April 6

1858: Pope’s solicitude for the Congregaton

Don Bosco came to the Vatican on April 6 with cleric Rua and Father Leonard Murialdo. After joking about Don Bosco’s presence in front of the Pope during the blessing on Easter Sunday, his shoulders supporting the Pope’s feet, Pius IX passed on to more serious matters. He had carefully examined the draft of the constitutions from beginning to end and had even jotted down some remarks and corrections. The Holy Father considered passing it on immediately to a commission for study, but Don Bosco asked permission to experiment with the constitutions and resubmit them to the Holy See. Pius IX agreed and took this occasion to brief Don Bosco on the procedure he should follow to have his society and constitutions approved. (BM v, 594) They were surprised at the Pope’s familiarity with Don Bosco and by the Pope’s action, as he scooped up with both hands a goodly number of gold coins from a little safe. Handing them to Don Bosco, he said: “Give your boys a nice treat.” (BM v, 595)

1868: He dreamt he was dead!

The first night I dreamed that I was dead: the second, that I was standing at God’s judgement seat to settle my accounts. Each time I awoke to realize that I was alive and had time to prepare better for a holy death. The third night I dreamed that I was in heaven. I surely enjoyed that, but it all vanished when I woke up the next morning. I nevertheless felt determined, no matter what the cost, to gain that eternal kingdom which I had glimpsed. (BM Ix, 77)

1910: Death or Michael Rua

He met Don Bosco for the first time in 1845.1n 1852 he received the habit and took private vows in 1855. At the foundation of the Salesian Society, on December 18, 1859, he was elected spiritual director, though he was a subdeacon only for a day. He was among the 22 who made the first public vows on May 14, 1862. He was sent to Mirabello as the first Rector of that house which was the first house outside Turin. Two years later he was recalled to Valdocco to be the alter ego of Don Bosco. He hecame the superior general after Don Bosco’s death and remained in office for 22 years. He was declared Blessed in 1972 (cfr. Life of D.R)

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