December 22

1845: Last meeting at Mills

“At last, on December 22(1845) the said , the Fourth Sunday of Advent, y farewell to St. Martin’s Church. After a la honour of St. Martin, its titular saint st prayer in Bosco liftin , the boys filed out and Don g his eyes to heaven remarked: “the Lord’s are the earth and its fullness” (Ps 23, 1). Turning to the boys he added in a tone of complete trust: “Let’s be patient! The Blessed Virgin will help us! Now let us look for anotherplace.” (BM II, 266)

1876: Dominic Savio appeared to Don Bosco

Don Bosco told the Oratory boys the dream he had at Lanzo. In this dream Dominic Savio appeared to the saint accompanied by Father Alasonatti, Father Chiala, Father Giul itto and a number of boys who died at the Oratory: …1 then understood that Dominic’s blood-red sash was a symbol of the great sacrifices, the strenuous efforts, and the near-martyrdom he had endured to preserve the virtue of purity, and that, to remain chaste in God’s eyes, he would given up his life if the circumstances had warranted it. It was also a symbol of penance which cleanses the soul of guilt… Savio held out a gorgeous bouquet of roses, violets, sunflowers… “Give this bouquet to your sons so that, when the time comes, they may offer it to the Lord… the rose is a symbol of charity, the violet of humility, the sunflower of obedience, the gentian of penance and self-denial, and the wheat stalks of frequent communion. Then, the lily stands for the beautiful virtue of chastity… The one thing that consoled me most at the hour of my death,” Savio answered, “was the assistance of the mighty and lovely Mother of the Saviour. Tell your sons never to forget to pray to Her as long as they live… the future of your congregation will be most glorious and will bring salvation to endless multitudes ofpeople. There is but one condition: that your sons he devoted to be Blessed Virgin Mary and that all of them learn to preserve the virtue of chastity which so delights God.” “What will happen to Pius IX?” “All I can tell you is that the Church’s shepherd will not have much longer to do battle here on earth… The boys whom Divine Providence has entrusted to your care can be divided into three groups… Invulnerati, unscathed, that is those whom the devil had not been able to harm, those who had never lost their baptimal innocence… Vulnerati, wounded, that is, those who had fallen into sin but had risen to their feet again, healed of their wounds after repentance and confession… Lassati in via iniquitatis: exhausted on the path of iniquity. It bor the names of all those boys who at that moment were in the state of sin ” (BM XII, 436-440)

1877: Deaths foretold

Before leaving for Rome (this was his third trip to Rome during the year), Don Bosco spoke during the “Good Night”: “This year two prominent persons will leave the scene of life, and their passing will be talked about in the world. The Oratory too will see the death – very much of it.” (BM XIII,360) Victor Emmanuel died on January 1878. Pius IX died on 7 February 1878.

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