January 24

Feast of St. Francis of Sales

From the beginning Don Bosco chose St. Francis of Sales as his patron. This oratory is placed under the patronage of. St. Francis of Sales, because those who intend to dedicate themselves to this kind of work should adopt this saint as a model of charity and affability. (BM III, 68; cfr. also BM II, 47, 195, 277, 334)

1870: Phenomenal growth of the congregation

Don Bosco presented a report on the state of the congregation to Card. Quaglia. The cardinal showed extreme surprise at the extraordinary growth and smooth running of our society. “If this keeps up for the next fifty years, he remarked, “its membership will be over 2000.” “Your Eminence,” I replied in jest, “if fifty years from now you will want a report on that, I will give it to you.” “Neither of us will be around then,” he countered. He then heartily praised our Society and drafted a detailed report for the Holy Father. (BM IX, 381)

1888: Archbishop’s visit

Mgr. Richard, archbishop of Paris, visited Don Bosco during his last sickness and asked for his blessing. (cfr. MB XVIII, 529)

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