December 18

1859: Watch you language

During the Novena of Christmas, Don Bosco exhorted his boys to, watch their language…. Tell me, would your parents approve your vulgar language. They would feel highly embarrassed at such grossness! Some time ago I happened to hear one of you using vulgar language while a visitor was passing by, possibly an important person. What impression did he receive of the Oratory boys?…Then watch yourself, especially when those words are more apt to escape you. The assistants will correct you if you fail; on your part, gracefully accept their corrections. (BM VI, 196-197)

1859: Congregation founded

On December 9, a special conference was held in Don Bosco’s room and he declared that it was time to start that congregation which he was planning for so long. He also told them that those who did not intend t0 belong to this congregation should indicate it by no more attending his conferences. The conference whose attendance meant adherence to the pious society was held on December 18, 1875 at 9 pm. The participants were 18 in all. The above-mentioned participants decided therefore to band themselves into a Society or congregation which, while aiming at the sanctification of each member by mutual assistance, would strive to promote God’s glory and the salvation of souls, especially of those in greater need of instruction and formation. . After unanimous endorsement of those goals and after a short prayer and invocation of the Holy Spirit, the participants proceeded to the election of officers of the said Society or other future ones (connected with it), if it will so please God. (BM VI,182)

1864: To acquire knowledge

During the Christmas novena Don Bosco addressed the boys as follows: Tonight I’ll point out the best way to acquire knowledge: “Always trust in the Blessed Virgin’s protection.” Since she is the Seat of Wisdom, say a Hail Mary and the invocation “Seat of Wisdom, pray for us” before you start on your homework and lessons. (BM VII, 497) 

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