July 26

1840: Panegyric on Saint Anne

On July 26, he gave a sermon on St. Anne at Aramengo. This precious manuscript is in our archives. On August 24, almost unexpectedly he was called upon to deliver the sermon on St. Bartholomew in Castelnuovo itself…The latter (guest preacher), due the following day to speak on St. Bartholomew… was informing Father Cinzano that, for some reason or other, he was unable to come…The curate (Fr. Rupolo) tried to ease himself out of it…Father Cinzano hesitated…but then he turned to him and said: “How about you, John?” John shook himself out of his thoughts and replied, smiling: “If there’s no one else, I am paratus ad omnia (ready for anything). I’ll try.” (BM 1, 363-364)

1856: Wanted simple funeral

Don Bosco’s first testament written in 1856 contained these directives about his funeral: I want my funeral to be inexpensive. The pastor of Borga Dora has promised to conduct it gratis. I deeply desire, however, that all the Oratory boys and those attending our festive oratories be invited and be given the blessed medals and small crucifixes which I have purposely set aside for this. I want no inscription on my grave, but if any should be placed, it should reflect these sentiments: “As he was dying, Father John Bosco said this to his friends. Homo, humus; fama, fumes; finis, cinis (Man is clay; fame is smoke; the end is ashes).” (BM x, 573)

1876: Labour not in vain

Don Bosco had a dream that some sheep were stolen from a shepherd. I saw a shepherd who toiled to pasture his sheep and safeguard them from harm…his sheep put on weight, their wool hung in folds,and they gave plenty of milk…a man had come along with the offer of greener pastures, and those he deceived went along with him. Nothing else was known. “Poor me!” groaned the anguished shepherd. “I have worked and sweated for those sheep and counted on the wool and cheese they would yield. Now I see that I have laboured in vain.” “No,” replied the other sheep. “Some sheep deprived you of their wool, but we will repay you not only with our wool but with our entire hide.” The shepherd regained his composure and bestowed a thousand caresses on the sheep which had faithfully remained in the fold, not succumbing to deceitful allurements. (BM XII, 278ff)

1885: Death of Cardinal Nina

He was the first Cardinal Protector of the Salesian society. He died at the age of 73. (cfr. MB XVII, 489)

1936: Brother Anthony Bertran, Martyr (Spanish)

– aged 59, a salesian for 32 years – martyred at Barcellona, cause introduced on December 15,1953. (cfr. CDB, 278)

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