June 17

1868: Death of Father Joseph Bongiovanni

As the consecration of the new church had been drawing near, Father Bongiovanni worked extra hard to train the altar boys and have them ready to perform their tasks with devotion throughout the octave-long services. He became ill and his condition became critical. He had the joy of celebrating one Mass in the new church. He was only 30 years old. In 1856 he had founded the Sodality of the Immaculate Conception together with Dominic Savio. (cfr. BM IX, 138-139 and No. 575)

1887: Czartoryski’s detachment

On this day Prince Augustus Czartoryski renounced his right in favour of h is step brother, in order to enter the Salesian Society. (cfr. “Boll. Sal.” 1941, p, 148-149)

1932: Life of prayer

Pius XI spoke on June 17, 1932 on Don Bosco to the Seminarians of the pontifical seminaries of Rome. Every moment of his life was a constant sacrifice, a continual withdrawing into prayer. The most striking impression on any-one talking to him was his alertness to whatever was taking place before him…One might have said that he was paying no attention to anything being said around him, his thoughts being elsewhere, and so it really was. In spirit he was one with God, yet, in a manner truly surprising, he replied to all questions, finding the exact word to say, causing astonishment and then wonder. This was Don Bosco’s life of holiness, contemplation, and assiduous prayer in the hours of the night and at every hour of endless, unyielding work through the day. (BM XIV, xiv)

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