April 21

1861: Death of Maffei

On December 24, 1860, Don Bosco said in a serious tone: “Within a few months, some of you will he no more…. I know of one… but hc doesn’t give it a thought. We shall try to prepare him before hc leaves us….” (tim vt, 468)
“On Sunday April 21st, feast of the patronage of St. Joseph, at half past three in the morning, nineteen-year-old Charles Maffei of Buttiglicra d’Asti died after a two-day illness which affected his spinal cord.” ([3M VI, 524)

1861: All my energies for God

Impressed by the above mentioned death a few young clerics urged Don Bosco to take care of his health and cut down on his work. But Don Bosco remarked:
“Yes, but how can you be so sure that by working less I will live ten years longer? As long as I can, I want to use all my energies for God’s glory and the salvation of souls. I have no intention of ruining my health. I just intend to do all I can.” (BM VI, 524)

1880: Vocation predicted

One of the students of the Magliano seminary, Mari, did not respect priests and religious. On April 21, 1880 Don Bosco told him that he would become a religious and a priest one day.
“One day you will be a priest in a religious congregation.” The boy’s response was a sarcastic grunt of contempt, but it was short-lived, for ten years later, in 1890, he passed through Turin as a Franciscan priest on his way to the South American missions. On the occasion of his visit to the Oratory, Father Rua asked him to dinner, and there he told the Superiors of that incident. (BM XIV, 375)

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