May 16th, 2015

Bicentenary of the birth of Saint John Bosco commemorated by Vatican and Italy Post

2015 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Saint John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Congregation and the Salesian Family. got to know that he Philatelic and Numismatic Office will celebrate the event with an 80 cent postage stamp issue printed on a miniature sheet with six values.

The left side features a depiction of the Basilica dedicated to him on the hill where he was born two hundred years ago near Castelnuovo Don Bosco. The stamps feature a portrait of him, a modern representation also giving inspiration for the official logo of the bicentenary. The issue is to be released on the 19th of May.

He is remembered for his great commitment, care and compassion shown to young people, especially the poorest and those with difficulties. "What is important", he said, "is that young people should not only be loved, but that they themselves should know that they are loved". He was beatified in 1929 and canonized in 1934. In 1988 Saint John Paul II called him "father and teacher of youth". The bicentenary marks a time for celebration and thanksgiving for those who have contributed and continue to keep alive this dedication to service and education which has spanned the two hundred years since his birth.

Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, affirmed that, "the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco draws us all to a journey of faithfulness to that same calling which he heard, took to heart and responded to throughout his life. It is a year when the celebration of the gift of Don Bosco for the Church and his Family will not be focused on ourselves, looking inwardly or complacently, but one moving us with ever greater strength towards mission".

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