September 13

1862: Some of the Oratory boys will be canonized

One could always learn something just by staying close Don Bosco. His conversations- at times even just one word – were a great spur to virtue. The Bonetti chronicles has this entry under September 13: “After dinner one day, we had crowded about him, anxious to hear some choice advise. When the conversation shifted to ways and means to holiness, some of us remarked that all true servants of God had lived and practised penance, as our own Dominic Savio had done. Don Bosco dwelt on the topic at length, citing example after example, and then concluded, ‘I can tell you this. Some of our own Oratory boys will be raised to the honours of the altar. If Dominic Savio continues to work miracles as he has been doing so far, I have no doubt at all that, if I’m still living and able to promote his cause, the Church will permit his cult at least in the Oratory.’ …At this point Don Bosco asked… ‘What do you think is the easiest way we can become saints?’ Several voiced their opinions. Don Bosco listened and then remarked, `the easiest way is this: to see God’s will in all our superiors command us and in all that befalls us in our life’.” (BM VII, 152)

1869: Two saints preach a retreat

The first spiritual retreat for Salesians began on Monday, September 13 (1869), with Don Bosco preaching the instructions and Father Rua handling the meditations. The retreats consisted of several priests, many clerics, coadjutors, students, and artisans who aspired to join the Salesian Society. (BM IX, 330)

1870: No reason to dispense

A young confrere who had asked Don Bosco for dispensation from the vows, was greatly consoled by a letter from the saint. He wrote: “You will always feel restless and, I might say, unhappy too until you practise the obedience you promised and put yourself fully under your superiors’ guidance. So far devil has cruelly harassed you, urging you to do the opposite. Your letter and our conversations do not suggest any reason for dispensing you from your vows… Put full trust in me as I have always done with you, not in words but in deeds, with a firm will and humble, prompt, and limitless obedience. These are the things to make you happy here and in eternity; they will truly comfort me…” (BM IX, 438)
These few lines had their effect.

1873: The gift of memory

Father Peter Rocca of Volvera (Italy) died. He entered the Oratory as a seventeen-year-old boy. As a simple country-lad he was the butt of light-minded companions, though he never complained. He was a slow learner, with a slack memory. Due to these handicaps and his weak grasp of the fundamentals of Latin, he often did not know his lesson, notwithstanding all his efforts…he often prayed to Our Lady, whom he most tenderly loved. His prayerwas heard. One morning…Rocca walked into the classroom more cheerful then usual…he candidly replied that Our Lady had appeared to him that night and granted him the gift of memory….When his teacher, John Baptist Francesia, called on him to recite the lesson, he astonished all by a faultless recitation. From that day on he never again had trouble with his studies. (BM VI, 450-451)

1887: Don Bosco to guard Valsalice

Don Bosco told Father Barberis that he would soon come to guard the house of Valsalice. He was referring to his burial there on 6 February 1888 (cfr. MB XVIII, 384)

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