Once you are in Turin, this is a must-see place, even if you are the best example of believers. Consacrated in 1868, the Basilica is the heart of Valdocco and it is a very important symbol for the Salesian Family. Saint Giovanni Bosco wanted to built it as a center from which the devotion to Maria Ausiliatrice should spread over the world, during a very difficult historical period.
The biggest altar-piece, painted under the direction of St. John Bosco in person, is the most famous work signed by Lorenzone, who also painted the altar- piece dedicated to St. Joseph. This altar is the only one that still is as it was at the time when the church was built.
The other altars are those of St. John Bosco, St. Mary Mazzarello and St. Domenic Savio (another very important figure for the Salesian people, especially because he was only 14 when he died). The remains of these Saints are resting behind the altars, and everyday there are so many tourists taking pictures and Christians praying or turning on a candle.
In 1938 the Basilica was renovated and enlarged as you see it today. They built a new presbytery and a second cupola, and they added two side chapels, plus, of course, the new altar for St. John Bosco with a bronze coffin above the altar. It is on the right isle, with the statue of the Saint inside the coffin, which is protected by a glass. There is a small gate in front of the altar and you can’t go any further, in order to show not only respect, but also to protect the all area from the flash of the cameras.
Basilica of Maria Ausiliatrice of Christians
Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32
telephone: (+39) 011- 5224253