November 23

1866: A Boy-prophet

Cardinal De Angelis was exiled from his archdiocese of Fermo and lived in Turin for six long years. During this period Don Bosco visited him on occasions and the two had established close ties. With a new wave of anticlericalism in government circles, there seemed to he little or no chance of the cardinal’s release in the near future. “Well, dear Don Bosco,” the cardinal greeted him, -have you any news of my future?” “Start packing, your Eminence, because you will soon he free to return to Ferinox ….. i t is true! Our Lady revealed this to one of our boys.** “Well, then, once I am released, I will go hack to my see, but only after I have called at the Oratory to return your visits and express my gratitude to Our Lady” the prediction was unexpectedly fulfilled November 23 turned out to be a solemn and joyful day for the Oratory boys. After saying Mass at Our Lady of consolation Shrine, the cardinal went to Valdocco and was ushered into the boy’s study hall…. (BM VIII, 235)

1927: Death of Father Branda (1842-1927)

John Branda entered the Oratory in 1868 at the age of 26 and was ordained a priest in 1873. He was sent to Spain in 1880. On that occasion Don Bosco told him, “Go to Utrera, but you will be there for only a short time. A Lady from Barcelona will call us and will provide the means for opening a large school there.” In fact, in 1885 Don Dorotea de Chopitea, as Don Bosco had predicated, wrote to him, and soon afterward work started on a technical school at Sarria, Barcelona. In 1889 Father Rua called him back to Italy to direct the St. Teresa Festive Oratory for girls in Chieri. The following year he was sent to Zurich and in 1908 to Lorraine to assist Italian immigrants. In 1918 he was recalled to the Oratory where he spent his last years as spiritual director to countless soul. Outstanding at all times was his love for Don Bosco, also because of extraordinary events he himself had witnessed. He died at the Oratory in 1927 at the age of eighty-five., (BM XV, 581) While he was at Sarria, Don Bosco appeared to him at night and asked him to send home some boys who were scandalous.

1956: Official recognition of Pius IX’s Body

Pope Pius IX died on February 7, 1878 (cfr. BM XIII, 371ff), but the official recognition of the body took place only on November 23, 1956. The ceremony was presided over by the ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Vicariate of Rome in the presence of priests, religious, descendants of the Mastai-Ferretti family and the salesian Procurator Father Castano. The body was found intact, though mummified. Pius IX was a salesian cooperator. (cfr. CDB, 440)

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