May 9

1837: Birth of Mazzarello

That year, God created two souls who were to become most valuable helpmates to this new father and teacher of youth: Mary Mazzarello and Michael Rua. Mary was born in the Mazzarello hamlet near Mornese, in Monferrato, on May 9, a likely gift of the Blessed Virgin in the month consecrated to Her; Michael was born in Turin, not far from the Valdocco meadows on June 9, conceivably a gift of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (BM X, 246)

1856: Rattazzi, Don Bosco’s benefactor!

Minister Urbano Rattazzi encouraged Don Bosco in his efforts to enlarge the Oratory. The undersigned heartily approves of the plans of the Rev. Don Bosco, director of the boys’ Oratory at Valdocco, for enlarging the existing premises in order to accommodate a greater number of destitute boys. The undersigned informs him that, to help him meet initial expenses, he has thought fit to assign him one thousand lire from the funds provided in the budget of this ministry, regretting that the present state of the treasury does not permit a more generous donation…Urbano Rattazzi, Minister. (BM V, 299)

1879: Work and Temperance

In a dream Don Bosco was given several valuable norms for the guidance of his sons and sound advice for the future of the Congregation. “For the Novices: Obedience in all things…through diligence they will fight and overcome the snares set by the enemies of their souls. For the Confreres: Jealously safeguard the virtue of chastity… For the Directors: Take every care, make every effort to observe and promote observance of the rules… For the Superior: Total self-sacrifice, so as to draw himself and his charges to God… The Salesians will harvest many vocations by their good example, by being endlessly kind towards their pupils, and by urging them constantly to receive Holy Communion often… When admitting novices, reject idlers and gluttons. And when admitting to the vows, make sure that they are well grounded in chastity… Missionaries, foster native vocations… Yes, but only as long as its members love work and temperance. Should either of these two pillars fall, your entire edifice will collapse and crush superiors, subjects and followers beneath it.” (UM XIV, 89)

1884: First cooperator

During his audience with Pope Leo XI II, Don Bosco renewed his request ill for privileges for the Salesian Society. The Holy Father was extremely kind with the saint and said: “I am your first Co-operator, and I am alsui an operator (worker). Finally he concluded saying: “Don Bosco, I love you, yes I love you, I love you!” (cfr. MB XVII, 97-107; XVIII, 350)

1908: He is not sick

A boy of the Oratory was about to be sent home because of a contagious eye sickness. Father. Rua placed his hands on his head and then told his Rector, “this boy can remain here, he is not sick at all!” (cfr. “Boll. Sal.” 1954, p. 123)

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