December 27

1864: On Confession

During the “Good Night,” inter alia, Don Bosco said: Now, leaving these unplesent things aside, let me tell you something cheerful which happened to me today as I was returning from Verceli. On boarding the train, I found a man in my compartment who was raving against confession. “By God,” he exclaimed as soon as he saw me, “tell us something about confession!” (BM VII, 500)

1876: Sisters too to the mission

Just a year after Father Cagliero’s departure for S.America, St.Mary Mazzarello wrote to the former director of the sisters, asking him whether the Sisters too could go the missions in America. “…Seven Sisters are almost ready …I think they are old enough. I am
Don Bosco had to improvise a Cathesim lesson. Realizing his ignorance, in religious matters the man prudently kept quiet at first and then tried , to veer the conversation to other fields! without teeth and I have many a grey hair, though they are fonunately covered with the veil. To frighten me they told me that in Patagonia there are those who cat Christians, but I feel I will not he an appetizing morsel for them since I am so lean…Hence please call us soon to South America…” On 7 December 1877 the first Sisters left for the missions. (cfr. “Boll. Sal.” 1954, p.188)

1877: Preserve the original plan

As the Oratory was growing Don Bosco did not want to lose trace of its humble origin and susequent development. On December 27, while speaking of the beginnings, he said: We are wise to preserve the Oratory’s original layout. We have a drawing and we should make copies or even photograph it. Those who follow will love to see the rustic shed from which the Oratory and the Congregation have evolved. Some of the first Oratory boys were artists, among them (Bartholomew) Bellisio who made an accurate sketch of it and had it printed. Whoever will write a thorough history of the Oratory and of the Congregation might also illustrate it with sketches showing its various phases. Readers will like such sketches which, in turn, will make the narrative more accurate and credible. (BM 314) This desire of Don Bosco was fulfilled when the History of the Oratory r General of the congregation, was written by Father Giraudi, Econome and published in 1935 with the little “L ‘Oratorio di Don Bosco.”

1881: Do not visit Don Bosco

In a letter to Card. N in a, Don Bosco wrote as follows: “…Yesterday one of our former pupils, now a priest in the seminary, asked the rector if he might pay a visit to Don Bosco and confer with him, explaining that for years he had cherished the hope of becoming a Salesian and going to the foreign missions. He was given a lecture far from fatherly, which concluded with these words which I will quote verbatim if you do not mind: “If you become a salesian or go to the missions, you will be rushing pell-mell to the devil”… (BM XV, 180)

1886: Don Bosco’s name feast

For the first time the name feast of Don Bosco was celebrated on the feast day St. John the Evangelist. In the Oratory it was customary to celebrate Don Bosco’s feast on June 24. (cfr. MB XVIII, 270; No. 753) 

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