March 30

1834: Margaret wanted to die poor

John had decided to be a Franciscan. On hearing of this Father Dassano met Mamma Margaret and asked her to dissuade her son from becoming a religious since she might need his help in her old age. She immediately set out for Chieri and spoke to her son: “Follow your vocation without regard to anyone. The most important thing is the salvation of your soul. The pastor urged me to make you change your mind because I might need your help in the future. But I want to tell you that in this matter I am not to he considered because God comes first. Don’t worry about me. I ask nothing of you, and 1 expect nothing from you. Remember this: I was born poor, 1 have lived poor, and 1 want to die poor. What is more, I want to make this very clear to you: if you decide to become a secular priest and should unfortunately become rich, I will never pay you a single visit! Remember that well!” (UM I, 221-222)

1846: Under police surveillance

Marquis Cavour called Don Bosco a second time to the City Hall (the first was on March 13). Since the saint was adamant on having his own way, the marquis put him and his meetings with the urchins under police surveillance. …the marquis kept sending policemen to the oratory every Sunday, with orders to watch and report on everything said or done in and out of church. But the officers, seeing how this priest, single-handed, could keep order in a large crowd of boys, noting the fun the boys were having with their games, listening to the sermons and instructions given to them, far from finding anything suspicious in these gatherings, were soon greatly impressed and thought very highly of them… “…From what I saw (said one) the only riot or revolution they seem inclined to, or good at, would be around a basketful of food…” “Yes, Bosco does preach revolt (said another). He even made me revolt against myself, so much so that I made my Easter duty after many years! He spoke about death as though we were already dead or about to die in the next half hour…” (Bmii, 346-347)

1876: Disastrous consequences

During the “Good Night” Don Bosco spoke about a youngster who disregarded his advice to join the Salesian Congregation and entered the seminary following his pastor’s counsel. A year later the young seminarian abandoned his vocation and led a bad life. When summer vacation came along, he went home and his pastor persuaded him not to return (to the Oratory). “What difference does it make if you are here or there?” He told him. “If you can he accepted as a cleric at the Oratory, why should’nt you he a cleric at the seminary? If your vocation is to he a priest, you can he a priest also outside the Oratory.” So the youth received the cassock during the summer vacation and entered the seminary. His conduct, however, was very bad, and when he returned home the following summer, he took off the cassock. From then on the he drove his parents to despair This unfortunate young man went from had to worse and became a public scandal. He started quarrelling with his pastor, made his life miserable, and harassed him to the point that he had to resign his parish and even leave town.. (BM XII, 118419)

1880: Thorns, heaven!

During his visit to the Visitation Convent, Naples, two sick sisters came to Don Bosco asking for his blessing. As he blessed the first he told her, “Jesus wants you to share His crown of thorns. Nevertheless, you will do much good for your convent.” Indeed, she lived until 1920, holding important pasts, but always plagued with headaches. He blessed the second and encouraged her in her sufferings; then, speaking privately with the superior, who died in 1881, he stated, “This sister is ready for heaven”. She died but a few months later. (BM XIV 352)

1882: What remains give in alms

In a conference to salesian cooperators at Genova, Don Bosco spoke about the grave duty of the rich to give alms. The or were created by God to gain heaven by resignation and patience, the rich to be saved by charity and almsgiving… Jesus Christ commands us to give alms. Give that which remains as alms. What kind of alms? Give what you do not honestly need for your own befitting sustenance. Let no one claim that this is a mere counsel, not a commandment. Gospel in hand, I reply that, yes, it is a counsel to give up everything to become voluntarily poor, as do religious, but it is a command to give in alms what is over and above. (BM XV. 431)
1884: Rain, fruit of prayer At La Novarre (France) where there was no rain for months, Don Bosco promised that it would rain soon, as a reward for their trustful prayer. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name. I urn in their midst.- During the night there was a real downpour! (cfr. BM XVII, 61)

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