April 5

1846: Sorrow and joy

It was Palm Sunday, April 5, l 846. The previous Sunday evening, in dismissing his boys Don Bosco had told them: “Come hack next week, and we shall see what Providence has in store for us.” That Sunday had been one of Don Bosco’s unhappiest days, a day of bitter affliction, coming, as it did, on top of other anxieties. He had to tell the boys where to meet the following Sunday; yet, despite all his careful inquiries and thorough search, there was not the faintest ray of hope that he could find a place. (BM II, 327) Several of the boys…heard him cry: “Oh my God, my God, why don’t you show me where I can gather these boys?”…Don Bosco had hardly finished speaking and brushed away his tears, when a certain Pancrazio Soave showed up… “Is it true you are trying to find a place for a workshop?” “Not for a workshop (laboratorio),” Don Bosco replied, “hut for an oratory.” (BM II, 330) A deal was made for 300 lire and Don Bosco and his boys took possession of the new place on the following Sunday. April 12th.

1880: You stay, the Cardinal can come later

The audience had been going on for about half an hour when Cardinal Manning, who had arrived that day from England, was introduced into the antechamber…promptly Don Bosco tried to withdraw, but the Pope took hold of his hand and said, “stay.” Monsignor Boccali, instead, kept tugging at his cassock and whispering, “Don Bosco, wait outside,” but the Pope kept a firm grip on his hand. It was a strange scene. The Holy Father then scheduled the cardinal for another day and resumed his conversation with Don Bosco. (BM xiv, 357)

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