December 12

1841: Garelli Don Bosco’s ambassador

Bartholomew Garelli represented not only countless other boys. but the many peoples Don Bosco would evangelize. With the meeting between the saint and Garelli and the catechism lesson. the Festive Oratories started. Don Bosco was the founder and Garelli the corner stone and Don Bosco’s ambassador. The following Sunday, St. Francis of Assisi Church presented a charming sight. Six poor by clad boys, led by Bartholomew Garelli and joined by the other two, were attentively listening to Don Bosco as he taught them the way to heaven. Although not endowed with a retentive memory, by his diligence and attention Bartholomew was able to learn the essentials for a good confession and Holy Communion after a few Sunday instructions. (BM IL 59)

1862: ,Joseph Bosco’s death

Once Joseph Bosco visited the Oratory at an unusual time and when Don Bosco asked for the reason he replied: “Nothing! I just felt a strong urge to settle my affairs and make my confession…something seems to tell me to make haste!”…his condition became critical. The sad news reached Don Bosco.on the evening of December 11. He immediately hired a carriage and rode to Becchi… “What do you bring me from Turin?” Joseph asked him as soon as he arrived. “God’s kingdom,” Don Bosco replied. He had the consolation of administering the comforts of our faith and assisting his brother in his last moments. On the next day, December 12, 1862, Joseph died peacefully in Don Bosco’s arms. (BM VII, 201)

1864: Confessor not to be changed

Speaking of confession Don Bosco said in the “Good Night” “Once we have chosen a confessor, we must go to him steadily, because unless he knows us thoroughly, he cannot advise us on our vocation. Therefore, don’t have two confessors: one for weekdays and one for Sundays, one for more grievous – or seemingly more grievous – sins and one for lesser ones. In that case, your confessor may think you are a little angel instead of a little devil. His advice will be way off, and you will be directed into a state of life that God never intended for you.” (BM VII, 493)

1866: Don Bosco a Priest always and everywhere

Don Bosco went to Florence to meet minister Ricasoli in connection with the appointment of bishops in Italy. As the saint was ushered into the minister’s office, he halted in the middle of the room and firmly declared: “Your Excellency, I want you to know that Don Bosco is apriest at the altar, a priest in the confessional, a priest among his boys, a priest in Turin, and a priest in Florence. He is a priest in the house of the poor and a priest in the palace of the king!” Assuring him that he need not worry on that score, since no one had any intention to suggest anything contrary to his beliefs, Ricasoli offered him a seat and opened the discussion. (BM VIII, 239) 

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