April 26

1852: A Terrible explosion

A gunpowder factory and three warehouses were located near St. Peter-in-Chains cemetery in the heart of the Dora district. On April 16, a spark set off by defective machinery instantly ignited two adjoining sieves. The massive gunpowder factory blew up, levelling surrounding houses,and felling two rows of aged mulberry trees like twigs. Stones, nails iron fittings, and flaming rafters hurtled through the air…twenty-one workers in the gunpowder factory were killed instantly, either burned or crushed beneath the ruins; thirty-five others were injured…. (BM IV, 267) A burning rafter, about twenty feet long, fell just a few feet from Don Bosco’s rickety little house…The new church was still roofless and the scaffolding had just been removed…it offered less resistance to the blast and suffered no damage whatsoever… (13m IV, 275) This explosion was foretold by Gabriele Fassio (13) a year earlier. (cfr. BM IV, 276)

1930: First feast of Blessed Don Bosco

Cardinal Hlond, the salesian archbishop of Ponzan and Primate of Poland, presided over this first feast in honour of Bl. Don Bosco at Valdocco. Only in 1936 the feast of St. John Bosco was fixed for January 31. (cfr. CDB, 166)

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