In 1999, Don Bosco's Dream Came True in Iraq

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ROME, APRIL 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, once dreamed of establishing a mission in Iraq. It was more than a century before that came true.



"The dream of the founder and saint Don Bosco took place on Jan. 31, 1885 -- three years before his death -- during which a heavenly being told him that he was in Mesopotamia," Father Piergiorgio Gianazza told the Salesian News Agency.

The vision of the "Father and teacher of youth," as Don Bosco is known, became a reality four years ago, with the first pastoral youth gathering in Iraq led by Salesians.

The gathering, known as a "summer oratorio," took place in the summer of 1999, and involved meetings of thousands of young people of Baghdad, Mosul and Qarakosh.

Father Gianazza lamented that "since the war broke out in Iraq, we have lost contact with young Iraqis. It is impossible to establish a connection by telephone as communications have been cut off and there is no way to send or receive calls or letters."