May 15

1861: A blast of thunder

…a terrifying blast of thunder shook the whole house; it was followed by a blinding flash which seemed to engulf the house in flames; then there was eerie darkness and a dismal stillness… (BM VI, 559). Some members of the staff suggested that a lightning rod be installed over the building. “Yes,” Don Bosco replied, when they mentioned it to him. “We will place a statue of Our Lady there. She protected us so well that we would be very ungrateful if we now sought recourse to other means.” (BM VI, 564) This was done on December 8. (cfr. BM VI, 629)

1874: Death of Father Dominic Pestarino

He was of great help for Mary Mazzarello in founding the FMA Congregation and was their spiritual director for the first 11 years. He entered the Salesian Society, but remained at Mornese with Don Bosco’s consent. On December 6, 1871 he offered his life for Don Bosco who was sick at Varazze. On the day of his death he made his meditation on death from Don Bosco’s booklet “Mary’s Month.” Toward eleven O’clock, while talking with Bartholomew Scavi ni, a Salesian Brother, and Michael Vigna, who were there setting up school furniture, he (Pestarino) suffered a cerebral stroke and collapsed in their arms. Despite the care lavished on him by his brother, a doctor, and by the village physician, his soul flew to heaven about three in the afternoon. He was fifty-seven years old. (BM X, 284) 

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