January 31

1883: Special affection for Cagliero

Before leaving for France Don Bosco distributed keepsakes to each member of the General Council. To Father Cagliero he gave: …a small, scaled box and said: “This is for you!” Some time later overcome by curiosity, Cagliero opened it. Inside he found a precious ring. (BM V, 72)

1884: Their life for Don Bosco

As at Varazze (6th Dec. 1871), the pupils and confreres offered their life for Don Bosco who was seriously sick at San Benigno. Cleric Luigi Gamerro, aged 24 was the first victim. He died on Feb. 3. (cfr. MB XVII, 25)

1888: The end

At about 2 O’clock in the morning Don Bosco gave his last blessing to the members of the General Council. Father Rua guided his hand and pronounced the words. He breathed his last, assisted by Mgr. Cagliero, Father Rua and other superiors, at 4.45. He was 72 years old and was a priest for 47 years. (cfr. MB XVIII, 541)

1888: Apparitions

Don Bosco appeared in two different places during the very night of his death: 1) At Aix-en-Provence (France) to a parish priest who had asked his help for the conversion of a Freemason. The saint said: “Your prayer is granted”. The Freemason who was on the point of death was converted on that very day. 2) A Mondovi (Italy) to a Dominican Sister called Philomena Gravosio. She was sick and dreamt that Don Bosco spoke to her thus: “Now that I am in heaven I can help you more than before. Get up and you are cured”. (cfr. MB XVIII, 589)

1928: Pinardi Chapel restored

For the 40th anniversary of Don Bosco’s death, Blessed Rinaldi inaugurated once again the Pinardi Chapel, restoring it to its original purpose. The small function was made solemn because of the presence of the Archbishop of Turin and Card. Hlond, the salesian Primate of Poland. The chapel was dedicated to the Risen Christ, in memory of the first Easter celebrated at Vaidocco in the year 1846 (April 12). It was kept as a chapel for six years (1846-52). After the blessing of the Church of St. Francis of Sales, it served as a study hall and later as a dormitory. Then it became the refectory of the Superiors. It was here that on August 15, 1875, Don Bosco received Can. Sarto, the future Pius X. and in October 1883, Don Achille Ratti, the future Pius XI, who canonized him. A commemorative slab recalls the second visit. (CDB,47)

1936: Don Bosco’s statue in St. Peter’s

A statue of Don Bosco was solemnly inaugurated in St. Peter’s, in a niche reserved for Founders of Orders. Card. Pacelli blessed it. It was 22 tons in weight, 5.87m in height and was made of carrara marble. The statue represented the saint with Dominic Savio and Zeffirino Namuncura. recalling the saint’s apostolate for youth and for the missions. (dr. MB XIX, 363)

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