June 27

1868: Attachment to riches

Speaking to some salesions about the adverse effects of riches on religious life Don Bosco said: It was also brought out that many religious orders had been destroyed by their own wealth. Indeed, attachment to earthly matters weakens and often totally extinguishes the desire for the things of heaven… A very elderly marchioness, an outstanding benefactress of the Oratory, fell seriously ill… (she said) “Must I leave this palace, my suite, my lovely drawing room?”… she ordered the servant to carry her into the drawing room…furnished with many precious and rare artifacts… “How lovely! Is this to be my last look? Do you know, Don Bosco, this cost me 40,000 lire …and to think that it will no longer he mine!”… And it was there, in that very room. that she died shortly afterward. How difficult it is for the rich to detach themselves from earthly things, and how painful is the separation when death wrests them from all they possess. (BM Ix. 142)

1868: Avarice punished

A Turinese millionaire couple was very upset because they had no issue even after twenty-five years of marriage. They called on Don Bosco for his blessing. promising a handsome donation to the Oratory and the new church if their prayers were heard. They had a healthy child and they thanked Don Bosco. but did not fulfil their promise. A few months later the child died. They sought the saint’s blessing once again. They were blessed with another child. but this time they did not even bother to thank Don Bosco. After a year. when reminded of their promises. they advanced a lot of excuses for their lack of integrity. Don Bosco took leave convinced that such shameless areed would not go unpunished. Soon afterward the little boy became ill. Don Bosco was sent for at once, but he refused to go and the child died. Eventually, the couple’s vast fortune went to the very people to whom those selfish parents would never have left it of their own accord. (BM IX, 143)

1871: Italy’s ‘treasure

On June 27. Countess Matilde de Romelley of Belgium was received by the Holy Father: “Have you seen Italy’s treasure?” Pius IX asked her. She replied that she did not know about it, but would visit St. Peter’s Treasury in the next few days. “But it is Italy’s treasure that you should see,” the Pope insisted. “Come tomorrow and you will see it… The treasure is our Don Bosco!” (BM X, 191) 

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