April 15

1876: Pope’s interest in salesian work

On Easter Sunday Pius IX received Don Bosco in private audience and asked him news regarding the Oratory and the missionary activities of the Society. The Pope said: “In regard to your missionaries, I’d like you to know that I have enjoyed reading their letters and pray that God will grant them an abundant harvest…But how can you meet their requests for ten more salesians and thirty nuns …. Rut missionaries arc also urgently needed in Australia, India and China…Could you take over one or more missions in those lands?” “if your Holiness will bless ourstudents and pray for us, we could hopefully accept some soon…” “Fine! I most heartily bless your boys and pray that Our Lord will enlighten them….” (BM XII, 136-137)

1886: With ‘Catholic Nobles’

On the occasion of his tour of Spain “The Society of Catholic Nobles” of Barcelona invited Don Bosco to one of their meetings and made him an honorary member of the society and presented him with a gold medal of St. George and St. Joseph. The saint explained to them the scope of Salesian professional schools and added: “The boys roaming round your streets today ask for alms, later they will take it as their right and finally they will demand it at knife-point!” (cfr. MB XVIII, 83ff)

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