August 1 

1881: Salesians sufficiently learned 

Someone in Rome accused the salesians of ignorance. During a meeting of the past pupils one of them energetically refuted such slanderous accusations. Then Don Bosco spoke: …of the Congregation’s two hundred members, one hundred and eighty had successfully passed rigorous examinations in the diocesan seminary, in the University of Turin, and in certified colleges and secondary schools. All had obtained academic degrees in theology, philosophy and literature or teachers’ certifications. …I do not want my sons to be walking encyclopedias- he went on, warming up to the subject -nor do I expect my young artisans to become lawyers, philosophers or theologians. Still less do I intend my school teachers to prepare themselves to become ministers or ambassadors. I am satisfied if each of them is qualified for his job, whether as a craftsmaster, teacher or priest. If they meet this requirement I maintain that they are learned enough to be worthy members of society and the Church. As such they deserve the same respect as is given to others. So, let’s do what we have to do and pay no heed to wagging tongues and acid pens. (BM XV, 144-45)

1884: Correspondence to be destroyed

Once Don Bosco told Father Lemoyne to destroy all the correspondence with Gastaldi. “It might be wise to destroy all our correspondence with Archbishop Gastaldi with all pertinent documents.” Hiding his utter astonishment, Father Lemoyne asked, “What would we have left to record of the Oratory’s history from 1872 to 1883?.””Just say that Don Bosco kept up his usual work,” he replied. He continued speaking with such conviction that Father Lemoyne, fearing a specific order to that effect, took advantage of another person’s approach to excuse himself and leave Don Bosco with his visitor. (BM xv, 218)

1937: The Vatican press entrusted to Salesians

The “Polyglotta” of the Vatican, where L’Osservatore Romano is printed is entrusted to the Salesians. Pius XI took this step remembering his vist to Valdocco and the printing press of the Oratory in 1883. (cfr. CDB, 294) 

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