June 24

1846: Don Bosco’s name feast

Don Bosco’s name-feast was celebrated for the first time in the Pinardi house.
Don Bosco had received at Baptism the name of the Apostle John, but since in Turin the feast of St. John the Baptist was very popular and was usually solemnized with bonfires and salvos from the troops taking part in the celebration, the boys, believing this to he his name day, began to present their greetings, con-gratulations and flowers on that day. Don Bosco let them have their way… (BM II, 381)

1855: Help me to become a Saint

This year on the occasion of his name-feast, Don Bosco wanted to give all a special token of his affection. He told them to request some little gift either orally or in writing, assuring them that he would do his utmost to oblige. Possibly he may have done this also in order to get to know them better. Naturally, there were a few ridiculous and extravagant requests but Don Bosco satisfied the reasonable ones, such as books, clothing, condoning of fees, and so on, not withstanding the financial sacrifices on his part… Dominic Savio’s written request was: “1 ask only that you help me to save my soul and become a saint!” (BM V, 165)

1870: Birth of Father Andrew Beltrami

He was born at Omegna, Italy. (cfr. CDB, 242 and No.1360)

1870: Don Bosco’s feast

The past pupils celebrated Don Bosco’s name feast for the first time on this day. Soon this became an annual practice. On his part, as Canon Anthony Berrone declared, Don Bosco warmly welcomed his former pupils who each year came to tender their homage, gratitude, and good wishes. He urged them to come in ever greater numbers, despite his considerable ex-pense in inviting them all to dinner. On these occasions he kept urging them to keep the Oratory-spirit alive in their association. Many availed themselves of this opportunity to seek his counsel. (BM Ix, 428)

1883: Aim of the Oratory

During the meeting of the past pupils of the Oratory on the occasion of Don Bosco’s name-feast, he explained the aim of his work: “The aim of the Oratory is to diminish the vagabonds and the rascals and bring down the number of those youngsters indulging in small thefts and in anti-social activities and thus prevent them from ending up in prison. Today’s politics can be compared with a steam engine which runs fast on the rails, pulling with it a whole train, perhaps to the precipice and to destruction. Should we join this side or that?…” (cfr. MB XVI, 290-291)

1884: Don Bosco a “saint”

On the occasion of the name-feast of Don Bosco, Mgr. Bertagna, Auxiliary Bishop of Turin, said: “There is no need of searching the heavens for saints, they are here with us. Take Don Bosco, for example, he pommies all the virtues of his patron, St. John the Baptist.” Don Bosco replied humbly saying that the Bishop was exaggerating. By the express desire of Card. Alimonda, Archbishop of Turin, Mgr. Bertagna declined to give the blessing. Instead, he knelt down to receive Don Bosco’s blessing with the others. In the evening Card. Alimonda himself came to the Oratory. In his discourse he compared Don Bosco to his heavenly patron, St. John the Baptist, and said that the Director of the Oratory too was a precursor on the banks of the river Po, to preach Christ to the young. (cfr. MB XVII, 164-169)

1885: Future professor

On the occasion of Don Bosco’s name-feast. Ubaldi, a student at the Oratory, read an address in Greek. The saint congratulated him and said: “Paul (Ubaldi), what a Greek scholar you are, we shall make you a University Professor!” In fact Ubaldi later became a salesian and a professor in the Catholic University of Milan. He died on 22July 1934. (cfr. CDB, 243)

1886: Biography of Mamma Margaret

On the occasion of Don Bosco’s name-feast, Father Lemoyne presented him with a biography of his mother. He was very happy and deeply moved whenever he read some pages from the hook. (cfr. MI3 XVIII, 58-59)

1951: Canonization of Mary Mazzarello

The co-fOundress of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians was canonized by Pope Pius X11. (cfr. CDB, 244)

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