January 12

1858: Divine Providence

On January 20th, Don Bosco had to pay a large debt, but had no money. His creditor had already waited a long time and would now brook no further delay. The saint called a few boys and told them: “Today I need a special favour from Our Lord. While I’m in town, I want you to take turns before the Blessed Sacrament and pray for my intention until my return.” The boys complied. As Don Bosco was walking near the Vincentians’ church, a stranger greeted him and asked, “Don Bosco, do you happen to need money?” “Do I! I am in dire necessity.” “Then take this!” And he handed him an envelope containing several one-thousand-lire bills…. “Very well, many thanks! May Our Lord reward you! Do you want a receipt?” “No”… At least tell me your name…” “It’s not necessary”, the stranger concluded. “The donor wants to remain anonymous. He asks only for prayers. The money is yours to do with as you please.”…. Don Bosco immediately paid his creditor. (BM VI, 94-95)

1861: Serious warning

On January 12th, Don Bosco called a boy to his room and said: “Last night I saw Death threaten you with his scythe. I grabbed him by the arm, ‘Let go!’ he cried, facing me. ‘This boy is unfit to live. Why should he go on living when he does not respond to your care and abuses God’s favours?’ I begged him to spare you, and he disappeared.” Surprised and shaken, the poor fellow tearfully made his confession and at once resolved to lead a better life. (BM VI, 486)

1867: Commanded to write his memoirs

On March 21,-1858, the Pope had asked Don Bosco: “When you get back to Turin write down these dreams and everything else you have told me, minutely and in their natural sense. Save all this as a legacy for your congregation so that it may serve as an encouragement and norm for your sons.” (BM v, 577). This was made an order in 1867: ar “Well, then, I not only advise you, but order you to do it. This task must have priority over everything else. Put asides the rest and take care of this. You cannot now fully grasp how very beneficial certain things will be to your sons when they shall know them.” (BM VIII, 256).

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