April 20

1848: Washing of feet

This ceremony took place for the first time at the Oratory on this day. Toward evening, the Washing of feet was performed in the Oratory chapel, in the presence of a large number of boys, many of whom were witnessing it for the first time. Twelve boys, chosen to represent the Twelve Apostles, were seated in a semicircle in the sanctuary…He washed and dried their feet…There followed then a homily explaining the significance of the cer-emony, a most effective lesson for instilling in the hearts of the young humility and charity, two basic Christian virtues. After the cermony the young “apostles” ate a frugal supper with Don Bosco, who personally waited on them, the more faithfully to duplicate Our Lord s Last Supper, Owttl, 228-229)

1859: Savio cured him too

Many miracles were reported at the Oratory through the intercession of Dominic Savio. Another boy, Hyacinth Mazzucco, had been suffering from sore eyes for about a month and faced the prospect of having to leave the Oratory unless he got better. On Wednesday of Holy Week, April 20 (1959), he asked Don Bosco, “Shall I pray to Dominic Savio too? He has cured others who never even knew him. I was his classmate. He’ll surely help me, especially since I have to prepare the Altar of Repose tomorrow.” “Surely,” Don Bosco replied. “Say an our Father and a Hail, Mary in his honour. Then trust in him. Tomorrow do your work and offer it to God.” That evening Mazzucco recited those prayers. The next morning he felt much better, and by Holy Saturday was completely cured. (BM VI, 121)

1945: Rinaldi’s help

Sister Maria Carla de Noni, of the Sisters of the Passion of Christ was seriously wounded during an air strike in 1945, which destroyed all the functions of her mouth, her voice and her ability to chew and swallow. A handkerchief of Father Rinaldi was applied to the sisters’s wound invoking his intercession and the sister was instantly cured. (cfr. CDB, 158)

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