November 24

1864: Means to study well

Don Bosco gave five consecutive “Good Nights” on studies: The first means for learning is fear of God Initium sapientiae timor Domini. Do you really want to learn and succeed splendidly in your studies? Fear the Lord and beware of offending Him because “wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins” (Wis 1 :4)… How could Godbe expected to help in their studies those who insult Him so grievously? Genuine scholars like St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis de Sales never offended God. Experience proves continually that those who succeed in their studies are those who avoid sin… If the Lord has permitted an evil person – though His foe – to become learned, he will suffer all the more, for by misusing these gifts he will call upon himself greater punishment and malediction. (BM VII, 480-481)

1887: Last clothing

Don Bosco was present for the last time for the clothing of novices. Ven.Augustus Czartoryski and Natale Noguier of Malijay, and two others (one Polish and the other English) received the habit from Don Bosco. Rua who preached took as his text, your sons shall come from far” (Is 60:4). (cfr. MB XVIII, 40)

1927: Death of Barberis (1847-1927)

Father Julius Barberis was born at Mathi (Turin) on June 7, 1847. He made his first vows in 1865. Ordained in 1870, he attended the University of Turin and earned his doctoral degree in Theology in 1873. The following year Don Bosco personally appointed him novice master, a position he held for twenty-five years. As master he formed a veritable host of young men into zealous, hard working salesians who looked up to him for inspiration and guidance, among them the servants of God Andrew Beltrami and August Czartoryski. Don Bosco utilized his experience in setting up novitiates throughout Europe. From 1892 to 1900 he was a member of the superior chapter. From 1902 to 1911 he was provincial of the central province and in 1910 was named spiritual director of the Congregation, a position he held to his death on November 24, 1927. Truly a man of God, gifted with enviable simplicity and extraordinary goodness, he mirrored the fatherliness of Don Bosco to all his novices. His Vade Mecum, the first textbook on Salesian spirituality, is still a valuable introduction to religious life. (BM XIV, 560) 

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