November 25

1856: Death of Mamma Margaret

After having lived with her son for ten years in the primitive Pinardi Ilouse in utter poverty, Mamma Margaret died at the age of 68. Margaret, realizing how ill she really was, wanted to leave her last counsels to her sons. When she was alone with Don Bosco. she said to him: “What I am going to tell you now, I’ll say as sincerely as if I were in confession in order thatyou May know ‘‘1441111 better how things stand at the Oratory. Freely trust those who are working with you in the Lord’s vineyard….keep in mind that many are seeking their own interest rather than God’s glory. I must depart and leave my chores to others. This may cause some difficulties, but Our Lady will not fail to assist you. Da not seek pomp or splendor in your work. Seek only the glory of God and let the foundation of your work be true poverty. Some people here preach poverty to others but do not practice it themselves. The best way to teach is to practice what one says. Let your relatives stay as they are – poor; they will get along best that way.” (BM V, 371) In obedience to his mother’s explicit request, Don Bosco went back to his room, but he did not retire. It was November 25. Some moments later, she entered into her agony. At three in the morning Don Bosco heard Joseph coming toward his room. His mother had gone to heaven. The two brothers looked at each other silently and then burst into tears that were heartrending to a few clerics and others who had followed Joseph. (BM V, 373) In remembrance of the death of this mother of the first salesians, in all the salesian houses a Mass is offered on this day for the deceased parents of salesians. (cfr. Reg.76)

1864: Never waste time

Another means to acquire knowledge is never to lose a moment of time. Time, my dear sons, is precious. Devote to your studies all the time you are assigned for them. Do not look for excuses to skip classes. It is a sorry sight to see boys pretending to be sick or trying to extort permission to wriggle out of this duty. Likewise, do not read for leisure when you should be studying or doing your homework. Checkyour imagination, too. A boy may appear lost in his books while actually he is not. His mind is miles away. He is smiling because he is thinking about winning games or perhaps about tidbits in his locker, a book he wants to buy, tricks or pranks he has in mind, and so on. I hope that nobody will be thinking of offending God. Resolve, therefore, not to waste time. (BM 481)

1951: Death of Ricaldone (1870-1951)

Father Peter Ricaldone had the good fortune to speak with Don Bosco when a student at the school of Borgo San Martino. He made his novitiate in 1889 at Valsalice where he made acquaintance with Venerable Andrew Beltrami and Ven.Augustus Czartoryski. After the novitiate he was sent to Spain where he worked in the Oratory at Seville and became the provincial of Spain in 1901. He visited the Americas and the East as extraordinary Visitor. In 1932 he was elected Superior General of the Society and remained in office till his death in 1951. He gave a great impetus to the catechetical movement, visited the formation houses and the professional schools and wrote several booklets on salesian spirituality. (Oraz. fun.) 

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