This is a photo of the great Saint John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Congregation. Note his eminently priestly expression, but that of a man of the people. No one would imagine that he was born from a high social class. He is a peasant who became a priest, and that was a glory to him.
There is something truly majestic in him. What does that majesty consist of? Let us consider his face: his somewhat rough hair has a lock that falls a bit over one eye and a divider that gives it a certain elevation and dignity. His ears are large, which makes his face appear to be even taller. His nose, without having any distortion, is quite long and underscores the extension of his face.
The eyes reveal a person who is aware that the height of his own face is just a symbol of his greatness of soul. And in him there is something resolute and triumphant, of someone who has overcome and is triumphing over all sorts of obstacles. And he is delighted and overjoyed! In this his triumph is found.
He does not ascribe these victories to himself but to the strength of Our Lady Help of Christians, his great protectress, who helped him obtain them. He contemplates the glory of Our Lady who, in his person, has won. He is enthusiastically considering the victory of Our Lady Help of Christians.
He holds his head high. One’s impression is he feels that no matter what may happen in life, it happens beneath the certainty of these victories of Our Lady Help of Christians.
This is the truly noble Saint John Bosco.
The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on May 21, 1983. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.