We were asked the question in class: If you were to paint Don Bosco, how would you do it?
I note that the word paint is not specific to the conventional meaning of the word, that is,
a colored substance that is spread over a surface and dries to leave a thin decorative or protective coating.
Hence, I’d like to depict him using a photo software and instead of colors and lines, make use of photographs of young people to conjure a portrait of him.
This is so because Don Bosco is Don Bosco because of young people. His very existence and essence revolved around them.
He gathered the young people to manifest in them the love of the Good Shepherd.
And when he did not have any more the energy to go to them, they themselves came to him and converged in his midst.
One episode which is very striking was when he got terribly sick and the boys had to pray in unison so that their only intention—Don Bosco’s healing—would be heard. And indeed, they were listened to!
The painting speaks of his time and even of the present. Where the young people are, there Don Bosco is, as made present by his Salesians.