A group of Salesians from the Province of Mary Help of Christians, Australia & Pacific, together with a lay collaborator from South Australia recently completed a pilgrimage to the Salesian holy places under the guidance of Fr Chris Ford SDB.
The group started their pilgrimage in Geneva in Switzerland where St Francis de Sales initiated his life as a bishop. The group then went onto see the de Sales territory in Annecy in France where St Francis grew up, and ministered as a priest and bishop to the faithful in difficult but with very successful outcomes.
The pilgrimage group also spent a few days in Turin the birth place of Don Bosco’s works, and Becchi where John Bosco was born and lived his early childhood. The pilgrims also spent a day in Chieri where young John Bosco worked and studied to become a priest. John Bosco stayed in Chieri for about ten years.
The pilgrims also made a day-trip to Mornese to see the birthplace of Mary Mazzarello and the works of the Salesian Sisters. It was an experience of warm welcome by the Sisters at Mornese.
The final destination of the pilgrimage was in Rome, the centre of the Catholic Church, and also to visit the Sacred Heart Basilica build by St John Bosco towards the end of his life. The pilgrims also had a tour of the Vatican and the surrounds.
It was a spiritually rewarding time for the pilgrims to see and experience the sources of Catholic faith and Salesian spirituality.