July 20

1851: Foundation stone

Don Bosco had invited King Victor Emmanuel for the laying of the foundation stone of the Church of St. Francis of Sales, but he was unable to be present. The ceremony was preformed by Canon Anthony Moreno. Canon (Anthony) Moreno, royal almoner, represented the archbishop and blessed the cornerstone; Commendatore Joseph Cotta, a friend of the poor and an outstanding benefactor of Don Bosco, set it in place. A copy of the minutes of the proceedings was placed inside the cornerstone with various coins, medals, and other mementos. Then Major J. Bellone poured the first mortar over it. (BM IV, 192)

1862: Don Bosco saw it from far

Three artisans went out unnoticed from the Oratory on a Sunday afternoon. Their escape would have remained unnoticed by all, but for Don Bosco’s letter from Lanzo. …three artisans – Davit, Tinelli, and Panico – skipped afternoon church services on Sunday, July 20, to enjoy a swim in the canal near the Dora Riparia River. In the vast crowd of resident and day boys, neither Father Alasonatti nor the young assistants noticed their absence…Don Bosco had seen them. The first thing on Monday, July 21, he mailed a very fatherly letter to everyone at the Oratory, incidentally mentioning the escapade without identifying the culprits… (BM VII, 134)

1914: Model for youth

Mgr. Salotti, author of a biography of Dominic Savio, asked the opinion of Pius X on the young servant of God. The Pontiff expressed his admiration for this privileged pupil of Don Bosco. “He is a true model for present day youth…Try to push ahead his cause. The figure of Don Bosco is very complex and will require much study. For the short and simple life of Dominic Savio there is no such difficulty. Hence go ahead without losing time.” (cfr. “Life of Dominic Savio” by Salotti, p.334)

1936: Father Anthony F. Comacho, Martyr (Spanish)

– aged 44, a salesian for 27 years and a priest for 19

– martyred at Seville, cause introduced on January 16, 1956. (cfr. CDB, 272)

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