November 3

1824: In the School of Father Lacqua

Father Lacqua was reluctant to accept John Bosco into his school since the latter was not a resident of Capriglio. But the Lord ordained events in such a way that John could study at Capriglio. Father Lacqua took Marianne Occhiena. Margaret’s sister, as his housekeeper. She (Marianne) immediately beseeched the chaplain to accept John at his school. He could not refuse his new house keeper, whom he already knew to be a reliable and very religious woman. So he agreed to teach the boy free of charge. Aunt Marianne, who cleared the way for little John’s elementary schooling, served the revered chaplain until his dying day. A spinster, she ended her days in the Oratory of St.Francis de Sales, putting her charitable activity in the service of the youngsters who were sheltered there. (BM I, 75)

1831: My life for the young

On the day after All Souls’s Day, Mamma Margaret gave John some Wheat and maize and sent him off to Chieri, for his schooling. I k was to lodge with Lucia Malta. On the way to Chieri he was accompanied by John Filippa┬░. There was an interesting conversation between the Iwo: “and you already know so much? Soon you’ll he a pastor!” Looking at him intently, Bosco replied: “Pastor?… Do you know what it means to be a Pastor? I want to itudy because I want to give my whole life to the care of young boys.”(Bm I, 186)

1831: The dreamer

In addition to his intelligence and memory, John hadyet another secret talent: he was a dreamer. In fact he was nicknamed, The Dreamer. One night John dreamed that his teacher had given a monthly tat to determine class rank and that he was doing it. The moment he awoke, he jumped out of bed, wrote out the text, a Latin passage that very morning the teacher did give a test, and it was the same Latin passage John had dreamed about! Thus quite quickly and without needing a dictionary, he translated it as he had done after awaking from his dream
On another occasion John handed in his test so quickly that the teacher seriously doubted that the boy could have managed all its grammatical problems in such a short a time. So he went over the test very carefully. He was amazed to find it totally correct and asked to sec his first draft. John gave it to him and again the teacher was speechless He confessed: “I dreamed it.” (BM 1,189-190)

1831: Society dell’ allegria

his was founded among his school-mates with the idea of spreading healthy cheerfulness and preventing had conversation. It was like a club of their own and they started calling it Societa dell’Allegria, a most appropriate name because each one was expected to bring in only those books, topics or games that would add to the general cheerfulness. Everything contrary to it was banned. especially anything not in accordance with God’s law… By common consent membership in this club was dependent upon two basic conditions: (1) the avoidance of every word and deed unbecoming a Christian: (2) the exact fulfillment of one’s duties whether scholastic or religious. (BM I. 194-193)

1831: School lee exemption

The Municipality had at that time the praiseworthy custom of exempting from a school !cc of 12 lire one student at least in each class. To (waitf v for this exemption one had to receive top marks in the’ examination and in deportment. John was fortunate enough to win this award every year he attended that school. in our archives we have his diploma dated August 22, 1833, and signed by Father Sibilla, the dean of studies…(BM I, 208 )

1841: At the Convitto

The long summer vacation was drawing to a close and Father John had to plan for his future lie had three otters. The first was that of tutor in a wealth Genoese family with a salary of 10th) lire a year…. The second offer was a chaplaincy in his native Morialdo, with an increase in the customary salary. In their anxiety to have him stab and Lilco children. the villagers were even willing to double it. the thrid offer was that of curate at Castelnuovo, where Don Bosco WaS very popular with the people and much loved by Father Cinzano.. .He(Don Bosco) went to Turin to seek the advice eat Fathet Joseph Calasso, in order to understand God’s will and act accordingly…. Father Calasso replied, “What you should do is perfect yourself in moral theology and homiletics. For the time being, decline all offers and come here to study.” (BM :10-31)

1841: Cassock-cloth too thin

A few days after his entry into Convitto Ecclesiastico, Don Bosco visited “The Little House of Divine Providence” conducted by Canon Cottolengo. After his tour of the place Don Bosco was about to take leave when Canon Cottolengo, fingering the sleeves of his cassock, remarked: “This material is too thin, and light. Get yourself one of a stronger and more durable fabric, so that boys may get hold of it without tearing it… A time will come when a lot of people will pull at it!” (BM II. 52-53)

1846: Take this watch

After three months of convalescence at Becchi Don Bosco decided to return to Valdocco with his mother. Mamma Margaret’s little grand children could not control their tears when they saw her at the door, about to leave. The brave woman comforted them by promising to see them again soon, then disengaging herself from their arms, she set out for Turin with her son, on foot…. When they reached Chieri, they took a brief rest visiting the lawyer Vallimberti, a friend of the Bosco family. After a bite to eat, they resumed their journey, reaching Turin by evening. When they came to the so-called Rondo…. They met Father John Vola, Jr, another dedicated priest of Turin. As soon as he saw Don Bosco, he hastened to greet him…. “and I am all for you. Only I ‘m sorry I don’t have a cent with me: but here, take this for now,” and as he said this he took out his watch and handed it to Don Bosco… Don Bosco thanked him, then turned to his mother and said: “What better proof could we have that Divine Providence is looking after us! So, let us confidently continue our way.” (BM II, 406-409 passim)

1862: How is your mother

Don Bosco boarded the train at Bra with Father Savio. He told his companion an amusing incident which happened to him some time earlier while travelling along the same line. One day Don Bosco happened to travel with a rich countess in the same coach. The following conversation took place between them: “…And with whom do I have the honor of speaking?” “I am Countess X “Oh, I’m delighted to meet you. And how is your mother?” “My mother? It’s been some time since Our Lord called her to Himself.” “Impossible! Just a few weeks ago I heard that she was perfectly well.” “Perhaps you are mistaken. I am the mother countess.” “I would never have believed it!’ Don Bosco exclaimed. “You look so young and healthy that I may well be excused for my error.” “Well,” the countess said, visibly gratified, “I take care of myself. I have never indulged in excesses, and that’s why I enjoy such good health.” “I will pray that the Lord will keep you so for many more years,” Don Bosco rejoined. They kept talking until Don Bosco had to get off. From then on Countess X…. was an enthusiastic supporter of Don Bosco and she helped him until her death. (BM VII, 184)

1896: Golden Jubilee at Turin

A solemn feast was held at Valdocco on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the salesian work there (cfr. CDB, 419; No.1139)

1896: Watch-maker’s gift

In memory of Father Vola’s watch, a watch-rnaker of Turin presented a wall-clock for the belfry of the church of St. Francis of Sales. (cfr. CDB, 419)

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