May 28

1845: Death of Father Tesio

Father Tesio who was in charge of the church of St. Peter-in•chains wrote a letter against Don Bosco to the city authorities. This was done at the instigation of his housekeeper. (dr. No. 519) That was the last letter the poor chaplain ever wrote. The following day, Monday, he sealed it and summoning the house-keeper, told her: “Have this letter delivered to City Hall.” Those were his very last words. A few hours later, as the messenger was on his way, Father Tesio suffered a stroke, and… he died at the age of 68 after receiving the Last Sacraments. His letter made such an alarming impression on City Hall, that a warrant was immediately issued for Don Bosco’s arrest, should he dare to return to St. Peter-in-Chains Church with his boys. (BM II, 226)

1854: Site of the future Basilica

Don Bosco again told the boys how he had seen a luminous globe of fire hovering above the site of the future Church of Mary Help of Christians. He thought that the Virgin was thus indicating Her refusal to renounce this possession. (BM V, 42)

1867: Don Bosco’s book on the Index

On the occasion of the 18th centenary of St. Peter’s death, Don Bosco published a book. Rome took exception to certain historical inexacti-tudes and threatened to put the book on the Index. The main point of the controversy was Don Bosco’s statement that the coming of St. Peter was not a dogma of faith. This night, the saddest in his life, the saint spent in the company of cleric Chiapale. The latter described the agony of the saint: “And yet, 0 My Jesus,” he (Don Bosco) continued, looking at the crucifix as tears streamed down his cheeks, “you know my good intentions in writing this booklet. My soul is sad even unto death. Your will be done….I wonder how I shall spend this night…Oh my Jesus, do help me.” (BM VIII, 341) For this very book Don Bosco received a prize in 1879 (cfr. No. 634) 

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