May 17

1855: State Funerals at Court

Prince Victor Emmanuel Leopold, the four-month old son of Victor Emmanuel II died. This was the fourth death after the ominous dream of Don Bosco regarding state funerals. The Chamber of Deputies was discussing the bill of the suppression of religious Orders and the confiscation of ecclesiastical goods. After the dream Don Bosco warned the royal family, “This law will wreak havoc upon the royal house.” (BM V, 117) (cfr.also 28 Nov.1854)

1903: Solemn coronation of the Statue

It was performed by Card. Richelmy, Archbishop of Turin. This was a special privilege given by Leo XIII, since, as a rule, the coronation of an effigy of Our Lady is granted only after 100 years of veneration. In the case of Don Bosco it was granted barely 35 years after the painting of Mary Help of Christians was placed in the Basilica. (The foundation stone of the Basilica was laid on April 27, 1865) (cfr. Annali II, cxvii)

1929: Official recognition of Don Bosco’s body

This was done at Valsalice in the presence of Card.Gamba, archbishop of Turin, Mgr.Salotti, Father Rinaldi and other superiors of the Congregration. The body was found intact and the tongue was still fresh. (cfr.MB XIX, 116f0)

1932: Father Peter Ricaldone Rector Major

After the death of Blessed Rinaldi, the election for the Rector Major took place on this day. (cfr. “Boll.Sal.” 1932, p.161ff)

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