October 8

1848: Chapel in Joseph’s house

One of the roms of Don Bosco’s brother Joseph’s house was converted into a chapel. The saint celebrated Mass whenever he came up with his boys for a holiday. (cfr. BM III, 313-314)

1864: First meeting with Mary Mazzarello

During one of his autumn outings, Don Bosco met Mary Mazzarello for the first time. The Lord destined (her) to be the first mother general of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Father Pestarino had eagerly insisted that Don Bosco visit Mornese, particularly to bless this girls’ sodality, which he now warmly urged him to adopt as his own spiritual family. Noting their excellent spirit, their piety, and their mutual charity, as well as the great deal of good they were doing for Mornese’s girls, Don Bosco consented and gave them his blessing. (13N4 VII, 450) Mary Mazzarello (1837-1881), the oldest of seven children, grew up in a hardworking, devout, peasant family. At fifteen she consecrated her life to God by a perpetual vow of purity. In 1855 she was among the first to join the Daughters of Mary Immacu-late. Until she was twenty-three, she worked on the farm; then, stricken by typhoid fever contracted in assisting the sick, she came very near to death, but recovered. In 1864 she met Don Bosco who quickly realized her worth and founded his hopes on her for a congregation of sisters to give girls a thorough Christian educationi fis dream was realized in 1872 when Mary Mazzarello became co-foundress and first mother general of the “Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.” She held this office till her death in 1881. Her cause of beatification was introduced in 1923; she was declared blessed in 1938 and a saint in 1951.” (BM VII, 450 footnote)

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