June 9

1837: Birth of Michael Rua

He was born in Turin (Italy) on June 9, of John Baptist Rua and Giovanna Rua, and was baptized on 11 June in the church of Saints Simon and Jude. (DR I, 6)

1860: Second house search

On June 9, just fifteen days after the first house- search three gentlemen showed up at the Oratory. Unfortunately Don Bosco had just gone to town before their arrival and left no word of his whereabouts. Father Alasonatti received them and answering their question said: “Only seventeen boys and two clerics pay regular fees. Most boys pay nothing because they are too poor. In fact, we have to give them shoes and clothes. The rest pay a little, according to their families’ means”… (BM VI, 349) Undersuch rough villainous handling, Father Alasonatti, already n poor health and exhausted by work, fainted….(on his return Don Bosco said) “I am the superior. Ask me. Leave my dependents alone.” (BM VI, 350-52 passim)

1868: Mary built herself a house

Today marked the beginning of the 8-day festivities on the occasion of the consecration of the church of Mary Help of Christians. After the functions the archbishop as well as the others congratulated Don Bosco on his success, but the saint replied: “I claim no credit for the great achievements you have men-tioned. It is all due to the Lord and to the Blessed Virgin Mary who chose to avail themselves of a poor priest for such undertak-ings. I put nothing of myself into it. Aedificavit Sibi domum Maria (Mary built Herself this church). Each stone, each ornament, recalls a favour of Hers.” (BM IX, 127)

1874: Dropped the crutches and walked away

A girl on crutches was brought to the sacristy of the Church of Mary Help of Christians. Don Bosco prayed and asked the bystanders to do the same. They told the saint that the girl could not walk for four years, except on crutches. Don Bosco blessed her and then told her to drop her crutches and walk up and down the sacristy. To the amazement and joy of the sexton and of several people who stood by, the girl did as she was told and then left without crutches… (BM X, 539)

1918: Double Jubilee

A twin Jubilee was celebrated at Turin: the Golden Jubilee of the blessing of the Church of Mary Help of Christians….and the Golden Jubilee of Father Albera’s ordination. (cfr. “Boll. Sal.” June, 1918)

1929: Beatification

Solemn festivities for the beatification of Don Bosco (2 June 1929) were held at Turin. On that occasion, the mortal remains of the new Beatus were transported in a solemn procession from Valsalicc to Turin, and some 200,000 people and 60 archbishops and bishops took part in it. The hymn, Gird dai colli un di lontano, con la solo madre accanto, sung by thousands, filled the atmosphere with joy. The hymn was a clear allusion to Don Bosco’s coming down from Becchi to Turin on November 3. 1846 with his mother. (cfr. MB XIX, 176ff)

1938: Enlarged Church Re-dedicated

In the presence of Cardinal Fossati, archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Hlond, Primate of Poland and other Bishops, the enlarged Church of Mary Help of Christians was re-dedicated. The new altar dedicated to Don Bosco was also consecrated on that occasion. This altar was earlier dedicated to St. Peter and Don Bosco was wont to celebrate Holy Mass there. (“Boll.Sal.” 1938, p.171ff)

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