December 28

1861: You are in sin

On December 28, a boy approached Don Bosco for advice.

“Will you please give me some advice?” he asked.

“On what?” Don Bosco replied with a smile.

“On my soul!”

Well, then, for three and a half years you have lived in mortal sin”
“It can’t be. I regularly go to confession to Father Savio.”

“Then listen!” And Don Bosco named some fifty sins that the boy had always concealed. As each was mentioned, the youngster had to admit that it was true and promised to make a good confession.” (BM VII, 205)

1864: Speak well of religion

Speaking to the boys, Don Bosco gave them the example of a man who often critized the Pope, priests and religion. One day an acquaintance of his, hearing him talk that way, said, “You are speaking ill of priests and religion. Beware lest some day you be deprived of both.” He only laughed at this warning, but, unhappily, it turned out to be a prediction. (cfr. BM VII, 502) Don Bosco concluded: “My sons, learn from this incident to speak respectfully of the Pope, of priests, and of religion…Woe to him who berates them! The Lord Himself has said, ‘Touch not my anointed and do no evil to My prophets.’ (1 Chr 16, 22) If you don’t want to speak of them, keep silent but if you do, always speak well of them because God unfailingly punishes their revilers. Experience shows that such people always come to a bad end.” (BM VII, 502)

1869: The mite of Don Bosco’s boys

The year closed with an act of generosity and love for the Vicar of Jesus Christ on the part of the Oratory boys. As reported in Unita Cattolica on December 28, 1869, the Oratory sent an offering of 205 lire and 15 centesimi to Pius IX for the Ecumenical Council. (BM IX, 369)

1887: Too much work

After a thorough check-up, Doctor Fissore gave the following diagnosis of Don Bosco’s sickness: “Don Bosco’s sickness is the result ofa general weakness of his organism caused by too much work and the continual strain he was subjected to. He is dying not because of any particular sickness, but of excessive work. He is like a wick that goes out for lack of oil.” (cfr. MB XVIII, 500) 

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