November 17

1854: Apostate priest helped

Don Bosco wrote to De Sanctis, an apostate priest, offering him food and shelter at the Oratory. “…According to the papers you appear to be in trouble with the Waldensians. If so, I offer you the hospitality of the Oratory, if you wish it. Why? So that you may do whatever the Lord may inspire you to do. I offer you a modest room and board without the least obligation on your part…” (BM V, 89-90) “However, the poor apostate could not bring himself to break his shameful ties. Some years later he suffered a stroke and died almost instantly, whispering to the companion of his sinful life: `I’m dying!’ Let us hope that in those last moments of his life he was able to make an act of contrition.” (BM V, 94)

1881: Follow the Pope

Subsequent to a discussion on philosophical systems between Father Bertello and Bishop Ferre, of Casale of calmly: Rosminianism, the latter asked Don Bosco’s opinion. The saint replied “As a religious superior I wouldlike to leave my confreres a legacy they can follow as a guideline, regardless of the circumstances they may find themselves in… I notice that when it comes to philosophy or theology some philosophers and theologians hold a theory which they judge best while others claim that the very opposite is better. Both theories have learned supporters, but one of them has also the affirmation of the Pope. As a prudent superior what am Ito say to my religious? What path should I counsel them to take? Without hesitation I say: My sons, follow the theory favoured by the Pope even as a private philosopher, theologian, and scholar. In addition to showing my respect for the Pope, I also feel I would be on safer ground; I would either not err or I would err with honour!” (BM xv, 368-69)

1891: Rua’s nominee for the Archdiocese

After the death of Card.Alimonda (+30 May 1891), the Archdiocese was vacant for several months. Card.Parocchi, Secretary of State asked Father Rua ‘s opinion and he wrote to Pope Leo XIII proposing the name of Mgr.Dav id Riccardi di Netro, bishop of Novara, for the Archdiocese of Turin. (cfr. Annali II, p. 233)

1939: Death of Cottrino

Once Don Bosco predicted that the name of the one who was to die next began with the letter ‘F’ and Francis Cottrino was very much troubled. The Saint consoled him calling him “My old friend.” But Father Francis got the hint only on the day of the Golden Jubilee of his ordination. In a third prophecy Don Bosco told him that he would always remain with him. In fact after being Rector in many houses he was the confessor of the novitiate of Villa Moglia where he was an example of perfect observance. He was esteemed as a living relic of Don Bosco! (Mortuary letter.)

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