December 10

1293: A Directory

On December 10, 1869, at the ass election of the Superior Cha embly of Salesian (for the pter) Don Bosco had announced that from 1870 onward a directory would be Published every year. From this first directory we ry gather that the membership stood at 102: 28 perpetually professed, 33 in triennial vows, and 41 novices. No mention is made of 22 aspirants. Four schools were in operation in Turin, Mirabello, Lanzo and Cherasco.” (BM IX, 370)

1875: The drunkards not be Admitted

Speaking to the members of the Superior Council and the Novice Master, Don Bosco stated categorically that those who had shown a tendency to drink, should not be admitted to the vows. He added: “Nor let it be said that they were admonished and admitting their fault, promised resolutely not to let their craving for drink overcome them again. Such repentance is enough for sacramental absolution, but it does not offer the slightest assurance of future behaviour. When they promise never again, this should be interpreted as until I have another opportunity.” He confirmed this statement. with an example. One of his classmates had the unfortunate habit of drinking…He once said to Don Bosco: “You may be sure Don Bosco, never again shall I drink. I am firmly and absolutely determined…” But it takes a great deal more than that! Next morning, Don Bosco was present at this priest’s Mass. While kneeling in the chancel choir, he heard him say to the altar boy during the ablution: “Pourtt in, pour in! It isn’t your wine, you rascal!” Since Don Bosco felt that the, poor man meant well, he pointed out to him the impropnety of This behaviour. He renewcd his promise; but a few days later Don Bosco saw him being wheeled home in a little cart, dead drunk. Ow XI. 255)

1876: Mary is all powerful

On the occasion of the blessing of a statue of Our Lady to he placed in the new study hall, Don Bosco spoke on devotion to the Blessed sacrament and to Mary Most Holy. Blessed Sacrament is truly His body, that the Virgin Mary is queen of heaven, His own Immaculate Mother, and that through Him She is all-powerful. It is thanks to Her that our Congregation exists and prospers. I therefore plead with you to urge all first to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and then to reverence the Blessed Virgin Mary….Not very long ago, a man bound by holy orders for four years was living a dissolute life, poised on the very brink of hell. He came to me and opened up. I asked, “Tell me honestly: do you have devotion to Mary?” “To tell you the ‘truth,” he answered, “I have never given it a thought.” “Well then, say three Hail Marys each morning and evening. Often, but especially when tempted, say, ‘Mary Help of Christians, pray for me’…(later) he assured me that from the day he had opened his heart to me, he had always enjoyed peace of soul… Indeed, with Mary’s help, one can obtain whatever favour he needs. By grace She is all-powerful and we are to invoke Her at every moment, for She will give us the strength we need to overcome all our spiritual enemies.” (BM XII, 424-4 25)

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