March 7

1861: Storm brewing over the Oratory

On March 7, Don Bosco notified the cleric Francis Vaschetti at Giaveno: “A terrible storm is brewing over the Oratory.” He then added that the thorns they would have to trod on were two M’s and one R – Malattie (Sickness), Moralita (Morals), and Rivalita (Rivalries). (BM VI, 504)

1869: Imitate the Jesuits

In a conference Don Bosco spoke to the confreres recalling what Pius IX had told him: Watch and imitate the Jesuits in their spirit and unity. First, they are secretive concerning the setup and management of their houses….you will never hear a Jesuitpriest speak less than favourably of any of his confreres….remember that it is not numbers but the spirit which makes a house…Your congregation will prosper as long as the rules will be observed, as long as you will not admit the nobility or wealthy people…educate poor boys…keep your fees low…I am of the opinion that a religious house where there is little prayer but much work is better than a house where is much prayer but little or no work… (BM IX, 262-63)

1874: Gastaldi a Cardinal?

During a walk in Rome Father Berto asked Don Bosco whether archbishop Gastaldi would be made a cardinal. The saint replied: “Far from it. When I see him, I’ll tell him, ‘new cardinals have been created, but I dared not recommend you while you keep fighting my Congregation tooth and nail. Besides, my recommendation would fall on deaf ears’.”(BM x, 239)

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