March 29

1851: Death of Luigi Rua

“Luigi Rua, Michael’s elder brother, an exemplary young man, was an Oratory boy. He died on March 29, 1851, at the age of 19.” (BM IV, 210) The event was foretold by Don Bosco.

1880: Salesians protected by the Madonna

“(The government of France) issued two decrees on March 29, 1880. The first mandated the expulsion of the Jesuits from all their houses and the shutdown of all their educational facilities; the second ordered all unauthorized congregations to apply for government recognition within three months under penalty of expulsion. A subsequent bill extended both decrees to the French colonies. (BM XIV, 475) The police official who was charged with evicting the Salesians from St. Leo’s first had to do the same to the nearby Dominicans. But it took him until ten o’clock that night before he could break down the doors and force his way through the barricades, and then it was too late to attack St. Leo’s, the last religious house on his list. In addition, during the night, the prefect of the province received orders from the government to hold up on any further action; political considerations counselled moderation. Ow (BM XIV, 488-489) In his dream of September 8, 1879 Don Bosco had seen the salesians being protected by the Madonna. He knew they would remain in France. However, he would not let his sons yield to a euphoric security.

1886: Sick girl cured instantly

At Cannes a girl who was sick for five years was cured on receiving Don Bosco’s blessing. The father of the girl was doubtful, but she encouraged him shouting, “Have faith, Dad” and jumped out of bed. (cfr. MI3XVIII, 55)

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