Lazzarini
World Federation of DB Alumni, Editor of the Newsflash
Rome, 24 June 2019 --24 June is not only the liturgical feast of the Nativity of John The Baptist, and the related traditional Thanksgiving day of Don Bosco's Successor, our Rector Major, but also the Birthday of the Don Bosco Past Pupils (1870-2019). An editorial by the World President, Mr Michal Hort, points clearly to the meaning of the 150th Jubilee Year celebrations, based on concrete gratitude for the education received by all Don Bosco Past Pupils:
Dear Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco,
As we do every year in June, we celebrate the unique and special feast for Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco. On 24 June, along with the celebration of the feast of St John the Baptist, we celebrate the anniversary of our foundation. Exactly on the day of the 24th June in 1870, a well-known event took place.
Carlo Gastini, with a group of the first Past Pupils of Valdocco visited Don Bosco to congratulate him on the day when he celebrated his name-day. They thanked him for the invaluable gift of education and his unprecedented love for them. With the gift of coffee cups –“tazzine“–this was the very first moment when Don Bosco spoke to his boys as Past Pupils.
From historical sources we know that he invited the first past pupils to stay with him and with the Salesian Family. He said to Carlo Gastini and his friends that he may love them more than when they were with him every day in Valdocco. The first gift of the Past Pupils to Don Bosco were coffee cups. It is interesting because besides the great coffee culture of Italy, Don Bosco himself used to work in a coffee and chocolate shop for a while when he was a young boy. After the death of the shop’s owner, as he had no children, he received an offer to stay and to run the shop but Don Bosco decided that there were different things awaiting for him.
An interesting parallel thought comes to my mind when thinking about the coffee cups. Today, especially when speaking about coffee, to track its origin, we speak about the crop to cup chain. With Don Bosco and the coffee cups he received as a gift, we move in the opposite direction – Cup to crop. I think those first coffee cups for Don Bosco were more than a gift for us. I believe we can fill them today, after 150 years, with the goodness of our work and projects. We are invited to fill these cups with results of our 150 years of history as past pupils. Don Bosco then but also today invites us to stay with him. His love and friendship is not a temporary thing. Nor is not something that lasted just for his lifetime. It is an offer and invitation to be good Christians and honest citizens then, now and forever. In this special time of remembering the love of Don Bosco, I invite you to stay with Don Bosco, to appreciate his love and his education. This year, on the 24th of June it will be 149 years from that very special gathering in Torino–Valdocco."
In their world level 'Newsflash' (edition June 24, 2019) with its cover "Thank you!" we can access many interesting good stories from four continents in five languages: Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and English. The readers of AustraLasia might find interesting news from the Philippines and Mongolia.
Since the Newsflash is not very well known as yet around the Salesian Family and not even among the Don Bosco Past Pupils, you are invited to share it as the best contribution to the incoming Jubilee Year of Don Bosco Alumni 2020-2021!
Newsflash 2019, June 24 edition for download: https://www.bosco.link/side_right/47072
Related news article:
Related resources (old issues of DB Alumni Newsflash for download): http://www.exallievi.org/ (ENG-ITA-POR-ESP)