May 21

1847: Sodality of Saint Aloysius

Archbishop Fransoni approved this Sodality on April 12. The first enrolment took place on Sunday, May 21,1847, the first of the six Sundays preceding the feast of St. Aloysius. For the Oratory this was an unforgettable day. The boys crowded into the tiny church, anxious to see this novel event. The candidates knelt before St. Aloysius’ statue, at whose side Don Bosco stood in surplice and stole. (BM III, 150) Each one read the pledge to imitate saint Aloysius and observe all the rules of the Sodality.

1861: Rain predicted

Father Barbero, the pastor of Villa San Secondo, told Don Bosco that drought was threatening the crops and that the people needed rain badly. Don Bosco told the priest: “When you get home, have your parishioners make a novena. In the morning, have prayers and adoration to the Most Blessed Sacrament; in the evening, schedule devotions in honour of Mary Most Holy. Tell your parishioners: ‘Don Bosco has promised us rain if we make a novena. Let’s see how good his promise is.’ Of course., you must say it in a light mood, but then – quite in earnest – insist that they commit no sin, at least during this novena”… As soon as the pastor returned to the village, he opened the novena with a short sermon about what Don Bosco had said. The rain came before the novena was over. It was to this village that Don Bosco planned to take his boys the following fall. (BM VI, 571-572)

1867: Miracle of our century

Princess Maria Letizia, wife of Rattazzi, visited the Oratory and then wrote to her husband. “1 am happy to have made acquaintance of Don Bosco, the marvel of the present century.” This is only an echo of what Rattazzi himself used to say about Don Bosco, “Forme Don Bosco is the greatest miracle of our century.” (cfr. MB VIII. 795-797)

1877: The mite of Don Bosco’s boys

On the occasion of the episcopal Jubilee of Pius IX, the boys of Don Bosco gathered a small sum of money for Peter’s PenCe. The festive Oratory boys collected seventy lire and thirty-five centesimi for the Peter’s Pence collection. (BM XIII, 101)

1895: Death of Father Sala (1836-1895)

Anthony Sala entered the Oratory in 1863 and took the vows in 180. As he showed special administrative talent, he was assigned to help Father Alasonatti. In 1875 he was appointed a member of the General Council. Father Sala was in charge of the new constructions at Este, Cremona, Chieri and Handaao. lie: – supervised the construction of St. John the Evangelist Church, Turin. lightened the burden of Don Bosco in building the church of the Sacred Heart. – rendered the lowliest of services during Don Bosco’s last illness. – became Economer General in 1880 and was re-elected in 1886 and 1892. – died on May 21, 1895, after a brief illness. (cfr.CDB, 203) 

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