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       Valdocco, Turin, 22 November 2022 -- Exactly 166 years ago, on November 25, 1856, the mother of Don Bosco, Margherita Bosco Occhiena, passed away quietly almost without notice in the busy life of Valdocco's early Oratory. Yes, the Universal Church declared that she is 'Venerable' in 20o6, but still we feel that Don Bosco's mother is not yet well known even in many Salesian settings. And all around the world the Salesian Family are asking: "Why not yet declared Blessed?" For the beatification the Church requires to approve a 'miracle'.

       Pope Francis reminded the Salesians in March 2020 - Message to the GC28: " Would your houses have been possible without this woman of faith?" Indeed we are called to better the impact of lay mission partners like Mamma Margaret on the first Oratory's life and the birth of the Salesian Family at Valdocco:

       Margherita (Margaret) Occhiena was a mother, widow, raising three children and spending the last 10 years of her life in Valdocco, far from her birth village of Capriglio. Thanks to her we treasure the "Goodnight" or "Good morning" in each Salesian Family setting: house, school, apostolic or youth group. She contributed to the simple principles and dynamics of Don Bosco's Preventive System.

       There is a variety of biographies (available on the Boscolink website).

       Considered the 'the first Salesian Cooperator', she is especially close to this Association's members.

       In many SDB provinces the parents of the Salesians have formed a 'Mamma Margaret Association'.

       When the pilgrims come to Valdocco, they spot her bronze statue, just close to the 'Casa Don Bosco' as Mamma Margaret is welcoming one Turin boy to the first Oratory. Around November 25 is a good time to explore a little more about the mother of Don Bosco and also to pray through her intercession.

       From the Novena Prayer

(Capriglio, Birthplace of Margherita Occhiena)

O God, Good and Merciful Father, you have given to the Salesian Family

the mother of St. John Bosco, Mamma Margaret.

She is also an example and support for our family today.

Strengthen the father in the family in his mission of being a loving example and sure support for his children.

Fill the heart of the mother with love and tenderness in guiding her children to you.

We entrust to you our families and our children.

Let the Salesian Family be always faithful to your love

and continue to be a witness to the teachings of Mamma Margaret.

I ask you, through her intercession, to grant me .... (=express the desired grace).

Venerable, Mamma Margaret, pray for us.

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