September 17

1872: Don Bosco’s death devil’s holiday

One day Father Betio remarked that the death of Don Bosco would be an irrepairable loss for the Oratory. The saint replied: “Well, if I were to die, good people would mourn me a while and then all would be over, while the devil would take a holiday because he would be rid of an enemy!” (BM X, 471)

1876: Dangers of vacation

At the end of the spiritual retreat for confreres at Lanzo Don Bosco spoke to them about fidelity to the vows and the dangers of holidays. He said: “I have not yet come across one who could say on returning from a vacation at home, ‘Oh, how much good this visit, this vacation, has done for my soul!’ I assure you that no one in all these years has ever managed to sink deep roots of virtue while at home with his parents or drawn any spiritual benefit from such a vacation. Going home brings about no good, regardless of one’s best intentions.
Let me tell you of a recent experience. A fine young man asked to go home for a visit. ‘I want to draw my brother to the congregation,’ he said, ‘and take my sister to Mornese and thus place my whole family under the protection of Mary, Help of Christians.’ Knowing this lad’s inconstancy, I tried to dissuade him, but he went went anyway. Waiting for him to return was useless. Then I met an acquaintance of his who told me that this young man was having a wild time with no thought of returning.” (BM XII, 327)

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