1862: Diabolical vexations
“On the night of March 3,” he told us the demon lifted my bed aloft and then let it drop to the floor. I was so shaken from my waist up that I felt my head must be gushing with blood. After tormenting me the whole night by rattling doors and windows, toward morning the demon took the poster on which was written `Every minute is a treasure’ and dashed it to the floor so violently that it sounded like a rifle shot. In the morning I found it in the middle of the room.” (BM VII, 50)
1865: The first boy to die
When asked, who was going to be the first to die,” Don Bosco gave the first letter of his name. Don Bosco disclosed that the boy’s name began with the letter *F… “Yes,” “Anthony Ferraris. But I am not worried about him because he is a very virtuous boy and is quite prepared” Meanwhile Ferraris was beginning to feel indisposed and now and then had to report sick. At first it seemed only a minor ailment, but soon his illness became manifestly grave….Anthony Ferraris died on Thursday morning, March 16 (1865). (BM VIII, 38-39)
1866: To die by St. Joseph’s feast
In a dream Don Bosco visited a dormitory of the Oratory with a guide. I kept following my guide until he stopped by a bed and walked around it. When I asked him why, he answered: “By St. Joseph ‘s feast this lad shall be with me.” I understood he was to die. (BM VIII, 159). In fact Simon Lupotto aged 18 years died on March 19.
1872: Boys’ sins revelled
During a dream Don Bosco saw the devil writing in a note book against the name of each boy his sins, but with figures and scriptural quotations. Opposite one boy’s name was the picture of a swine, with the inscription: he has been compared to senseless beasts, and made like to them-Ps 48, 21. Other names were marked on the facing page with a forked tongue and the legend: Whisperers, detractors… are worthy of death; and not only they that do such things, but they also that consent to them that do the m-Rm 1, 30-32. I saw also pictures of donkey ears symbolizing evil talk, with the words: Evil companionship corrupt good morals- 1Cor 1 5,33 (BM X, 39)
Against 22 names there was the date with the word ‘requiem’ indicating that 22 of them would die from 1872 to 1876. In fact it happened.
At Marseille Don Bosco was the guest of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and he dealt with the boys in a familiar way, as he always did. …He said a few words to him (one of the boys) …it made such an impression on the lad that, on rejoining his companions, he exclaimed, “I’ve just seen a saint”…In fact, on returning to Turin, he found a batch of letters from them restating their eagerness to go to Turin and become Salesians, declaring themselves ready for any sacrifice so long as he would accept them. (BM mil, 76-77)
1877: 6000 priests for the church!
In the chronicles of the house of the Brothers, Oeuvre de la Jeunesse, Marseille, which Don Bosco visited, we read the following: “It was an honour for us to have him with us, a man of great undertakings who in 34 years has given to the church 6000 priests.” (cfr. CDB, 97)
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