April 17

1873: The Rector

In a personal letter to Father Bonetti, Don Bosco explained the duties of the Salesian Rector. – Faithfully receive the monthly manifestion, which stresses that the superior must be frank with his subjects on all matters… – Never omit the two monthly conferences: one on an ascetical topic, the other on the rules. – Summon your chapter and sometimes all your teachers to discuss ways and means for faulty situations. – Remember that the director is not to do much himself but is to see to it that each confrere does his work… I expect nothing more than the observance of these articles, and then God’s grace will find ready access to your hearts… (BM X, 458)

1885: Headache transferred

Don Bosco had to hold a conference for the salesian cooperators at Marseille. But he had a severe headache. Cleric Viglietti who knew about it, asked him to transfer the headache to himself. From that moment he suffered such pain in his head that he had to go to bed. After the conference Don Bosco blessed him and both were well again. (cfr. MB XVII, 444)

1934: The fifth vertebra

On the occasion of the papal audience granted to the members of the General Council, Father Ricaldone presented to Pope Pius XI a few gifts. Among these was a precious relic of Don Bosco, his fifth vertebra, and a “Life of Don Bosco”, written by Salotti, Secretary General of the Propagation of Faith. (cfr. MB XIX, 304ff)

1946: Death of Father Gresino

As a boy James Gresino studied at Valdocco and at Lanzo. He asked for a certificate to enable him to enter the seminary. Giving it to him Don Bosco said, “Here it is, you asked for it, but James, remember that your place is here!” After some time the seminarian returned to Don Bosco, though he was advised to join the Franciscans or the Dominicans. In 1876 he received the cassock from Don Bosco himself. After working in many other places he went to Varazze in 1895 and worked there for 50 years. He continued to teach till the age of 85. (cfr. Mortuary letter)

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