July 16

1860: Don Bosco’s politics

It was a time when Don Bosco was very much under suspicion and repealed bouse-searches were carried out at the Oratory of Va VaIdocco. He obtained an audience with Mr. Farini, Minister of the Interior. Extracts from the conversation are given below: DB: “I would like to know why repeated house searches were carried out…”
Farini: “As long as you busied yourself with helping poor boys, you enjoyed the government’s favour….” DB: “The report you received is false…” Fanni: …”I could have you jailed right now… DB: …”I have means to assert my rights I have written Storia d’Italta! All I need to do is to add but one chapter about what has occurred here … to perpetuate the memory of the house searches at the Oratory….” Cavour: “Calm down, Don Bosco…people have lured you into a kind of politics that leads to sad consequences you are with the Pope.” DB: “…In matters of religion I stand with the Pope, and, as a catholic, I intend to stand with him until death. But this does not in the least keep me from being a good citizen. Politics is not my field….” “By sheltering hundreds of poor, forsaken boys and teaching them a craft or trade, I cooperate with the government for the well -being of many families and of all society. In this way I lessen the number of idlers and vagrants, and I increase the ranks of hard-working, educated, upright citizens. This is my politics!” (BM Vl, 385-391, passim)

1860: Filippi house bought

Mrs. Filippi and her children sold to Don Bosco three acres of land and the house. His earlier atempts to buy it were in vain and now the owners themselves came forward to sell the house and the property at a price lower than what Don Bosco had offered earlier. That evening Don Bosco made the following announcement to his boys aftei night prayers: “See the first effects of persecution. For the past several years I tried to buy the Filippi house. I made good offers to the owners, but they always refused to sell. Now without my asking, Mr.Filippi came to discuss the sale of the house at a considerably lower price than I had previouly offered. I told them I had no money at present, but he assured me that he was in no hurry for it and would wait. Therefore we made a contract. This is a sign of Our Lady’s protection.” (BM VI, 393-394)

1872: A priest rests in heaven

During Don Bosco’s stay at Genoa, Canon Francis Ampugnani called on him. The following conversation took place between them: (DB): “What are you doing now?” (Ampugnani): “Nothing! Just resting…I did a lot of work in America.” (D13): “Don’t you know a priests rest in heaven? We shall have to render God a strict account of the work we failed to do and the time we wasted…” On the following day he returned to volunteer his services as a priest, organist or music teacher to father Albera, director of the hospice. (BM X, 173)

1872: Get vocations anywhere

At Genoa Don Bosco met also the superior general of the Mimim Hermits. The latter said that their Order had no novices and students. Don Bosco told him: “Then why don’t you get busy and prevent the dissolution of your worthy Orderwhose mission has not yet been fully accomplished… If you can’t find them (vocations) in Italy, go to France, to Spain, to America, to Australia, but get someone to join you in perpetuating your illustrious Order. Yours is a very great responsibility, and you have a grave account to give to God!” Ow 173)

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