August 17

1815: Baptism of John Bosco

The Baptism Register of St. Andrew’s Church, Castelnuovogives the following details: “August 17, 1815: Bosco John Melchior, son of Francis Louis and Margaret Occhiena, was born yesterday evening and was solemnly baptized today by the Assistant Parish Priest, Fr. Joseph Festa. Occhiena Melchior of Capriglio and Magdalene Bosco, wife of late Secondo Occhiena of Castelnuovo, were the godparents. Joseph Sismondo, parish priest and Vicar Forane.” (cfr. Baptism Register, St. Andrew’s, Castelnuovo) (cfr. BM 1,26)

1856: Papal blessing

In the midst of his many activities, Don Bosco felt the need, from time to time, of a special blessing from the Pope both for himself and for the boys in his three festive oratories, as is evidenced by the following letter: Most Holy Father: Father John Bosco, director of the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales for needy boys of the city and diocese of Turin, humbly begs you to bestow your apostolic blessing and a plenary indulgence both on himself and on his boys, now numbering about nine hundred and still increasing… (BM v, 341) The favour was granted on August 17, 1856.

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