Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lenten Journey Week 4: San Giovanni Bosco in via Tuscolana

The Fourth Week of Lent takes us out the Via Tuscolana, the road leading to the Alban Hills, to an neighborhood near the famed Cinecitta, home to Rome's movie industry. We arrive in front of the Salesian church of San Giovanni Bosco. The church sits on a piazza with a view into the city of Rome that seems grander than the Via Concilliazione that leads out of St. Peter's Square. This 20th century parish church is as majestic as any church in Rome, and filled with more things to look at than any baroque church. There is a large dome over the sanctuary and the nave is crowned by an even larger dome. The round dome in the nave is supported by a rectangle defined by Arabic pink square columns.The church is filled with mosaics, reliefs and sculptures. I am sure that they serve as a catechetical encyclopedia of information for the life of St. John Bosco and other aspects of Christian life. I found the stained glass windows to be especially beautiful with earth and water tones.
Here are some of the many images of angels found in this church.

The most recent titular was Stephen Fumio Cardinal Hamao who died November 8, 2007. He was born in 1930 in Tokyo. His home contained Buddhist and Shinto shrines. His mom converted to Catholicism in 1942 andHamao was baptized in 1946. It was interesting to read that Hamao was on the hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 351 as a passenger in 1970. He was the President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

Who was St. John Bosco?
Giovanni Melchior Bosco was born on August 16, 1815 in Piedmonte. His father died when he was two years old, and as soon as he was old enough to do odd jobs, John did so to helps support his family. Bosco would go to circuses, fairs and carnivals, practice the tricks that he saw magicians perform, and then put on one-boy shows. After his performance, while he still had an audience of boys, stories are told that he would repeat the homily he had heard earlier that day in church.

John Bosco worked as a tailor, baker, shoemaker, and carpenter while attending college and seminary. He worked constantly with young people, finding places where they could meet, play and pray, teaching catechism to orphans and apprentices. He founded the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in 1859, priests who work with and educate boys, under the protection of Our Lady, Help of Chistians, and Saint Francis de Sales. He died on January 31, 1888, in Turin.

Heavenly Father,
you see how your children hunger for food,
and fellowship, and faith.
Help us to meet one another's needs of body, mind and spirit,
in the love of Christ our Saviour.
Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Lent
A New Zealand Prayer Book

1 comment:

Gerry said...

Thank you for the journey. I would never be able to go to Rome but I am because of you through your posts
Love Ya Gerry
God Bless .