December 9

1859: Preparatory meeting

On the feast day (Immaculate Conception). Don Bosco announced that on the following day there would be a special meeting. Accordingly they met on this day: “The meeting opened with the usual invocation to the Holy Spirit and a prayer to Mary Most Holy for enlightenment and assistance. Then Don Bosco…proceeded to describe the nature and loftiness of a religious congregation, the everlasting honour accruing to a person entirely consecrated to God, the ease with which he could save his soul, the inestimable store of merits he could gain through obedience, and the imperishable glory and the twofold crown awaiting him in paradise. Then, visibly moved, he declared that the time had come to start that congregation which he had long been planning… Those who did not want to belong to it should make it clear by no longer attending the conferences. He was giving them all a week’s time to reflect and meditate on this important decision with God. (BM Vi, 180-181)

1895: Death of Father Unia (1849-1895)

Unia came to the Oratory to meet Don Bosco and was immediately sent to Lanzo where the saint was presiding over the spiritual retreat. Seeing that many were going to him for confession Michael too wished to make his confession. Don Bosco unfolded his entire life, detailing the circumstances and the number of his failings with exactitude. “I have known you since you were a little boy. Shall I give you a proof? One Sunday, when you were twelve years old, you were in the choir of your parish church for vespers. Your cousin was beside you, asleep, with his mouth wide open. Seizing the opportunity, you took a plum from your pocket and dropped it into his mouth, so that the poor fellow almost choked.” (13m XII, 334) After the ordination he worked for some time in Italy, but in 1890 he left for Bogota (Colombia). With the permission of Fr. Rua he started living with the lepers at Agua de Dios. For four years he worked with heroic charity among the lepers. The doctors asked him to return to Italy as he was completely worn out. There he died on 9 December 1895, away from his dear lepers. In recognition of his heroic and pioneering work among the lepers, the government of Colombia erected a monument in his honour at Agua de Dios.

1915: Cagliero Cardinal

Bishop Cagliero was nominated Cardinal on b December and received the red hat from the hands of Pope Benedict XV on this day. (cit. “Boll. Sal”. 1916, p.12)

1936: Father Anthony Martin, Martyr, (Spanish)

– aged 51, a salesian for 23 years and a priest for 17 – martyred at Paterna, cause introduced on December 15, 1953. (cfr. CDB, 469)

1936: Father Recaredo de los Rios, Martyr (Spanish)

– aged 43, a salesian for 27 years and a priest for 19 – martyred at Paterna, cause introduced on December 15, 1953. (cfr. CDB, 470)

1936: Father Joseph Gimenez, Martys(Spanish)

– aged 32, a salesian for 11 years and a priest for 2 – martyred at Paterna, cause introduced on December 15, 1953. (cfr. CDB, 470)

1936: Father Julian Rodriguez, Martyr ( Spanish)

– aged 40, a salesian for 19 and a priest for 6 – martyred at Paterna, cause introduced on December 15, 1953. (cfr. CDB. 470)

1936: Brother Augustine Garcia, Martyr (Spanish)

– aged 31, a salesian for 13 years – martyred at Paterna, cause introduced on December 15, 1953. (cfr. CDB, 471)

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