25 November – Don Bosco’s Mother’s memorial

By our own correspondent World, 21 November 2020 — For the whole Salesian Family, the mother of Don Bosco is a shining icon, inspiration, model of apostolic life to follow. The Church through Pope Benedict XVI declared her Venerable in 2006 for having lived a life of heroic virtue. Every year on 25 November the Salesians of Don Bosco, in accordance with their General Regulations, celebrate a Mass for their departed parents on her anniversary day. Mamma Margaret passed away on 25 November 1856. Margaret Occhiena was born in Capriglio (3 km from Becchi) in 1788 and died at Valdocco in 1856. She is also considered the ‘First’ Salesian Cooperator, and in many countries the Salesian Cooperators have launched ‘Mamma Margaret Workshops’ to support the Salesian mission. In 1988 the ‘Mamma Margaret Association’ (Uruguay) was also founded for the parents of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Her statue at Valdocco, blessed during the General Chapter 28 by the Rector Major, and a very inspiring point made by Pope Francis in his Message to GC28, offer us a good occasion to celebrate her anniversary this year with a special touch: “What would have become of Valdocco without the presence of Mamma...

Without Mamma Margaret we can’t imagine the Valdocco of Don Bosco

Sign of gratitude to all 66,000 Salesian parents – statue of Mamma Margaret The world, March 2020 — One of the memorable moments of GC28 was the blessing of the Mamma Margaret statue in front of ‘Casa Don Bosco’ (Don Bosco House) in the presence of all delegates and 15 young adult observers on 7 March, a Saturday. Although we see many statues of Don Bosco’s mother, this is the ever first at Valdocco, where she is considered to be the co-founder of the work. Indeed she arrived with her son on 3 November 1846 from Becchi to start the ‘boarding facility’ for the young people in need and without her we can’t imagine the first 10 years at Valdocco, until her death on 25 November 1856. The Rector Major blessed the statue and the sculptor explained his motivation. The statue of Venerable Margaret Occhiena (1788-1856) is designed together with one the first Oratory boarding street boys. Pope Francis also in his message to the Salesians of GC28 highlights with conviction her role: “What would become of Valdocco without the presence of Mama Margaret? Would your houses at all been possible without this woman of faith? In some regions...