March 25

1840: Tonsure and minor orders

During the last year of theology John’s health continued to deteriorate. He went home several times that year trying to regain his health and strength. Thanks to his will power or, more still, to his obstinate application to the study of theology, he was privileged to receive the tonsure and four Minor Orders in the Turin Cathedral on Laetare Sunday, March 25, 1840. (BM I, 358)

1849: Love of the pope

Deprived of all possessions and forced to leave Rome, Pius IX found himself unable to cope with all the needs of the church, to the great detriment of souls. Contributions quickly poured in not only from he wealthy but also from the poor, who generously offered the fruits of their toil and their meagre savings: On this occasion, Don Bosco’s boys were overjoyed at being able to give tangible evidence of their affection for the pope. Gladly they deprived themselves of the few soldi they had – they needed them badly themselves – and offered them to the Pope. (BM HI, 358)
They managed to collect 33 lire!

1855: First profession in the Congregation

After explaining in conferences and other talks the principles of religious life to his most trusted young clerics, Don Bosco encouraged Michael Rua – then in his second year of philosophy – to take the vows fora year. The simple ceremony took place on the evening of March 25 (1855), the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. Michael Rua kneeling in Don Bosco’s room in plain clerical attire, and with him as the only witness, pronounced his vows for a year.” (BM V, 138)

1884: Worn out body

Dr. Combal, professor of medicine in the University of Montpellier, examined Don Bosco at Marseille. His diagnosis was as follows: “Don Bosco; your body is a threadbare coat worn day and night, that has gone beyond repair. The only way to preserve it a filth longer is to give it absolute rest!” “That is the only medicine,” said Don Bosco, “I cannot take!’ (MB XVII, 57)

1917: Death of Father Cerruti

He was born at Vercelli on April 28, 1844 and entered the Oratory in November 1856. Immediately he fell under the spell of Dominic Savio. According to the testimony of Don Bosco himself Cerruti was one of those who were trying to imitate Dominic Savio. Some important dates: Oct. 1850: Father Cerruti received the cassock from the hands of Don Bosco Dec. 1859: was present for the founding of the salesian society. May 14, 1862: was one of the 22 who made the first ever public vows in the congregation. 1863: accompanied Father Rua to the new house of Mirabello. 1864: was ordained a priest. 1856: had a severe attack of pneumonia, but was miraculously cured as predicted by Don Bosco. 1870: became Rector of the house of Alassio. 1879: became the first Provincial of the Liguria province. 1885: Don Bosco personally chose him to be the Prefect General of studies. Father Cerruti died at AJassio on March 25, 1917. (cfr. BM XIV, 567)

1936: Feast of Don Bosco

The decree of the Congregation of Rites establishing the feast of Don Bosco for the universal church on January 31st, the day of his death, was issued. (cfr. MB XIX, 362)

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