April 2

1850: Pope’s rosaries

Don Bosco’s boys had sent the pope a small offering of 33 lire when he was in exile. Pius IX was very pleased with this gesture and had some rosaries sent to Don Bosco for his boys. One day he sent for James Cardinal Antonelli, and, adding to the sum, he instructed him to purchase a good supply of rosaries. Sixty dozen were immediately acquired and brought to him. He blessed them and then personally handed the two large packages to Cardinal Antonelli with the words, “Please have them sent to Don Bosco’s boys as a token of my fatherly love.” (BM IV, 57)

1883: A new cassock

During one of his visits to Avignon (France), people clipped pieces of Don Bosco’s cassock to preserve them as relics. When the saint became aware of it, he said smilingly, “If only someone could give me a new one!” That very evening his host fulfilled his desire! (cfr. MB XVI, 57-58)

1892: Ordination of Czartoryski

At the age of 35 prince Augustus Czartoryski was ordained a priest by Mgr. Reggio, bishop of Ventimiglia. (cfr. “Boll. Sal.” 1941, p. 150)

1934: National feast to honour Don Bosco

The day after his canonization a national feast was held in honour of St. John Bosco. Benito Mussolini, the Prime Minister, was present. Bishop Celli of Parma said on April 12: “This is the only instance in history Of a saint receiving a national honour!” (cfr. XIX, 285ff)

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