April 25

1862: Death of a pupil foretold

To the very day of Don Bosco’s prediction he (Victor Maestro of Viora) was well, but two weeks before his death his eyes began bothering him and his vision dimmed in the evening “Would you like to go to heaven?”… he (Don Bosco) asked, “Of course”, Maestro answered. “Then get ready!”…He had said to himself, Some one is to die in the Oratory. If I go home, it can’t be me. I’ll have a longer (Easter) holiday and come back in perfect shape. (BM VII, 81-82) But Maestro died in the dormitory that very night.

1863: Read consciences

The Ruffino chronicle stated: I asked Don Bosco whether he could read hearts only during confessions or whether he could do so.also at other times. “At all times,” he replied, “even outside of confessions.” (BM VII, 253)

1875: Good confession and communion

Don Bosco saw in a dream Joseph Buzzetti (+ July 14, 1891) and Charles Gastini (+ January 28, 1902), two past pupils in the company of Fr. Rua, Fr. Cagliero and Fr. Bologna. The saint saw the boys of the Oratory fight demons with pitchforks, of which two prongs represented confession and communion. Some were fighting with pitchforks of broken prongs, a sign that they had made bad confession and commun-ion. (cfr. BM XI, 239f)

1882: Don Bosco’s enemies

During an audience with Leo XIII the following conversation took place between the Pope and Don Bosco. “Do you have enemies here in Rome?” (asked the pope) “To my knowledge there is only one person who openly avows his hostility.” “Who is that?” “Cardinal Ferrieri.” “All right. How about in Turin?” “Just one there too, the archbishop…” (BM XV, 445)

1884: A ‘saviour’ of the world!

During a conversation with the editor of II Giornale di Roma Don Bosco spoke about divine providence. He also discussed about the church in Europe, but his words were not very encouraging. However he added: “God will always save his church, the Blessed Virgin who protects the contemporary world in a visible manner, will know how to raise up saviours of the world!” “One of these, is precisely you, Don Bosco!” exclaimed the journalist. (cfr. MB XVII, 84ff)

1920: Death of servant of God Mertens

He was born at Brussels (Belgium) in 1864. He entered the Salesian Society as a priest in 1899. After his novitiate at Liege, in 1902 he was appointed Rector of St. Denis Wetrern and in 1907 he became the parish priest of Liege. Eager for sacrifice, he dedicated himself zealously to the welfare of the faithful of his parish. He made the total offering of himself on the occasion of the first parish mission and God accepted it and he died in 1920. The diocesan process began in 1947. (cfr. “Boll. Sal” 1920, p. 304)

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