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Emblem and motto of the Salesian Past Pupils movement

“PRAEIT AC TVETVR” means Guides and Defends

The Salesian past pupils’ movement started on the feast of St John the Baptist, June 24, 1870. On that day, Carlo Gastini, who in 1847 was a pupil of Don Bosco at Valdocco, Turin and later in 1870 taught book-binding at the same oratory, got an idea to reunite some of his former companions. They bought six cups and saucers and presented them to Don Bosco on his feast-day, as a sign of appreciation and thanks for the education received.

This was repeated year after year during Don Bosco’s lifetime. In one of these encounters, Don Bosco made the following speech, which since then, is considered the identity card of past pupils of Salesian schools. He said:

“I see that quite a number of you have lost your hair, in others it has turned grey and your foreheads have become wrinkled. You are no longer the boys I once loved so much but I feel an even greater love for you now than I did then because your presence here today tells me that you still have firmly rooted in your heart those principles of our holy religion that I taught you and that they still guide you in your life. You were once only a little group but now the group has grown and will grow greater. You will be a light shining in the midst of the world and by your example you will teach others how they must do good and detest and avoid evil. I am sure you will continue to be Don Bosco’s consolation”.

As Don Bosco had predicted, the movement has grown worldwide. Many Salesian houses have their own past pupils’ movements, including those in Malta having the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco (visit Facebook page) which has three branches: St. Patrick’s, Sliema Oratory, and Savio College.

Image result for Salesian Past PupilsFour-day Meeting organized in March 2017 in Malta. Young Salesian past pupils from Malta, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia attended. This project was organized by the National Federation of the Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco and co-financed by the EU program “Erasmus +”