May 3

1867: Throw away your crutches:

At Caramagna a rather elderly crippled woman came to Don Bosco dragging herself on crutches. “I bless you willingly,” he said, “but do you have faith in Our Lady?” The saint then asked her to kneel down and pray: …Leaning on her crutches, the woman strove to lower herself to the ground, “No, No, that won’t do,” Don Bosco said firmly, taking the crutches from her. “Kneel properly!” With baited breath some six hundred people stood quietly watching. As if by magic, the woman found herself kneeling on the ground. “Don Bosco, what prayers shall I say?” “Say three Hail Mary’s with me in honour of the Help of Christians.” When that was done, the woman, unaided, stood up without any of the pains that had racked her for years. With a kindly smile Don Bosco placed the two crutches on her shoulders, saying, “Now go, my good woman, and always love Mary, Help of Christians.” (BM VIII, 332)

1867: Sanctity foretold!

Don Bosco told Mrs. Allaria that of her two daughters the elder one who seemed less well behaved, would become a nun and attain a high degree of sanctity. In due time, the Allaria girl joined the Sisters of St. Joseph in Turin. In writing of her demise in Bra, her pastor stated among other things, “Her passing was most consoling because she had attained a high degree of sanctity”- Don Bosco’s very words! (MB VIII, 333)

1867: Rua lacked nothing

Don Bosco said to Father James Costamagna: “Look, James, if God were to tell me: ‘You are about to die; get ready and choose a successor because I don’t want the work you have started to fold up; ask for him whatever grace, virtue, and supernatural gift you deem necessary for the proper fulfilment of his office, and I will grant it all’ …(after a momentary silence he went on) `I really wouldn’t know what to ask for Father Rua that he does not already possess’.” (BM VIII, 333-334)

1868: Visit to Hell

During the “Good Night” Don Bosco narrated his dream regarding Hell. (The road) was beautiful, wide and neatly paved…Both sides were lined with magnificent verdant hedges dotted with gor-geous flowers….I found myself moving so swiftly that I felt I was effortlessly gliding through the air…many were following me…As I was looking at them, I noticed now one, now another fall to the ground and instantly be dragged by an unseen force toward a frightful drop, distantly visible, which sloped into a furnace…traps were everywhere, some close to the ground, others at eye level,
but all well concealed. Unaware of their danger, many boys got caught, and they tripped, they would sprawl to the ground, legs in the air. Then, when they managed to get back on their feet, they would run headlong down the road toward the abyss…I spotted knives among the traps. A providential hand had put them there for cutting oneself free. The bigger ones, symbolizing medita-tion, were for use against the trap of pride; others not quite as big, symbolized spiritual reading well made. There were also two swords representing devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, espe-cially through frequent Holy Communion, and to the Blessed Virgin. There was also a hammer symbolizing confession, and other knives signifying devotion to St. Joseph, to St. Aloysius, and to other saints. By these means quite a few boys were able to free themselves or evade capture. (BM IX, 86-88 passim) “Now that you have seen what others suffer, (said the guide) you too must experience a touch of hell…only one touch, so that you may say you have both seen and touched the walls of eternal suffering and that you may understand what the last wall must be like if the first is so unendurable.Look at this wall”… When he said this, I instinctively pulled back, but he seized my hand, forced it open, and pressed it against the first of the thousand walls. The sensation was so utterly excruciating that I leaped back with a scream and found myself sitting up in bed. My hand was stinging and I kept rubbing it to ease the pain. When I got up this morning I noticed that it was swollen. Having my hand pressed against the wall, though only in a dream, felt so real that, later, the skin of my palm peeled off. (BM IX, 98-99)

1883: Escaped through the presbytery

Don Bosco was giving an audience in the sacristy of the Church of St. Clotilde, at Paris. There were many people still waiting to see him, but since he had another urgent work, he had to get away through the presbytery. (cfr. MB XVI, 109-110)

1925: Beatification of Joseph Cafasso

He was the spiritual director and first cooperatorof Don Bosco. The feast of the new saint was fixed for June 23. The lessons of the office of the new Blessed were composed by Father Francesia who knew him personally. (cfr. “Boll. Sal.” 1925, p. 85)- cfr. Index

1936: Mazzarello declared Venerable

She was the cofoundress with Don Bosco, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. (CD, 182)

1959: John XXIII at Cinecitta, Rome

The Holy Father came to venerate the relics of Don Bosco brought from Turin for the occasion of the blessing of the church dedicated to the saint. (cfr. “Boll. Sal.” 1959, June)

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