June 15

1861: Dream of the handkerchiefs

Don Bosco dreamt that he saw a lady who was distributing handker-chiefs to the boys: I heard her say to each lad as she gave him a handkerchiefs “Do not unfold it when it’s windy, but if you are suprised by a wind, turn at once to the right, never to the left”…one boy took out his handkerchief…soon all had them out…on each, lengthwise, there was written in gold: Queen of virtues. Suddenly a soft breeze came…them it became a wind. Immedi-ately some boys folded their handkerchiefs and hid them,while others turned quickly to the right. Others, instead, left them exposed…the hail, rain, and snow battered them mercilessly. In no time they were riddled with holes, torn beyond recognition…As I got closer to these boys for a better look, I recognized everyone of them. They were my own Oratory boys…. Saddened by this sight and the realization that so very few of my boys had kept themselves pure, I nearly lost heart and burst into tears…the handkerchiefs of those who had turned to the right had shrunk and were covered with patches. They had no holes but were pitifully shapeless. “These boys,” the lady explained, “had the misfortune of losing purity, but they regained God’s grace through confession. Those few who did not stir are those who persist in sin and perhaps will go to perdition..” (BM VI, 583-584)

1864: Mary’s Mediation

Don Bosco recommended devotion to our Lady in order-to preserve the grace of God. He spoke of the vision of a saint who saw two ladders extending to heaven, one red, the other white. “On the top rung of the first ladder stood Our Lord; on that of the second, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many tried to climb the red ladder, only to fall off after three or four rungs… No one could make it to the top. They were advised to try the other ladder; they did and quickly climbed to the top. Remember, it is almost impossible to reach Jesus without Mary’s mediation. Therefore, entrust everything to Her, especially your soul…Let’s be one in heart and mind to love Mary and save our souls.” (BM VII, 406)

1884: Practise the religion

French Advocate Blanchard, the intrepid defender of the Catholic schools in France, once visited the Oratory. Don Bosco asked him, “Do you practise the religion you defend so well?” He had given up the practice of religion, but was so moved now that upon his honour he promised that he would live as a good Christian then on. (cfr. MB XVII, 161) 

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