May 30

1845: Hand of God

The death of Father Tesio’s housekeeper was foretold by Don Bosco. One grave was hardly filled when another had to be dug. Father Tesio’s housekeeper followed him two days later, (May 30), stricken in the same manner. The week was not over and both these adversaries of the Oratory had disappeared from this earth… It was impossible not to see the Hand of God in all this, and the boys were so intimately convinced, that instead of straying from Don Bosco, they became more warmly attached both to him and to the Oratory. (BM II, 226)

1855: Don Bosco gained a friend

Don Bosco met one of the four priests who had advised the King to sign the law of confiscation of ecclesiastical properties. At first the canon was greatly offended at Don Bosco’s relentless stand on the question. But the latter was able to win him over little by little. Don Bosco refuted each of these false arguments and left the canon greatly perplexed and shaken. Finally, the canon walked off, deeply incensed. It was not long, however, before he became a lifelong friend and benefactor of Don Bosco. The secularistic education he had received in his youth had so darkened his mind that he had been unable to see the truth. (BM V, 157)

1862: The two columns

Don Bosco dreamt that he was on a cliff in an immense ocean. A stately flag-ship escorted by a flotilla escort was attacked by a fleet of enemy ships. All on a sudden two solid columns came out of the waves soaring high into the sky: one was surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin at whose feet a large inscription read, “Help of Christians”. The other, far loftier and sturdier, supported a Host of proportionate size and bore the inscription: “Salvation of believers.” The flagship commander – the Roman Pontiff – …standing at the helm…strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns from whose summits hang many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains. The entire enemy fleet closed in to intercept and sink the flag-ship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons…suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded…struck down a second time, dies…another takes his place…Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ship safely between the two columns and moors it to the two columns…At this point, something unex-pected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other. Some auxiliary ships which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship are the first to tie at the two columns. Many others…head for the two columns, tie up at the swinging hooks, and ride safe and tranquil beside their flagship. A great calm now covers the sea…the flagship sy mnhli7pc the Church commanded by the Pope; the ships represented mankind; the sea is an image of the world. The flagship’s defenders are the laity loyal to the Church; the attackers are her enemies who strive with every weapon to destroy her. The two columns, I’d say, symbolize devotion to Mary and the Blessed Sacrament. (BM VII, 107-108)

1865: Gifts for Our Lady

On May 30th, Don Bosco narrated the following dream to his boys during the “Good Night” talk: Everyone carried gifts, mostly flowers, to Our Lady. The bou-quets differed in size and kind. There were bouquets of roses, carnations, violets and so on. Some boys carried very odd presents, such as pigs’ heads, cats, slimy toads, rabbits, lambs and so on…As you boys presented your gifts, he (an angel) took each and placed it on the altar… When a boy carrying a pig’s head came up, the angel said to him. “How dare you offer this to Our Lady? Don’t you know that this animal symbolizes the ugly vice of impurity…” To those who offered a cat the angel said: “Don’t you know better? A cat represents theft, and you dare present it to Mary?”… He was equally indignant with boys offering toads. “Toads symbolize the shameful sin of scandal, and dare you offer them to Our Lady? Step aside. Join the unworthy ones…” Some lads came up with a knife stuck in their hearts, a symbol of sacrifice. “Don’t you realize that there is death in your soul?”… Eventually the rest of the boys reached the altar and presented their gifts – lambs, rabbits, fish, nuts, grapes and so on… The angel then addressed the boys as follows: “It was Our Lady’s wish that you should be crowned today with these beautiful roses. See to it that they may never be taken from you. Humility, obedience and chastity will safeguard them for you. With these three virtues you will always find favour with Mary and one day receive a crown infinitely more beautiful than that you wear today.” (BM VIII, 74-75)

1867: l’riceless treasure

In a dream Don Bosco was taken to three different meadows and shown the state of his boys’ conscience. …He took me to another area where I saw thousands of little lambs so weak that they could hardly move. The land was parched and grassless… the little things had suffered and were still suffering a great deal. Strangely, all sported thick, long horns like those of old rams, tipped with an appendage in the shape of an S… “This area of the plain (said the guide) is the Oratory; the lambs are your boys. The parched soil represents the state of sin; horns symbolize dishonour; the letter S stands for scandal”… while I listened…the lambs reared up on their hind legs, grew tall, and turned into boys…all were Oratory boys. …He led me to a far corner of the valley where hillocks and a thick hedge of dense foliage enclosed a vast, luxuriant meadow covered by patches of aromatic herbs of all kinds and dotted with wild flowers… Here I found a multitude of very happy youngsters… “at least you have these boys to console you,” my guide remarked.
“Who are they?” “Boys in the state of grace…never could have imagined such splendour”… He took me to another meadow carpeted with flowers…it looked like a royal garden. There were but few lads here, yet they were extraordinarily handsome and brilliant as to outshine and eclipse those I had shortly before admired. Some of those bo’s are here now; others are still to come. “These boys have preserved untainted the lily of purity,” my guide explained. “They will wear the spotless robe of innocence.” I stood entranced… “Tell the boys” (the guide told Don Bosco), “if they knew how highly and dearly God values baptismal innocence, they would make every sacrifice to preserve it. Tell them to be brave and to practise this fair virtue, which overrides all others in beauty and splendour. The chaste are lilies growing in God’s sight…” (BM VIII, 361-363)

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