A Special Cross for the Bicentenary in Italy

From the beginning of December 2014 a wooden cross will  be carried from one Salesian House to another in the Province of Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Switzerland-Lugano and San Marino, eventually reaching Colle Don Bosco.

This year marks the Bicentenary of the birth of the Saint of the young.  More than five thousand young people are expected in Turin in August for the World Gathering “Don Bosco in 2015”. The young people of the Salesian Youth Movement of Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Switzerland-Lugano and San Marino will be there! They will set out on foot from the Province of Milan and will carry the SYM Cross in pilgrimage to Colle Don Bosco following part of the Via Francigena and passing through the cities of Parma, Pavia, Vercelli and Alessandria. During the closing Mass on 16 August 2015 at Colle, the Cross will be blessed by the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime.

The idea of the SYM Cross came from the Youth Ministry Team led by Fr Elio Cesari, Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry. It was immediately greeted with enthusiasm by the Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and young people. Before the summer pilgrimage the Cross will be hosted by the various Salesian Houses of Lombardy and Emilia. Each house is invited to request the visit of the Cross and to make whatever arrngements they deem fit, involving all the local Salesian Family.

For example. the Don Bosco Oratory in Pavia has already requested it for the evening of 31 January.The Social Works of Don Bosco at Sesto San Giovanni will carry it on foot from the Salesian House to Milan Cathedral on the morning of 30 January and it wll be in Brescia on the evening of 27 January. The cross will be present at some annual events and large gatherings of the SYM such as DLDay, the Feast of the Middle Schools at the end of March in Chieri,  the Youth Forum on Sunday 8 February and  the Feast of the SYM which comes at the conclusion of the Retreats for the different age-groups on 19 April.

The Cross is made up of five interconnecting pieces bearing the names of the various Salesian and FMA houses of the Salesian Province of Milan and of the Provinces of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Milan and La Spezia. It also bears the words “Friends of Sidamo” to acknowledge the missionary work of the province. The cross is decorated with concentric circles around the inscription “Bicentenary of the Birth of Don Bosco – Colle Don Bosco 2015”.

At a penitential vigil on 29-30 November 2014, during the second weekend of the Leaders’ Formation Course in Sesto San Giovanni, more than four hundred young people have already been able to gather around the Bicentenary Cross. Similarly it will be in Bologna for the Salesian Family weekend of 14-15 December. Several photos and posts have already appeared in the social media. The official hashtag is “#MGSCrux”.

Source: Info ANS

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