December 29

1863: Two at a time

During the “Good Night” Don Bosco announced that within fifteen days one more would die in the Oratory. “All I do say is that in this house the boys always die in twos. do not imply that it has to he so this time, but only that it has been so in the past. Whenever a boy died, another followed ten or fifteen days later. So let’s wait and see if ten, fifteen, or twenty days after Peter’s death another boy will die.” (BM VII, 350) Francis Besucco died on (9 January 1864).

1864: Meaning of words

“Many of you boys and several of your teachers too often ask me what I mean when I tell someone, “Courage, son!” I’ll tell you. If I use the word “Courage” only once, it means that the devil is on the hunt to ruin him. When I raise my finger as I say “Courage,” it means that the devil already has that boy in his power, and that he should strive to break free…Whenever I say to you “Courage, my son!” it will mean that I see the devil hovering near you or in your soul. Be prompt then to fight him… There is another phrase I use now and then. When I say to someone “My son, shall we talk about your soul?” I am hinting that his conscience is fouled up, that a confession may have been bad or that trouble is brewing. Bear this in mind. My dear sons, I beg of yoll to mind my words and use the extraordinary means the lord offers you. I say this because I care for you and because what I tell you is true.” (BM VII, 503)

1873: Approbation of the Constitutions

Don Bosco arrived at Rome determined not to leave without obtaining the definitive approbation of the Congregations. Fie in fact obtained it in April 1874. (cfr. MB X, 495)

1887: ‘Strenna’ for the year

From his death bed Don Bosco gave the Strenna for the following year. For the boys: devotion to Mary Help of Christians and frequent communion For the confreres: work, work! On this day Don Bosco told Bishop Cagliero: ” Spread devotion to Mary Help of Christians in Terra del Fuoco. If only you know how many souls Mary Help of Christians wants to gain for heaven through the salesians!” (dr. MB XVIII, 502)

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