March 16

1865: Prediction of deaths

Regarding the death of boys at the Oratory, Father John Bosco said: “Don Bosco told us many other dreams concerning Oratory boys’ deaths. We believe them to be true prophecies. We still do, because unfailingly they came true. During the seven years I lived at the Oratory, not a boy died without Don Bosco predicting his death. We were also convinced that whoever died there under his care and assistance surely went to heaven.” (BM VIII, 39)

1875: Rich harvest

Don Bosco left Rome on the morning of March 16 He seemed unable to restrain his joy. It was obvious that he had something very pleasant on his mind. When Father Berto asked him the reason, he said: “Last night I had a dream. I was in a vast field, quite golden with ripe wheat of top quality. The grains were exceptionally large. There were many little lambs grazing in that field.” (BM XI, 119)

1878: Vatican hostility

At times it was difficult for Don Bosco to arrange an audience with the Holy Father. On Tuesday, March 5….Don Bosco and his secretary joined a group of gentlemen waiting outside the suite of the secretary of state. Leo XIII came from the papal chambers and, on seeing Don Bosco, asked: “Do you live in Rome’l time this evening.” Don Bosco returned to the Pope’s antechamber that evening toward six, but Monsignor Cataldi…said to him, “His Holiness told me that, if you came I should inform you that he was too busy this evening and that you should return at eleven in the morning.” ….Don Bosco returned on the morning of March 6 at eleven o’clock. He (Mgr. Macchi) walked up to Don Bosco and somewhat haughtily told him; “His Holiness has asked me to inform you that he has too many visitors this morning and cannot see you”…It was only on March 16….that Don Bosco was finally able to obtain his first private audience with Leo XIII. (13M XIII, 673-674)
Come at the Angelus

1878: This is God’s doing

During his very first audience with Leo XIII, Don Bosco so ingratiated himself with the new Pope that he could write: “…(the Pope said)…as of now I am not only a cooperator, but an active worker both as Pontiff and as an ordinary member of the Church…I am convinced that there is no more meritorious under-taking than turning juvenile offenders into upright citizens and good Christians…I saw a large crowd of youngsters fighting and cursing…can something be done now? Think it over, make plans and together we shall do what we can.” As I took my leave, I asked him for a message to us Salesians, our pupils, Salesian co-operators, novices and missionaries. ‘Tell your Salesians’ he replied, ‘never to forget the great boon God has conferred on them in calling them to a Congregation where they can do so much good for themselves and their fellow men…I believe that those who deny miracles would have to say This is God’s doing if they tried to explain how a poor priest could feed, house, and provide other necessities for twenty thousand boys. The Salesians should be grateful to the Lord… I bless you, your Congregation, your pupils, your benefactors, your cooperators, and the sick you have recommended to me’…” (BM mil, 385-388 passim)

1886: Train delayed for Don Bosco

The stationmaster of Sampierdarena who was previously informed of Don Bosco’s late arrival, delayed the departure of the train by a few minutes to enable the saint to catch it. During the stop at Arezano he blessed a sick man who was cured immediately. (cfr. MB XVIII, 445)

1865: Intermediary

Minister Lanza requested Don Bosco to be the intermediary between the Italian government and the Holy See. The saint accepted the delicate task and more than 100 bishops were appointed through his mediation. (cfr. BM VIII, 45; CDB,

1867: Gastaldi, bishop of Saluzzo

Canon Gastaldi was made bishop of Saluzzo, by the Holy See at the suggestion of Don Bosco. (cfr. MB VIII, 634, 646)

1882: Recovery in proportion to faith

Miss Rohland, a young Polish girl of 22, was bed-ridden for two years. She was staying in a protestant Tourist Home at Cannes (France). Don Bosco blessed her and told her that she would recover in proportion to her faith. “I have a very firm faith!” she replied. The Protestants who were running the Home were very skeptical. Two days later the nurse saw Miss Rohland walking all by herself in the room. Overwhelmed, the nurse screamed wildly. The preacher was the first to rush to the room, fearing that the girl had suffered a mishap, but when he saw her walking by herself he stood rooted to the spot. Moments later all the guests gathered in her room, overwhelmed by astonishment, while the young lady joyfully kept telling everyone, “I am cured.” xv, 424

1884: Dream realized

Before reaching the novitiate house of the French province of Marseille, Don Bosco enquired whether there were trees, a beautiful avenue and a stream in the campus. On receiving an affirmative reply, the saint recognized the house which he had seen in a dream in December 1880. (cfr. MB XVII, 49)

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