1862: Diabolical vexations
The devil prevented Don Bosco from sleeping during the night. “I had just gone to bed and was about to doze off, when I was seized by the shoulders and vigorously shaken. I was terrified! “Who are you?” I cried. I lit the lamp and looked under the bed and in every corner of the room. Nothing! I tried the door; it was closed …abruptly, I felt a crushing weight on my stomach and could not breathe. I had to cry out ‘what is it?’ I struck out with my fist and met only air…. I went through the same ordeal for the following four or five nights. I wonder what will happen tonight! (BM VII, 47)
1865: Happy Death
A dying man was totally against making his confession. But Don Bosco described his past life minutely, revealing his sins and the deplorable state of his soul to make him realist the need to return to (ices grace. Then he asked the dying man: “Arc you willing to admit that you are guilty of all these sins, are sorry for them, ask God’s pardon and firmly resolve to lead a better life if God restores you to health?” “Yes, I am !”… “Now”, I said, “I can absolve you from your sins”. Truthfully, he was sufficiently sorry….The poor man calmed down, resigned himself like a good Christian and, after a little more suffering, passed away. (BM VIII, 22-23)
1869: Pius IX’s benevolence
Don Bosco spoke to his salesians regarding the audience he had with Pius IX.
When the day came for the audience, Pius IX told his household: “Don Bosco has no coach. Fetch him in mine.” They left and called for me at the house where I was staying…. As soon as he was ushered in, Pius IX said to him: “Don Bosco, I would like you to do me a favour. Would you be willing to open a house of studies and an oratory, like the one you have in Turin, right here in Rome?” Don Bosco also asked him for several honorific titles for a few distinguished benefactors, and the Pope again graciously consented. At the close of the audience, Pius IX gave Don Bosco a box of crucifixes endowed with an indulgence of 400 days every time they were kissed. (BM Ix, 243-244)
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