September 18

1870: Past pupil archbishop

Joseph Gamba was a pupil of the Oratory for a year. He wanted to become a salesian, but Don Bosco advised him to enter the seminary, because his widowed mother was living all alone. One September 18,1870, fifteen-year-old Joseph Gamba of Damiano d’Asti entered the Oratory. In time he was ordained a priest, became vicar general of his own native diocese, then bishop of Biella and Novara, and presently is our beloved and revered archbishop of Turin and a cardinal. (BM x, 12) When Joseph Gamba’s mother died, he was already bishop of Biella. Hence it was impossible to come back to Don Bosco.

1872: Life-Span fifty

Speaking about health-care, Father Berto remarked that it was time that Don Bosco looked after himself! The saint countered: “My life span was set at fifty. People prayed and keep praying for me. These additional years are an alms to me: the more generous the alms,the better is to be the use they are put to.” (BM x, 471)

1876: Patience hope, obedience

Concluding the spiritual retreat Don Bosco spoke on patience, hope and obed ience:
patience I speak of is the patience we need to carry out our duties well, to keep our rules perfectly, and to meet our responsibilites with exactness. This is the patience I speak of. Superiors and confreres all need it, and the occasions are myriad. Patience in plentiful supply is necessary…. I know that they will a thousand times be tempted to cut a person down or tell him to get lost or whatever. But this is just the time that he needs vast resources of patience or, better, boundless charity seasoned with St. Francis de Sales’ recipe: kindness and meekness….Be truly zealous and strive to do good in every way, but always with kindness and patience …. patience come from a Latin word patior which means to feel pain, to put up with, to endure, to control oneself…. I too know how much it costs. Don’t think that is the world’s easiest thing to have to interview people all day long to sit at a desk all evening to handle business and write letter. Believe me, I’d often like to go out for a breath of fresh air….but I also have to take matters with holy patience…. Do you think that it is easy for me to keep calm when, after entrusting an important or urgent task to someone, I find that task not done or badly botched? Believe me, sometimes my blood boils and I am about to burst…” (BM XII, 329-330)

1877: Count Cays vested

He was vested with the clerical garb by Don Bosco at Lanzo on September 18, 1877, but he had already begun his theology studies three months before under Father Vespignani…Count Cays himself, of course, was already well read in religious topics, since he had strongly concentrated on apologetics so as to discharge with honour his duties as a Catholic representative in the anticlerical sub-Alpine parliament… (BM XIII, 163) 

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