Don Bosco

San Giovanni Bosco, Consacrati a Dio per la sua gloria e la salvezza dei giovani


An anthology

Introduction and notes by ALDO GIRAUDO






This third part is divided into six sections:

  1. The spirit that must animate Salesian consecrated persons (pp. 141-153).
  2. Rules for Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (pp. 154-167).
  3. Circular letters on religious perfection (pp. 168-179).
  4. Spiritual counsels in personal correspondence with Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (pp. 180-188).
  5. Spiritual Conferences to the Salesians (pp. 189-198).
  6. Dreams related to Salesian religious perfection (pp. 199-215).


In the spiritual exercises of September 1869, after the pontifical approval of the Congregation, Don Bosco for the first time in a global way presented his vision of the consecrated life to the Salesians. The notes written on that occasion, extensively revised, serve as the basis for the preparation of the instruction To the Salesian members, which introduces the first Italian translation of the Constitutions or Rules of the Society of St. Francis of Sales (1875), then refined and considerably enhanced, with the collaboration of the novice master, Don Giulio Barberis, for the third edition of the Constitutions (1885). Of this latest version we report the beginning and the central part, which best represents Don Bosco's thought on Salesian consecration.

To the Salesian Members


Our Constitutions, or very beloved children in Jesus Christ, were definitively approved by the Holy See on 3 April 1874.

This fact must be hailed by us as one of the most glorious for our Congregation, like the one that assures us that in the observance of our Rules we rely on stable, secure, and, we can say, even infallible bases, judgment being infallible of the supreme head of the Church who sanctioned them.

But whatever merit it brings with it, this approval would return of little fruit if these Rules were not known and faithfully observed. He is precisely to ensure that the same can easily be learned from each one, read, meditate and then practice, which I consider good to present to you translated from their original. The Latin text was printed separately. Here you will have the Rules common to all Salesian members.

I also believe it is useful to note to you some practical things, which will facilitate the knowledge of the spirit, of which the Rules are informed and will help you to observe them with diligence, and love. I speak with the language of the heart, and I briefly explain what the experience makes me judge as appropriate for your spiritual profit and for the benefit of our entire Congregation.

Means to guard the vocation


The vocation to the religious state can be considered as the precious pearl of the Gospel that we must guard very jealously and with every diligence.3

1 P. BRADO, Traits of Salesian religious life in the writing "To the Salesian Members" of Don Bosco of 1877/1885. Introduction and critical texts, "Salesian Historical Researches" 14 (1995) 112.

2 Ibid., 120-125.

3 Cf Mt 13, 45-46.

Dr. Sant 'Alfonso proposes the practice of three means in order not to lose it and they are: Secrecy, prayer and meditation.' Here, then, is what St. Alphonsus says: "First, universally speaking, we must keep the vocation secret to all, except the spiritual director, since others ordinarily do not scruple to tell the poor young people called to the religious state that in every part, even in the world, one can serve God. Yes, in every place God can be used by one who is not called to religion, but not by one who is called and wants to remain in the world; he will hardly make a good life and serve God. [...]

Secondly it must be assumed that these vocations are preserved only by prayer. Whoever leaves the prayer will certainly leave the vocation. It takes prayer and much prayer; and therefore do not allow yourself to do morning and evening about half an hour of prayer. Do not allow yourself to visit the Blessed Sacrament and Mary most holy every day without fail, to obtain perseverance in your vocation. And don't let the religious communicate often times during the week. Meditate often on the point of vocation, considering how great is the grace that God has given him by calling him to himself. The more he will secure his eternal health, the more he is faithful to God in carrying out his vocation. At the encounter with how much danger you will expose yourself to damn if it is infidelity.

Thirdly, you need recollection, which cannot be achieved without withdrawing from secular conversations and entertainment. What does it take to lose the vocation, according to the century? Anything. A day of fun will be enough, a saying of a friend, a little mortified passion, a pander, a thought of fear, a regret that has not been overcome. Whoever does not abandon pastimes must persuade himself that he will no doubt lose his vocation. He will remain with the remorse of not having performed it, but certainly will not perform it. Oh how many for lack of this attention they have lost the vocation and then the soul! ». So far St. Alphonsus doctor of Holy Church.

You will


The first time Pope Pius IX spoke of the Salesian Society he said these words: "Vows are necessary in a congregation or religious society, so that all members may be bound by a bond of conscience with the superior and the superior keep himself and his subjects linked with the head of the Church, and consequently with God himself ».

4 This chapter and act by AM DE LIGUOIU, Opuscoli relativos allo religio, in ascetic works of S. Alfonso Maria de 'Liguori, vol. IV, Torino, Giacinto Marietti 1847, pp. 400-404 (op. I, § 2).

5 P. BRAIDO, Traits of Salesian religious life in the writing "To the Salesian Members", 129-130.

Our vows can therefore be called as many spiritual cords, with which we consecrate ourselves to the Lord and put into power of the superior his own will, substances, our physical and moral strength, so that among all of us we make one heart and one soul, to promote the greater glory of God, according to our Constitutions, as he invites us to do the Church, when he says in his prayers: So that one is the faith of minds and the piety of actions.6

The votes are a generous offer with which the merit of our works is greatly increased. St. Anselm teaches that a good work without a vow is like the fruit of a plant. Whoever does it by vow, with the fruit offers God the same plant. S. Bonaventura resembles the work done without voting for the offer of income, but not for capital. With the vote, he then offers himself to God and income and capital. Moreover, the holy Fathers unanimously teach that every action done by vote has double merit; one is the merit of the good work, the other is the merit of having carried out the vote made.

The act of issuing religious vows, according to what St. Thomas teaches us, restores baptismal innocence, that is, places us in a state as if we had then received baptism. The doctors of Holy Church are also used to compare religious vows with martyrdom, saying that so much is the merit of those who cast their vows as those who receive martyrdom; because, they say, what in the vows lacks intensity is supplied by the duration.

But if the religious vows increase in such a way the merit of our works and make them so dear to God, we must give ourselves the utmost care to perform them well.

Whoever does not feel like observing them, must not emit them or at least postpone their issue, until in their hearts they feel a firm resolution to maintain them. Otherwise he makes a foolish and unfaithful promise to God, which cannot but displease him: Because the Holy Spirit says, God displeases the foolish and unfaithful promise. " We therefore prepare ourselves well for this heroic consecration; but when he has made it, let us try to keep it even at the cost of a long and grave sacrifice: fulfill the promises made to the Most High God, so he himself commands us. "



In the true obedience lies the complex of all the virtues, says St. Jerome. All religious perfection consists in the suppression of one's own will, that is to say in the practice of obedience: thus St. Bonaventure.

Note 6 nell'originale "That is one of faith and duty actions, a 5 Monday after Easter".

7 Qo 5, 3.

8 Ps 50, 14.

9 P. BRAIDO, Traits of Salesian religious life in the writing "To the Salesian Members", 130-132.

The obedient man, the Holy Spirit says, will sing the victory. ° St. Gregory the Great concludes that obedience leads to the possession of all other virtues and preserves them all.

But this obedience must be according to the example of the Savior, who practiced it even in the most difficult things, up to death on the cross; and, if so much the glory of God wanted, we must also obey to the point of giving life.11

Therefore, both the express orders of superiors and the rules of the Congregation and special customs of each house should be performed well. And, sometimes happening to fall into a foul, you know in a nice way to apologize to those who disobeyed. This act of humility benefits immensely from having forgiveness for failure to do so, from obtaining grace from the Lord for the future and for keeping us on our guard, because we do not repeat that phallus again.

St. Paul the Apostle, while recommending this virtue, adds: Be obedient to your superiors: and be subjected to their orders; because the superiors must watch, as if they were to God to account for the things that concern the good of your souls. Obey willingly and promptly, so that they may perform the office of superiors with joy and not between moans and sighs.12

Note well that doing the things we like and returning are not true, it is not true obedience, but it is secondary to one's will. The true obedience that makes us dear to God and to the superiors, consists in doing whatever is commanded us by our Constitutions, or by our superiors themselves; because, writes St. Paul, God loves the cheerful giver "It also consists in showing us yielding even in the most difficult and contrary to our self-love and in performing them courageously even if it costs us pain and sacrifice. In these cases obedience is more difficult, but much more meritorious and leads us to the possession of the kingdom of heaven according to these words of the divine Redeemer: The kingdom of heaven is acquired by force, and is prey to those who use violence.14

If you carry out the obedience in the aforementioned way, I can ascertain in the name of the Lord that you will pass a truly peaceful and happy life in the Congregation. But at the same time I must note that from the day when you want to do not according to obedience, but according to your will, from that day you will begin to find yourself no happier than your state. And if in the various religions there are also malcontents and those to whom the life of the community succeeds, we observe well and we will see that this comes from the lack of obedience and subjection of our own will. On the day of your discontent, reflect at this point and know how to remedy it.

10 Cf Pr 21, 28. " Cf Fil 2, 8.

12 Cf Eb 13, 17.

13 2 Cor 9: 7.

14 Mi 11, 12.



If we do not leave the world for love, we will have to leave it one day for strength. Those other than in the course of mortal life abandon it with a spontaneous act, they will have a hundredfold of thanks in the present life and an eternal reward in the future life. Those who on the contrary cannot resolve to make this sacrifice voluntarily, will have to do it by force on the point of death, but without reward, indeed with the obligation to render to God a strict account of those substances which he had possessed by chance.

It is true that our Constitutions allow the possession and use of all civil rights; but entering the Congregation it is no longer possible to administer or dispose of one's own things, except with the consent of the superior and within the limits established by him, as a sign that in the Congregation he is considered literally as if he possessed nothing, having become poor to become rich with Jesus Christ. He followed the example of the Savior, who was born in poverty, lived in the deprivation of all things and died stripped on the cross.

Let us listen to what the divine master says: "Whoever does not renounce all that he possesses is not worthy of me, he cannot be my disciple". "6 To such a person who wanted to follow him," Go, he said, sell before how much you have in the century, give it to the poor, then come, follow me, and you will have secured a treasure in heaven "?" He told his disciples that they did not possess more than one garment, nor did they think of what it took to make a living in the course of their preaching.18 In fact, we do not read that Jesus, his apostles, or any of his disciples, have in particular possessed campaigns, houses, furnishings, clothes, provisions or the like. And St. Paul clearly says that the followers of Christ wherever they go, whatever they do,

Everything that exceeds food and clothing for us is superfluous and contrary to the religious vocation. It is true that sometimes we will have to tolerate some discomfort in travel, work, health or sickness; sometimes we will have food, clothing or other things that will not be to our taste; but precisely in these cases we must remember that we have made a profession of poverty and that if we want to have merit and reward we must bear the consequences. Let us beware of a kind of poverty highly blamed by St. Bernard. There are those, he says, who glory in being called poor, but they do not want the companions of poverty. Others are happy to be poor as long as they do not miss anything.

15 P BRAIDO, Traits of Salesian religious life in the writing "To the Salesian Members", 132-134,

16 Lk 14, 33.

17 Mt 19, 21-22.

18 Cf Lc 9, 3.

19 1 Tm 6, 8.

Therefore, if our state of poverty is the cause of some inconvenience or suffering, let us rejoice with St. Paul, who declares himself full of joy in all his tribulations.20 Or we do like the apostles who were full of contentment when they returned from the Sanhedrin , because there had been made worthy to suffer contempt for the name of Jesus.21 He is precisely to this kind of poverty, to which the divine Redeemer not only promises, but ensures heaven, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, because of these it is the kingdom of heaven.22 Indeed, to live in such a state, to willingly inhabit an uncomfortable room or furnished with furnishings of little importance, to wear modest clothes, to use cheap food greatly honors those who have taken a vow of poverty, because they makes it similar to Jesus Christ.

It is also part of poverty not to break down, to take care of books, clothes, shoes; as well as not being ashamed of using objects or wearing old clothes, or patched, or already a bit worn.


2. 3

The supremely necessary virtue, great virtue, angelic virtue, to which all others are crowned, is the virtue of chastity. Who possesses this virtue can apply the words of the Holy Spirit which are: And all the goods came to me together.24 The Savior assures us that those who possess this priceless treasure, even in mortal life become similar to the angels of God. 25 But this white lily, this precious rose, this priceless pearl is much threatened by the enemy of our souls, because he knows that, if he succeeds in capturing us, we can say that the affair of our sanctification is ruined. The light changes in the haze, the flame in charcoal black, the angel of the sky has turned into satanasso, so every virtue is lost. Here, my dear ones, I believe doing something very useful to your souls, noticing some things which, put into practice, they will bring you great advantage, indeed I seem to be able to assure you that they will keep this and all the other virtues. So you feel:

1 ° Do not enter the Congregation, unless you have been advised by a prudent person who judges you to be able to preserve this virtue.

2) Avoid familiarity with people of another sex, nor do you ever contract particular friendships with young boys from divine Providence to our entrusted care. Charity and good manners with everyone, but never sensitive attachment to anyone. O love no one or love everyone equally, says St. Jerome in this regard.

20 Cf 2 Cor 7, 4.

21 Cf At 5,41.

22 Mt 5, 3.

23 P. BRAIDO, Traits of Salesian religious life in the writing "To the Salesian Members", 135-137.

24 Sap 7, 11.

25 Cf Mt 22, 20.

3rd After the evening prayers, go immediately to rest and no longer talk to anyone until the morning after the holy mass.

4 ° Keep the body's senses in check. The Holy Spirit makes it clear that the body is the oppressor of the soul.26 Therefore St. Paul strove to subdue it with severe punishments, although he was broken by toil, and wrote: I punish my body and reduce it to servitude. special temperance I recommend you to eat and drink. Wine and chastity cannot be together.

5th Dreadful rocks of chastity are the places, people and things of the century. Escape them with great care and keep away from them not only with the body, but with the mind and the heart. I do not remember having read, or having heard to tell that a religious has gone to his homeland and has brought back some spiritual advantage. On the contrary, there were thousands and thousands of them who, not being persuaded of it, wanted to make an experiment, but they felt bitter disillusionment, indeed not a few remained unhappy victims of their imprudence and rashness.

6. The triumphant of every vice and faithful guardian of chastity is the exact observance of our holy rules, especially of vows and practices of piety. The Christian religion can rightly be compared to a strong city, according to these words of Isaiah: Our city of fortitude is Zion: its wall and its parapet is the Savior. "Now the vows and rules of a religious community are as small advanced forts The wall, that is, bastions of religion, are the precepts of God and his Church.

To make them violate, the devil uses every industry and deception. But to induce the religious to transgress them, he procures before breaking down the parapet and the advanced strong, that is to say the rules or Constitutions of his own Institute. When the enemy of the soul wants to seduce a religious and push him to violate the divine precepts, he begins to make him neglect the smaller things, then those of greater importance; after which he very easily leads him to the violation of the law of the Lord, fulfilling what the Holy Spirit says: He who despises little things will gradually be ruined.29

Therefore, dear children, we are faithful in the exact observance of our rules, if we want to be faithful to the divine precepts, especially the sixth and the ninth.

26 Cf Sap 9, 15.

I Cor 9, 27.

28 Is 26, 1.

29 Sir 19, 1.

Our solicitude is then constantly and with special diligence directed to the exact observance of the practices of piety that are the foundation or support of all the religious Institutes, and we live like chats and angels.

Fraternal charity


One cannot love God without loving one's neighbor. The same precept that love for God imposes on us, imposes our love for our fellow man. In fact, let us read these words in the first letter of St. John the Evangelist: And this commandment was given to us by God, that those who love God also love their brother. And in the same place the same apostle warns us to be a liar who says he loves God and then hates his brother: If anyone says: I love God and hate his brother, he is a liar "

When this fraternal love reigns in a community and all the members love each other, and each one enjoys the good of the other, as if it were his own good, then that house becomes a paradise and the rightness of these words of the prophet David is proved: Oh, how good and sweet is she that the brothers are always united. "But as soon as you dominate self-love and there are breaks or disagreements among the members, that house soon becomes hell. The Lord is very pleased to see to live in his house the brothers in unum, that is united in a single will to serve God and to help each other with charity.This is the praise that St. Luke gives to the ancient Christians, that is, that everyone loved him thus from seem to have only one heart and one soul. "

The very thing that harms religious communities is the murmuring directly contrary to charity. The whisperer will smear his soul and will be hated by God and by men. "On the contrary, as a religious builds, who speaks well of his neighbor, and in due time knows how to excuse his faults! Proceed therefore to avoid every word of grumbling, especially to your companions and even more to your superiors.It is also a murmur and worse to misinterpret virtuous actions or to say them done with bad intention.

Beware again of reporting to others what other evil has said of him, because sometimes trouble and resentment arise that last for months and years. Oh, what account do the murmurs in the communities have to give to God! The one who sows discord comes into hatred and abomination to God.35

30 P. BRAIDO, Traits of Salesian religious life in the writing "To the Salesian Members", 137-143.

31 1 Gen 4, 20-21.

32 Ps 133, 1.

33 At 4, 32.

34 Sir 21, 31.

35 Cf Pr 6, 16.19

If you hear what against somebody, practice what the Holy Spirit says: Did you hear a word against your neighbor? Let her die in you. 36

Beware of biting any siblings, even if you do it for a joke. Pranks that displease one's neighbor or offend them are contrary to charity. Would you like to be mocked and put in song before others, as you put your brother?

Try to escape disputes too. Sometimes for nothing, certain contrasts arise, from which we then turn to arguments and injuries that break the union and offend the charity in a highly deplorable way.

Moreover, if you love charity, try to be kind and gentle with all kinds of people. Meekness is a very beloved virtue of Jesus Christ: Learn from me, he said, that I am meek. "In speaking and in treating used sweetness not only with superiors, but with all and especially with those who have offended you in the past or at present they look at you like an evil eye. Charity endures everything; " so that those who do not want to tolerate the faults of others will never have true charity. There is no man on this earth, no matter how virtuous he is, who does not have his faults. If he therefore wants others to bear his own, he begins to endure those of others and so he fulfills the law of Jesus Christ, as St. Paul writes: "Carry one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ."

We come to practice. First of all, curb anger, which is so easy to ignite on certain occasions of conflict; and beware of saying sorry words and more of using haughty and harsh ways, for sometimes the more rude ways than the same abusive words are more displeased. When then it happened that the brother who has offended you came to seek forgiveness, be careful not to receive it with brusque wax or to respond with dead words, but on the contrary show him beautiful manners, affection and benevolence.

If it happened at the meeting that you had offended others, immediately try to placate it and remove every grudge from you from your heart. And, according to the advice of St. Paul, do not let the sun go down without you having forgiven any resentment and you are reconciled with your brother.40 On the contrary, do it as soon as you can, striving to overcome the repugnance you feel in your soul.

Do not be content with loving your companions with words alone; but help them with all sorts of services as much as you can, as St. John, the apostle of charity recommends: We do not love in words and with the language, but with the work and with truth. 41 It is charity again to condescend to honest questions; but the best act of charity is having zeal for one's spiritual good.

36 Sir 19, 10.

37 Mt 11, 29.

38 1 Cor 13: 7.

39 Gal 6: 2.

Cf Eph 4, 26,

41 1 Gen 3, 18.

When the opportunity arises to do good, never say, this is not my office, I don't want to meddle with it; for this is the answer of Cain, who had the audacity to answer the Lord, saying: Am I perhaps the guardian of my brother? 42 Everyone is obliged, being able, to save his neighbor from ruin. God himself commanded that everyone should take care of his fellow man ". Try therefore to help everyone as much as you can with words and works, and especially with prayers.

It is a great stimulus to charity to aim Jesus Christ in the person of one's neighbor and to reflect that the divine Savior considers the good done to one of our kind as being done to himself, according to his words: Verily I say to you: whenever you have having done something for one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. "From all that has been said well you see how necessary it is and how beautiful the virtue of charity is! Therefore practice it and you will have abundant blessings from it sky.

Piety practices

Four. Five

Since food feeds the body and preserves it, so the practices of piety nourish the soul and make it strong against temptations. So long as we are zealous in observing the practices of piety, our hearts will be in good harmony with everyone and we will see the Salesian happy and content with his vocation. On the contrary, he will begin to doubt his vocation, or rather to experience strong temptations, when in his heart negligence in the practices of piety begins to take hold. Ecclesiastical history teaches us that all orders and all religious congregations flourished and promoted the good of religion until pity remained in force between them; and on the contrary, we have seen not a few that decay, others to cease to exist, but when? When the spirit of piety slowed down and each member began to think about his own things, not those of Jesus Christ, as some Christians already complained about St. Paul »

If we therefore, children, love the glory of our Congregation, if we wish it to spread and flourish for the benefit of our souls and of our brothers, let us give the utmost solicitude to never neglect meditation, spiritual reading, visiting daily to the Blessed Sacrament, the weekly confession, the frequent and devoted communion, the recitation of the rosary of the Blessed Virgin, the little abstinence on Fridays and the like.

42 Gen 4, 9.

43 Cf Sir 17, 12.

44 Mt 25, 40.

45 P. BRAIDO, Traits of Salesian religious life in the writing "To the Salesian Members", 143-145.

46 Cf Fil 2, 21.

Although each of these practices separately does not seem of great necessity, it nevertheless effectively contributes to the high building of our perfection and our salvation. If you want to grow and become great in the eyes of God, says St. Augustine, start with the smallest things.

The then fundamental part of the practices of piety, that which in a certain sense embraces them all, consists in doing spiritual exercises every year and every month the exercise of a good death.

Anyone who cannot do this exercise in common, does so separately and whoever is not allowed to use the whole day for his occupations, uses a part of it, postponing work that is not strictly necessary to another day, but everyone from the less they follow this rule:

1 ° In addition to the usual morning meditation, on this day even half an hour of meditation should be done the previous evening, and this should be done on some of the very new ones.

2. The confession, which everyone has to make on that day, is more accurate than usual, thinking that it could be the last of life, and receiving Holy Communion as if it were for viaticum.

3 Consider for at least half an hour progress or regression in the virtue that was made in the past month, especially in what concerns the observance of the holy rules, and the appropriate resolutions are taken.

4. On that day, all or at least part of the rules of the Congregation should be re-read.

5. It will also be good in this day to choose a saint or a saint to protect the beginning of the month.

I believe that the salvation of a religious can be said to be assured, if he approaches the holy sacraments every month and adjusts his conscience, as if from this life he should leave for eternity. If, therefore, we love the honor of our Congregation, if we desire the salvation of the soul, we are observant of our rules, we are punctual even in the most ordinary, because the one who fears God, does not neglect anything that can contribute to his greater glory "

Reports and their importance


Confidence towards one's superiors is one of the things that are most beneficial to the good performance of a religious congregation, and to the peace and happiness of individual members.

47 Cf Qo 7, 18.

48 P. BRAIDO, Traits of Salesian religious life in the writing "To the Salesian Members", 145-151.

For it the subjects open their hearts to the superior and therefore the internal pains are lightened; the anxieties that would occur in the fulfillment of their duties cease and the superiors can take the necessary measures, so as to avoid any disgust, any discontent; they can also know the physical and moral strengths of their subjects, and consequently give them the most suitable tasks; and, if he goes into introducing some disorder, they can immediately find out and fix it. It has therefore been established that at least once a month each will confer with his superior. In this regard, our Constitutions affirm that each one must manifest with simplicity and readiness the external faults committed against the holy rule, the profit made in virtues, the difficulties he encounters and what else is believed to need to be revealed,

The main points on which the accounts must be paid are these: P Health. 2nd study or work. - 3 ° Whether one can disengage one's own occupations well and what diligence is put into them. - 4 ° If you have the convenience of fulfilling religious practices and what diligence you put into executing them. - 5 ° How to work in prayers and meditations. - 6th How often, devotion and fruit are approached to the holy sacraments. - 7th How the vows are observed and if there are no doubts in terms of vocation. But it should be noted that the report is only used in external matters and not in confession. - 8 ° If you have sorrows or internal disturbances or coldness towards someone. - 9th If you know some disorder to be remedied, especially when it is a question of preventing the offense of God.

Here are some words of St. Francis de Sales regarding the reports:

"Each month everyone will open his heart summarily and briefly to the superior, and with every simplicity and faithful confidence he will open to him all the secrets, with the same sincerity and candor with which a son would show his mother the scratches, the envy and the stings that wasps had done to him; and in this way each one will account not so much for his purchase and progress as for losses and failures in the exercises of prayer, virtue and spiritual life; likewise manifesting temptations and inner pains, not only to console oneself, but also to humble oneself. Happy will be those who naively and devotedly practice this article, which in itself has a part of the sacred spiritual childhood so recommended by our Lord, from which the true tranquility of the spirit comes and is preserved. "49

Directors who never neglect to receive similar reports are strongly recommended. Each confrere then knows that if he does them well, with all frankness and humility, he will find great relief for his heart and powerful help to progress in virtue, and the whole Congregation will greatly benefit for this practice.

49 Cf Constitutions for the religious saints of the Visitation, art. 24, in Delle Opere di S. Francesco di Sales ..., Venezia, next to the heir of Niccolò Pezzana 1769, vol. 5, pp. 457-458.

The thing then, in which I recommend greater frankness, is that which concerns the vocation. Let there be no mystery to superiors. Of all, this is the most important point; because the thread of life that one has to keep depends on it. Wretched he who hides the doubts of his vocation or takes resolutions to leave the Congregation, without having first advised himself and without the opinion of the one who directs his soul. He could endanger his eternal health.

The first reason for the importance and need to proceed with this frankness with superiors is because they can better govern and direct their subjects. The superior is obliged to hold and direct them, because this is his office, this is to be director or superior. Now if he does not know them because they do not open themselves, it follows that he cannot direct them and help them with his advice and suggestions.

The second reason, which declares the previous one better, is because the more news the superiors of all the subjects of the subjects will have, the more accurately and with love they will be able to help them and guard their souls from the various inconveniences and dangers which they may incur. putting them in this or that other place, on this or that occasion.

The third reason for the importance of frankness and confidence with superiors is, so that they can better order and provide what is appropriate to the universal body of the Congregation, whose good and honor, together with that of each one, they are obliged to take care of. And when one is apprehended with them and gives them full account of his state, then the superiors, having in everything the aim of his honor, and without any of his marks, can have regard to the universal good of the whole body of the Congregation. But, if one does not get along well with them, perhaps he will expose to some danger his honor and his soul, and also the honor of the community that depends on his. Oh how much contentment and satisfaction a religious has, who totally confided in his superior and showed him all the things that disturb the his soul! So when they then put him in some office, he can place all his trust in God who will help him and free him from any inconvenience. "Lord, he may say, I have not placed myself in this office, nor in this place; indeed, I proposed my insufficiency and my few spiritual strengths for this weight: you, O Lord, have placed me there and me you have commanded it, so you supply what is lacking in me ". With this trust he will say with St. Augustine: Lord, give me what you command and command me whatever you want; and so it seems to him that he placed God in the obligation to grant him what he asked. But that other one who did not appear, indeed he left to show his weaknesses, what consolation can he have? Because this person does not send God to do that thing, nor does obedience put it, but he of his own will gets into it and intrudes; he is an intruder, not called, nor a mandate, and things will not do him good.



In the laborious process of drafting and approving the Salesian Constitutions, which lasted more than fifteen years (1858-1874), Don Bosco carefully studied the rules of other institutes, from which he draws various elements. But the use of these sources does not prevent him from giving the Rules of the Society of St. Francis de Sales "contents and inspirations required by the particular youthful and popular quality of the mission to which the Society was consecrated". We can see by reading the documents that "the consecration, although having a strong and general evangelical imprint in the text", assumes a peculiar physiognomy in relation to the type of mission and its own spirit. " Here we report the central chapters of the primitive rules of the Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians,

From the first Rules of the Society of St. Francis de Sales


Purpose of the Society of St. Francis de Sales


1. The purpose of the Salesian Society is the Christian perfection of its members, every work of spiritual and corporal charity towards young people, especially the poor, and also the education of the young clergy. It then consists of priests, clerics and laity.

2. Jesus Christ began to do and teach, 4 so also the Salesian members will begin to perfect themselves with the practice of every internal and external virtue and with the acquisition of science, and then they will work to the benefit of others.

3. The first exercise of charity will be to gather poor and abandoned youngsters to teach them in the holy Catholic religion, particularly on holidays.

4. It often happens that we meet young people who are so abandoned, that for them all care is useless, if they are not hospitalized, so as far as possible, houses will be opened, in which with the means that divine Providence will place in our hands, they will come given shelter, food and clothing; and while they will instruct themselves in the truths of the Catholic faith, they will also be sent to some art or profession.

1 Cf. P. BRAIDO, Don Bosco priest of the young, vol. I, p. 460.

2 G. Bosco, Rules or Constitutions of the Society of St. Francis de Sales according to the approval decree of April 3, 1874, Turin, Typography of the Oratory 1877 (OE XXIX, 201-288); this is the Italian translation of the Latin text approved by the Holy See in 1874,

3 G. Bosco, Rules or Constitutions, pp. 54-55 (OE XXIX, 251-253).

4 Cf At 1, 1.

5. Since there are many and grave dangers to youth, which aspires to the ecclesiastical state, this Society will give utmost care in piety to those who show special aptitude for study and would be commendable for good morals. Since it is a question of receiving young people for studies, the poorest are to be welcomed, because they could not do their studies elsewhere; provided they give some hope of vocation to the ecclesiastical state.

6. The need to support the Catholic religion is seriously felt among the Christian peoples, particularly in the villages; therefore the Salesian members will work with zeal to dictate spiritual exercises to confirm and guide in pity those who, moved by the desire to change their lives, would go to listen to them.

7. Likewise, they will endeavor to spread good books in the people using all those means that Christian charity inspires. Finally, with words and writings, they will try to put an end to the impiety and heresy that in so many ways tries to insinuate itself among the rude and ignorant. To this end the sermons should be addressed, which from time to time are held by the people, the triduum, the novenas and the spread of good books.

Form of this Company


1. All the members live in common only by the bond of fraternal charity and simple vows, which unites them in such a way that they form a single heart and a single soul to love and serve God with the virtue of obedience, poverty and chastity and the exact fulfillment of the duties of a good Christian.

2. Clerics and priests, although they have taken their vows, may retain their fortunes or simple benefits; but they will not be able to administer them, or enjoy their fruits, except according to the will of the rector.

3. The administration of the assets, of the benefits and of what will be brought to the Congregation, is the responsibility of the superior general who will either administer them or receive the annual fruits for himself or for others, until the member remains in the Congregation.

4. Each priest is obliged to deliver the alms of the masses to the same superior or general or local priest. All then or priests or clerics or lay people will hand over all the money and any gift that in any way they can receive.

5. Each person is obliged to observe his vows, whether three-year or perpetual; he cannot be dispensed from, except by the Supreme Pontiff, or when he has been dismissed by the Society from the superior general.

6. Let each one endure to the point of death in his vocation, always remembering those very grave words of the divine Savior: Nemo mittens manum ad aratrum et respiciens retro aptus est realm Dei; No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is an act for the kingdom of God.6

5 G. Bosco, Rules or Constitutions, pp. 55-57 (OE XXIX, 253-255).

6 The 9, 62,

7. Nevertheless, if anyone leaves the Congregation, he cannot claim compensation for the time he has left. However, he will recover the full right of all his immovable property and also of all the movable objects whose property he had reserved by entering the Congregation. But he will not be able to demand any account of the fruits or of the administration of the same for the time that he lived in the Society.

8. He who brings money, furniture or anything else into the Congregation with the intention of retaining property, must give a list of all those things to the superior, who, having made the reconnaissance, will give him a receipt card. Wishing then the shareholder to recover those objects that are consumed with use, he will get them back in that state which then will be found, nor will he be able to repeat any kind of payment.

Of the vow of obedience


1. The prophet David prayed to God to enlighten him to do his holy will. " The divine Redeemer then assured us that he did not come to earth to do his own will, but that of his heavenly Father. 9 And we make the vow of obedience precisely to make sure we do the holy will of God in everything.

2. Therefore everyone should obey his superior and consider him in all things as a loving father, obeying him without reserve, promptly, with a humble and humble spirit; convinced that the will of God is manifested in the commanded thing.

3. There is no need for anyone to ask for anything or to refuse it. If you know that something is harmful or necessary, you respectfully expose it to your superior who will take the utmost care to provide for his needs.

4. Everyone has great confidence in his superior; therefore, it will be of great benefit to the members to render an account of the external life to the superior superiors of the Congregation. Each one manifests with simplicity and promptness the external faults committed against the rules and also its profit in the virtues, so that it may receive advice and comfort, and, if it does, also the convenient admonitions.

5. Each one obeys without any resistance either with the deed, with the words or with the heart, in order not to deprive himself of the merit of the virtue of obedience. The more the commanded thing will be repugnant to those who make it, the greater the reward will be from God by faithfully executing it.

7 G. Bosco, Rules or Constitutions, pp. 57-58 (OE XXIX, 255-256).

8 Cf Ps 143, 10.

9 Cf Gv 6, 38.

Of the vow of poverty


1. The vow of poverty, which is spoken of here, concerns only the administration of whatever you want, not possession; therefore those who have made the vows in this Society will retain the dominion of their goods; but their administration is strictly forbidden, as is the distribution and use of annuities. Furthermore, before making vows, they must cede, even privately, administration, usufruct and use to those, whom they want, and also to the Congregation, if they like it. This assignment can then be subjected to the condition that it can be revoked whenever it is necessary: ​​but the professed cannot conscientiously use this right of withdrawal, without the consent of the Holy See. All this must also be observed with respect to those assets which the member will acquire by inheritance after having made his profession.

2. However, the members of this Congregation may freely dispose of the domain, either by testament, or with the permission of the Rector Major, during their lifetime for another public act. When this last case occurs, the concession made by the administration, the usufruct and use will cease, except that they had wished that, notwithstanding the transfer of the domain, that concession would still last for that time when they had enjoyed it.

3. The professed may carry out, with the permission of the major rector, all those deeds of property which are prescribed by law.

4. The professed cannot attribute to or reserve for themselves anything purchased by them or with their own industry, or with the means that the Congregation presents; but all this will have to be put back to the common utility of the Congregation.

5. It is part of this vow to keep the rooms in maximum simplicity, studying to adorn the heart of virtue and not the person or the walls of the room.

6. Neither in the house, nor outside, do you keep money with yourself, or in storage with others for any reason.

7. Everyone finally has his heart detached from every earthly thing; he is happy with how much the Company provides for food and clothing, nor does it consider any thing without particular permission from the superior.

Of the vow of chastity


1. Those who deal with abandoned youth must certainly study to enrich themselves with every virtue. But the virtue that must be most cultivated, always to be seen before the eyes, is the angelic virtue, the virtue dear to God for all, is the virtue of chastity.

2. Whoever has no founded hope of being able to preserve this virtue in words, deeds, thoughts with divine help cannot be ascribed to this Congregation, because at every step he would be exposed to great dangers.

10 G. Bosco, Rules or Constitutions, pp. 58-60 (OE XXIX, 256-258).

11 Ibid., Pp. 60-61 (OE XXIX, 258-259).

3. Words, looks, even indifferent ones, are sometimes badly interpreted by young people, who have already been victims of human passions. Therefore, utmost caution should be used when discussing and dealing with anything with young people of any age and condition.

4. Flee the conferences of the seculars, where this virtue runs danger, and conversations especially with people of different sexes.

5. No one goes to the home of acquaintances or friends without the consent of the superior, who, if he can, will always give him a companion.

6. Means for diligently guarding this virtue are frequent confession and communion, the exact practice of the confessor's advice, the flight of idleness, the death of all the senses of c-5-53757freqtisite to Jesus the sacrament, frequent ejaculations of Mary most holy, to St. Joseph, to St. Francis de Sales, to St. Louis Gonzaga, who are the principal protectors of our Congregation.

Piety practices


1. Active life, to which this Congregation especially tends, makes its members unable to have many common practices of piety. Then they will try to make up for the good good example and the perfect fulfillment of the general duties of the Christian.

2. Each member will approach the sacrament of penance each week from confessors approved by the ordinary and who exercise quer-riffigféro towards the members with the permission of the rector. The priests will celebrate the holy mass every day: the clerics then and the assistants will assist you daily and will make the holy communion every public holiday and every Thursday. The composure of the person; the clear, devout and distinct pronunciation of the words deidivini uffizi; modesty in speaking, looking, walking at home and away from home must be such in our members that distinguish them from all others.

3. Ciascheduno, besides the vocal prayers, will do every day not less than half an hour of mental prayer, except that it is impeded by the sacred ministry. In which case he will supply with the greatest frequency of ejaculations, directing to God with great fervor those works that prevent him from the ordinary exercises of piety.

4. Every day we will recite the third part of the rosary of Mary Most Holy Immaculate and we will do some spiritual reading.

5. In each week on Friday, fasting will be held in memory of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

12 Ibid., Pp. 80-83 (OE XXIX, 278-281).

6. The last of each month will be a day of spiritual retreat, in which, as far as possible, the temporal affairs are left, everyone will gather in himself, do the exercise of a good death, arranging spiritual and temporal things, as if he were to leave the world and go to eternity.

7. Every year everyone will do about ten or at least six days of spiritual exercises, which will end with the annual confession. Everyone before being received into the Society and before giving vows will make ten days of spiritual exercises under the direction of spiritual masters and the general confession.

8. When Divine Providence calls to the eternal life some associate, both lay, cleric and priest, immediately the director of that house, in which the member lived, will ensure that ten masses are celebrated in suffrage of his soul. The others then, who are not priests, will make Holy Communion at least once for this purpose.

9. Each time the parents of some members die, the priests of the house of that member will likewise celebrate 10 masses in memory of their soul. Those who are not priests will then make holy communion.

10. Dying the major rector, all the priests of the Congregation will celebrate Holy Mass for him and all the non-priest members will pay the usual votes, and this for two reasons: 1st as a tribute of gratitude for the care and labors sustained in the government of Congregation; 2 ° to lift him from the pains of purgatory, which perhaps he will have to suffer for our sake.

11. Every year the day after the feast of St. Francis de Sales all the priests will celebrate a mass for the socidifunti. And all the others will approach the holy communion and recite the third part of the rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary with other prayers.

12. Everyone should take special care: 1) not to take any habit even of indifferent things; 2) to have clean and decent clothes, bed and cell; and let each one study himself to escape foolish affectation and ambition. Nothing more adorns the religious than the sanctity of life, so that he is an example to others in everything.

13. Let each one be prepared, when necessity requires it, to suffer heat, cold, thirst, hunger, fatigue, contempt, if this is reduced to the greater glory of God, to the spiritual usefulness of others and to the salvation of one's own soul.

From the first Rules of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (1878)


To the Daughters of Mary Help


Thanks to the goodness of our heavenly Father, the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, to which fortunately you belong, has been developing for some time. In the space of a few years we have been able to inaugurate a good number of houses in Piedmont, in Liguria, in France; indeed in the most distant regions of America.

As long as the Institute was concentrated in the mother-house of Mornese, some copies of the Manuscript Rules could suffice to ensure that every sister could come to know it; but now that houses have been multiplied by divine Providence and the nuns have divided there, they are no longer sufficient.

By which I have judged of the greater glory of God and of advantage to your soul, to have it printed; and now I present them to you. They have already had the approval of several bishops, who found them fully adapted to sanctify a daughter who aspires to be all of Jesus, and who at the same time wants to spend her life at the service of her neighbor, especially the education of the poor ladies. Indeed more: the same institute was tested by special decree and approved by the very reverend bishop of Acqui, in whose diocese he was born in 1872 and still prospers.

Have therefore the rules that govern it, read them, meditate on them; but above all never forget that it is worth nothing to know them even from memory, if you did not put them into practice. Therefore, let each one give herself the most solicitude to observe them on time; to this aim the vigilance and the zeal of the superiora; to this the diligence and commitment of the subjects. By doing this you will find peace of heart in your Congregation, you will walk the way of heaven, and you will become saints.

Meanwhile, I gladly take this propitious occasion to recommend to you that in your prayers you always have the soul of the very reverend Fr Domenico Pestarino, the first director of the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, of whom the Lord used to lay the foundations of this Institute. He truly deserves our deepest gratitude for his charity and zeal.

Pray also for one another, so that the Lord may make you constant and faithful in your vocation and make you worthy to do great good for his greater glory. Pray in a special way for the sisters who were already brought and for those who will still take them to the most distant parts of the earth to spread the name of Jesus Christ and make it known and loved.

13 G. Bosco, Constitutions for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (1872-1885), critical texts edited by Sr. Cecilia Romero FMA, Rome, LAS, 1983, pp. 255-286.

14 G. Bosco, Rules or Constitutions for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians aggregated to the Salesian Society, Turin, Typography and Salesian Library 1878, pp. 3-6 (OE XXX, 293-296).

Pray especially for the Catholic Church, for its visible leader, for local bishops and pastors; pray also for the Salesian Society, to which you are attached; and don't want to forget me that I want you all happiness.

The Virgin Help of Christians protect and defend us in life and in death; and with his powerful intercession obtain for us from his divine Son the beautiful grace of finding us one day all together gathered under his mantle in eternal bliss.

Turin, feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1878.

Sac. Giovanni Bosco

Purpose of the Institute


1. The purpose of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is to wait for their own perfection and to help their neighbor's health, especially by giving the girls of the people a Christian education.

2. Therefore the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, before anything else, will try to practice the Christian virtues, then they will work for the benefit of their neighbor. They will take special care to take over the management of schools, educators, kindergartens, festive oratories, and even open workshops for the benefit of the poorest spinsters in cities and villages. Wherever the need arises, they will also lend themselves to the assistance of the poor and other similar offices of charity.

3. They will also be able to receive in their homes spins of mediocre condition, to which however they will never teach those sciences and those arts that are proper of noble and noble family. All their commitment will be to train them to pity, make them good Christians and also able to earn their time in honesty the bread of life.

4. The Institute is composed of unmarried daughters, who profess in common life with temporary vows of three in three years. The major superior, in agreement with the superior chapter, having completed the three-year vows once or twice, may also admit to perpetual vows if he judges such a thing to be useful for the religious and the Institute.

Major virtues proposed to the study of the novices and to the practice of the professed


1. Patient and zealous charity not only with childhood, but still with young spinsters.

2. Simplicity and modesty; spirit of internal and external mortification; strict observance of poverty.

3. Obedience of will and judgment, and willingly accepting and not observing the notices and corrections and those offices that are entrusted.

15 G. Bosco, Constitutions for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, pp. 255-256.

16 Ibid., P. 270

4. Spirit of prayer, with which the sisters willingly await works of piety, keep themselves in the presence of God and abandon themselves to his sweet Providence.

5. These virtues must be very tried and rooted in the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, because the active and contemplative life must go hand in hand with them, portraying Martha and Magdalene.

Of the vow of chastity


1. To exercise continuous offices of charity with one's neighbor, to treat fruitfully with poor young girls, a tireless study of all virtues in an uncommon degree is necessary. But the angelic virtue, the virtue above all others dear to the Son of God, the virtue of chastity must be placed in an eminent degree by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Firstly, because the use they have of instructing and routing the neighbors in the way of health, is similar to that of the holy angels; therefore it is necessary that they still live with the pure heart and in an angelic state, since the virgins are called angels of the earth; secondly because their vocation to be well executed requires a total internal and external detachment from all that is not God.

2. For the observance of this vow the most vigilant custody of the senses is instilled in them, which are like the doors through which the enemy enters the soul. They no longer have to live or breathe for their heavenly Spouse, with all honesty, purity and holiness of spirit, words, attitude and works, through an immaculate and angelic conversation, remembering the words of the Lord, who says: Blessed are the worlds of the heart because they will see God. 18

3. To cherish so much treasure the thought of God's presence will be of great benefit, often turning to him with acts of living faith, firm hope and ardent charity; the escape of idleness; internal and external mortification, the first without limits and the second to the extent that obedience will be permitted to them.

4. It will also serve effectively to preserve the beautiful virtue of the devotion to Mary Most Holy Immaculate, of the glorious Saint Joseph and of the guardian angel; as well as never forgetting that the faithful brides of Jesus Christ, who will have lived and died in their virginal state, will have a particular glory in heaven and with Mary they will sing a hymn to the divine Lamb, who is not allowed to sing to the other blessed.

Of the vow of obedience


1. The life of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians having to be a continual holocaust, the sacrifice would be lacking the best, if its own will entered, which precisely with the vow of obedience is offered to the divine Majesty.

17 Ibid., Pp. 277-278.

18 Mt 5, 8.

19 G. Bosco, Constitutions for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, p. 279,

Beyond that we know that the divine Savior protested of himself that he did not come among us on earth to do his will, but that of the heavenly Father.20 He is to make sure to carry out in every action the will of God that the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians make the holy vow of obedience.

2. This vow obliges us to deal only in those things which the superior will judge of the greater glory of God and the advantage of souls, according to the rules of this Institute.

3. The sisters will have to obey in a spirit of faith, looking at God in the superior and persuading themselves that what is disposed by obedience will be of great spiritual advantage to them.

4. Let their willing and joyful obedience, that is, without worry, without melancholy, without dispute.

5. Finally be ready, without wanting to examine and criticize the hidden reasons of the command.

6. No nun gives any breathless thought to ask for anything or to reject it. Whoever, on the other hand, knows that it is something harmful or necessary to her, expose it to the superior, who will promptly take care of the need.

7. They all have great confidence in the superior and regard her as a loving mother. They have recourse to it in all their doubts, manifest their pains and all their difficulties.

Of the vow of poverty


1. The observance of the vow of poverty in the Institute of Mary Help of Christians essentially consists in detachment from every earthly good, which will be practiced with common life regarding food and clothing, not reserving anything for its own use, without special permission from the superior.

2. It is part of this vow to keep the rooms in the greatest simplicity, studying to adorn the heart of virtue and not the person or the walls of one's own home.

3. No money can be kept in the Institute or outside, not even in storage for any reason, without the express permission of the superior.

4. Voluntary poverty makes us true followers of the Savior, who, to leave us a great example, practiced it from birth to death.

General rules


20 Cf Gv 6, 38.

21 G. Bosco, Constitutions for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, p. 280.

22 Ibid., Pp. 281-286.

1. Every day the nuns will commemorate the seven sorrows of the Most Holy Mary seven times and for the purpose of each one they will recite a Hail Mary with prayer, which they will repeat often throughout the day: Eternal Father, we offer you etc. of Holy Saturday until all Sunday in Albis, and throughout the eighth of the Assumption of Mary Most Holy in Heaven, they will recite at those same hours the seven joys of Mary Most Holy, distributed one at a time.

2. In the quarter of an hour assigned for spiritual reading they will use those books that will be indicated to them by the superior. Then, above all, the Imitation of Jesus Christ, the holy Nun, and the Practice of loving Jesus Christ of the doctor St. Alphonsus are recommended, 24 the Philothea of ​​St. Francis de Sales adapted to the youth, the Rodriguez, 25 and the lives of those saints and saints, who dedicated themselves to education of an early age.

3. All the sisters of the various establishments will have to go once a year to the central house, or, where there is a great distance, they will go to the one they depend on, to do the spiritual exercises. If you wait for the works to which they must be applied it will not be possible for all of them to do them together, they will do them again in two or more times, secondly the superior will judge.

4. The letters written to the nuns or written by them to others, will be opened and read, if it is judged well by the superior, which will be able to give them course or to hold them.

5. They will, however, be allowed to write, without asking for permission, to the Supreme Pontiff, to the Major Superior and to the Superior General, and likewise, they will receive the answers to these letters without anyone being able to open them.

6. When they are visited by their relatives or by other people, they will go to the parlor accompanied by a nun appointed to do so by the superior. In such occasions of indispensable visits it is recommended to the sisters to use great prudence and Christian modesty and to the superiors to take all necessary precautions to remedy any inconvenience. Since the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians have many jobs, so when it is not a question of important business, the same people will not be admitted to visit them more than once a month.

7. The sisters will all love each other in the Lord, but they will be careful not to bind to each other or to any person in particular friendships, which distance them from the perfect love of God and end up being the plague of the communities.

23 Eternal Father, we offer you the blood of Jesus Christ in discount for our sins and for the needs of holy Church.

24 These are two spiritual works of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787), continually reprinted throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: The true bride of Jesus Christ, that is, the holy nun by virtue of her own virtues. a religious woman (first edition: 1760); Practice of loving Jesus Christ, dealing with the words of St. Paul: "Charitas patiens est, benign est, etc." ... for the benefit of souls who wish to accept eternal health and to walk the path of perfection (first edition: 1768).

25 Reference is made to the third volume of the Exercise of Perfection and Christian Virtues, by the Jesuit Alonso Rodriguez (1537-1616), entitled Exercise of Perfection and Religious Virtues, a classic of ascetic literature for men and women religious.

8. No one is allowed to give commissions, neither to school girls nor to their relatives nor to anyone, except with the permission of the superior, to whom any embassy should be reported.

9. Each one must recognize herself for the least of all, therefore no one will fail in humble acts nor will she refuse from exercising the most abject offices of the house, in which the superior will exercise her according to the norm of her strengths and according to what she will prudently judge well in the Lord.

10. The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians will always be joyful with their sisters, they will laugh, joke, etc., but as angels apparently do among themselves; but in the presence of people of other sex they will always preserve a grave and dignified demeanor. Going through the streets, they will walk with the utmost composure and modesty, never staring at either the people or the things they meet, yet giving the greeting with the bow of the head to those who greet them and to the ecclesiastical persons if they pass close.

11. In the home and outside they will always use a humble speech, never supporting their own feelings, above all avoiding any harsh, pungent words of reproach, of vanity in relation to themselves or about that good that the Lord deigned to draw from the works them, doing all their private and common actions for the mere taste of God. They will never speak of birth, age or riches, if they had had them in the world. They will never raise their voices by talking to anyone, even if it was recreation time. When they are in the presence of people of different sex, they will hold a serious and serious speech, because if they are of a superior condition to them, for example ecclesiastics, so he wants the respect due to their state; if they are secular, this requires decorum and a good example.

12. All their efforts will be to show themselves in the line and in the behavior of the looks and of the whole person, which must be, that is imitators of Jesus Christ crucified, and serves the poor. In church they will be with the utmost composure, upright on the person, and will genuflect to the ground passing the altar, where the holy sacrament is kept.

13. They will all eat together in the refectory with the food they will be given. They will never complain about food, nor will they talk about it among themselves, but if they have any need they will confidently show it to the superior. No one can go to the kitchen without permission.

14. By allowing the room, each will sleep in a separate room, but will not be able to lock it with a key; nor will he be able to enter a dormitory outside time without a license. They will not use the mattress for illness or other inconvenience.

15. They will keep at their bed a little water pillar, a crucifix with a wooden cross, a picture of Mary Help of Christians or of the Immaculate Conception, with a black frame.

16. All clothing will be uniform, modest and humble, as befits poor women. The dress will be black, with long sleeves up to the knuckles of the fingers and 46 centimeters wide; the cape will be long up to the belt. The shoes will be black leather, which is suitable for the poor. They will never wear gloves and if they need to use them, they will never be made of silk, nor fine or light-colored. The professed women will carry the crucifix around their necks, the novices the medal of Mary Help of Christians.

17. The linen will also be adapted to the use of the poor and placed in common after the holy profession. Each sister will take care of keeping the dress and everything that is of its use, with the utmost cleanliness; therefore he will take care to bend the veil, the apron, the clothes, etc., whenever he places these objects.

18. Cutlery and crockery will be as durable as possible, but not as luxurious as possible.

19. Every Saturday from the nun destined to take care of the linen, which will be held in the common wardrobe, you will bring on the bed of each one everything you need to change and each sister will then have to bring in the place assigned to it the objects deposited.

20. Whatever is brought as a gift to the nuns will be handed over to the superior, who will dispose of it as she thinks best, without being obliged to give an account of its provisions. The sisters will then not give any gift to external persons or even among themselves without an express license: as well as they will not be allowed to borrow or change anything, except with the consent of the superior.

21. Each will take care of her health, so when a nun does not feel well, without hiding or exaggerating the evil, she will advise the superior, so that she can provide for it. In the time of illness he will obey the nurse and the surgeon, so that they govern her in the body, as they will better believe before God. He will also try to show patience and resignation to the will of God, enduring the privations inseparable from poverty and always maintaining an imperturbable tranquility of spirit in the hands of that Lord who is a loving Father, both in preserving health and in afflicting us with diseases and pains. To validate them more in spirit, the sick infants at the bed will be given Holy Communion at least once a week, where the kind of illness and the place allows it.

22. The sisters will endeavor to keep themselves always closely united with the sweet bond of charity, since it would be to deplore if those which took as their purpose the imitation of Jesus Christ neglected the observance of that commandment which was the most recommended by him, to the point to call it his precept. "Therefore, beyond the mutual pity and impartial affection, it is also prescribed that if it ever happens to any lack of charity towards some sister, she should apologize to her at the first moment that she will have known his absence calmly in spirit. or at least before going to sleep.

26 Cf Gv 15, 12.

23. For greater perfection of charity, each one will be pleased with the comforts of the sisters to their own, and on all occasions they will all help and raise themselves with demonstrations of benevolence and holy friendship, nor will they ever let themselves be overcome by any feeling of jealousy against each other. other.

24. Desire and procure effectively to do to the neighbor all that good that is possible, always intending to help and serve our Lord Jesus Christ in the person of his poor, especially by assisting, serving, consoling the sick and afflicted sisters and by promoting the spiritual good of the girls in the countries where they live.

25. To advance in religious perfection it will be very beneficial to keep the heart open to the superior, since the one after the confessor is destined by God to direct them in the way of virtue. Therefore once a month and even more often, if necessary, they will manifest their exterior to work with all simplicity and frankness, and they will receive notices and advice to succeed in the practice of mortification and in the observance of the holy rules of the Institute. However, internal and external matters are excluded from this account when they form a matter of confession, unless they are willing to manifest themselves for useful advice and direction, out of a spirit of humility and voluntarily.

26. All the nuns will attend the conference that the superior will hold every Sunday to instruct them in their duties, as to correct those defects that could slow down the fervor and the observance in the community.

27. They are all the greatest concern for exercises of piety, from whose observance derives that internal fervor which moves us gently to conform ourselves in everything to Jesus Christ our divine exemplar and spouse of faithful souls.

28. Furthermore, charity, which kept the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians together in life, must not cease after their death. Therefore, when no sister is called to eternity, her death will be communicated to all the houses, so that holy communion with the recitation of the holy rosary may be done in suffrage of her soul. In the house where the death occurred, the present holy corpse will be more celebrated, with the recitation of the office of the dead or the entire rosary. The corpse will be dressed in religious clothes and accompanied decorously to the burial.

29. On the occasion of the death of the major superior and the general superior, in addition to the aforementioned suffrages, a funeral will be celebrated in all the houses of the Institute.

30. Above all those who follow these rules, the peace and mercy of God descend abundantly.


Don Bosco's circular letters to the Salesians and to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are small masterpieces of spirituality. In them the saint expresses an integral and totalitarian vision of religious life: with the consecration we give ourselves to the Lord, ready to follow him on the path of tribulations to death, facing hardships and difficulties to gain souls for God. prospect the Salesian and the Salesian are urged to remain firm in their vocation, despite everything; to escape the spirit of the world; to practice obedience and poverty; to keep the heart constantly turned to God; to know how to bear any discomfort with serenity and generosity; to observe the Rules perfectly; to desire holiness not through "extraordinary actions, but through common works";

The first purpose of our company is the sanctification of its members


Turin, June 9, 1867, Pentecost day

Our company will probably be approved by a very short time and therefore I would need to speak to my beloved children frequently. Which I cannot always do in person, I will try to do it at least by letter. I will therefore begin to say something about the general purpose of the Society and then we will move on to talk about its particular observances.

The first object of our Company is the sanctification of its members. Therefore everyone in his entrance is stripped of every other thought, of every other concern. Whoever entered it to enjoy a quiet life, to have the comfort to continue his studies, to free himself from the commands of his parents or to avoid obedience from some superior, he would have a wrong end and would no longer be that Sequere me of the Savior; since it would follow its own temporal utility, not the good of the soul. - The apostles were praised by the Savior and an eternal kingdom was promised to them not because they abandoned the world, but because abandoning it they professed themselves ready to follow him in the way of tribulations, as it happened, consummating their lives in toil, penance and sufferings , finally supporting martyrdom for the faith.

Whoever is convinced of being necessary to the same does not even enter or remain in the Company for good? Everyone impresses it well in mind and heart: starting from the superior general to the last of the members, no one is necessary in the Society. God alone must be its leader, the absolutely necessary master.

1 E (m) II, pp. 385-387. This is the first circular letter from Don Bosco to the Salesians.

Therefore the members of it must turn to their leader, to their true master, to the rewarder, to God, and for love of him everyone must make himself enroll in the Society; for love of him to work, to obey, to abandon what was possessed in the world in order to be able to say at the end of the life of the Savior that we have chosen by model: ecce nos reliquimus [omnia] and secuti sumus te, quid ergo dabis nobis? 2

While we then say that everyone must enter the Society guided by the sole desire to serve God with greater perfection and to do good to himself, he intends to do to himself the true good, spiritual and eternal good. Those who seek a comfortable life, a comfortable life, do not enter into our society with good purpose. , 44 We base the words of the Savior who says: "Whoever wants to be my disciple, go and sell what he has in the world, give it to the poor and follow me." But where to go, where to follow him, if he didn't have a palm of earth where to put his weary head? Whoever wants to become my disciple, the Savior says, follow me with prayer, with penance, and especially deny himself, remove the cross of daily tribulations and follow me: abneget semetipsum, tollat ​​crucem suam quotidia, et sequatur me. 4 But until when to follow him? Until death and if it were professions, even to a death on the cross.

This is what in our Society does he who wears his strength in the sacred ministry, in the teaching or other priestly exercise, up to a violent death of prison, of exile, of iron, of water, of fire; so long as after having suffered or died with Jesus Christ on earth, he can go and enjoy with him in heaven.

This seems to me the meaning of these words from S. Paolo tells all the Christians: Who would like to see Christ with Christ as Christo.5

Once a partner has entered with these good dispositions he must show himself unpretentious and welcome any office he can be entrusted with. Teaching, study, work, preaching, confession, in church, out of church, the lowest occupations must assume with hilarity and promptness of mind because God does not look at the quality of employment, but looks at the end of those who cover it. Therefore all the offices are equally noble because they are equally meritorious in the eyes of God.

My dear children, trust your superiors; they must give close account to God of your works; therefore they study your capacity, your propensities and arrange them in a compatible way with your strengths, but always as they seem to return with greater glory of God and the advantage of souls.

2 Behold, we have left everything and followed you; what then will you give us in return? (Mt 19, 27).

3 Cf Mt 19, 21.

4 Deny yourself, take up your cross every day and follow me (Lk 9:23).

5 Whoever wants to enjoy with Christ must suffer with Christ. Meaningful quotation inspired by Romans 8:17: "... coheredes autem Christi, si tamen compatimur, ut et conglorificemur" (, ..history of Christ, if we truly participate in his sufferings to also participate in his glory).

Oh! if our brothers enter the Society with these provisions our houses will certainly become a true earthly paradise. Peace and harmony will reign among the individuals of each family and charity will be the daily garment of those in charge; obedience and respect will precede the steps, the works and even the thoughts of the superiors. In short, we will have a family of brothers gathered around them to promote the glory of God over the earth, to then one day go to love and praise him in the immense glory of the blessed in heaven.

God fill you and your labors with blessings, and the grace of the Lord sanctifies your actions and help you persevere in goodness. Amen.

Affectionate in Jesus Christ

Sac. Gio. Bosco

Unity of spirit and unity of administration


[Turin, late April 1868]

To my dear children and confreres of the Society of St. Francis de Sales.

The month of May that we are used to consecrate to Mary is about to begin and I deem to take advantage of this opportunity to speak to my dear children and confreres and to expose to them some things that I could not say in the conference of St. Francis de Sales.

I am convinced that you all have the firm will to be persevering in the Society and therefore work with all your strength to gain souls for God and to save your own soul first. In order to succeed in this great enterprise, we must, on a general basis, use the utmost promptness to put the rules of the Society into practice. Because our Constitutions would be of no use if they coughed like a dead letter to leave in the desk and no more. If we want our Society to go ahead with the blessing of the Lord, it is essential that every article of the constitutions be the norm in operating. However, there are some practical and very effective things to achieve the proposed purpose, and among these I note the unity of spirit and the unity of administration.

By unity of spirit I intend a firm, constant deliberation of wanting or not wanting those things that the superior judges to return to greater glory of God. This deliberation never slows down however serious are the obstacles that oppose the spiritual and eternal good according to the doctrine of St. Paul: Caritas omnia suffert, omnia sustinet.7 This deliberation induces the confrere to be punctual in his duties not only for the command he is given, but for the glory of God which he intends to promote.

6 E (m) II, pp. 529-531.

7 Love suffers everything, everything endures; cf 1 Cor 13, 7.

From this comes the readiness to do meditation, prayer, the visit to the Blessed Sacrament, the examination of conscience, spiritual reading at the appointed time. It is true that these things are prescribed by the Rules, but if we do not try to get excited to observe them for a supernatural reason our Rules fall into oblivion.

What powerfully contributes to preserving this unity of spirit is the frequency of the holy sacraments. Priests do what they can to celebrate Holy Mass regularly and devoutly; those who are not in such a state procure to attend the communion as often as possible. But the fundamental point is the frequent confession. Everyone procures what the rules prescribe in this regard. A special confidence is then absolutely necessary with the superior of that house where each dwelling. The great defect consists in this: that many try to interpret certain dispositions of superiors briefly, or judge them of little importance, and meanwhile they slow down the observance of the Rules with damage to themselves, with the sorrows of superiors, and with omission or at least neglect of those things that would have powerfully contributed to the good of souls. Everyone therefore strips himself of his own will and renounces the thought of his own good; just make sure that what you have to do returns to greater glory than God and then move on.

Here, however, the following difficulty arises: in practice one encounters cases in which it seems better to do otherwise than what was commanded. It's not true. The best is always to do obedience, never changing the spirit of the Rule, which is interpreted as giving the respective superior. Therefore each one is always studying to interpret, practice, recommend the observance of the Rules among his confreres; and to execute towards the neighbor all those things that the superior judges to return to greater glory of God and to the good of souls. This conclusion I consider it the fundamental basis of a religious Society.

The unity of administration must go hand in hand with unity of spirit. A religious intends to put into practice the saying of the Savior: that is, to renounce what he has or may have in the world for the hope of a better reward in heaven. Father, mother, brothers, sisters, house, substances of any kind, everything offered to the love of God. Except that, having still the soul united to the body, he needed to have material means to feed himself, cover himself and work. Therefore, while he renounces all he had, he tries to join in a society in which he can provide for the necessities of life without having the weight of temporal administration. How then must he regulate himself in society as regards temporal things? The Company Rules provide for everything; therefore, by practicing the Rules, every need is satisfied. A robe, a piece of bread must suffice for a religious. When more is needed, mention it to the superior and it will be provided. But here everyone's effort must be concentrated. Who can give an advantage to the Company do it, but never take center by itself. Make efforts to ensure that there is only one bag, as there must be only one will. Whoever tried to sell, buy, change or keep money for his own use ... whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend not even saving money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Company. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules. a piece of bread must be enough for a religious. When more is needed, mention it to the superior and it will be provided. But here everyone's effort must be concentrated. Who can give an advantage to the Company do it, but never take center by itself. Make efforts to ensure that there is only one bag, as there must be only one will. Whoever tried to sell, buy, change or keep money for his own use ... whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend not even saving money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Company. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules. a piece of bread must be enough for a religious. When more is needed, mention it to the superior and it will be provided. But here everyone's effort must be concentrated. Who can give an advantage to the Company do it, but never take center by itself. Make efforts to ensure that there is only one bag, as there must be only one will. Whoever tried to sell, buy, change or keep money for his own use ... whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend not even saving money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Company. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules. When more is needed, mention it to the superior and it will be provided. But here everyone's effort must be concentrated. Who can give an advantage to the Company do it, but never take center by itself. Make efforts to ensure that there is only one bag, as there must be only one will. Whoever tried to sell, buy, change or keep money for his own use ... whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend not even saving money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Company. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules. When more is needed, mention it to the superior and it will be provided. But here everyone's effort must be concentrated. Who can give an advantage to the Company do it, but never take center by itself. Make efforts to ensure that there is only one bag, as there must be only one will. Whoever tried to sell, buy, change or keep money for his own use ... whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend not even saving money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Company. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules. but never center on its own. Make efforts to ensure that there is only one bag, as there must be only one will. Whoever tried to sell, buy, change or keep money for his own use ... whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend not even saving money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Company. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules. but never center on its own. Make efforts to ensure that there is only one bag, as there must be only one will. Whoever tried to sell, buy, change or keep money for his own use ... whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend not even saving money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Company. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules. whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend that you not even keep any money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Society. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules. whoever did this would be like a peasant who scatters the wheat while the threshers pile up and throws it in the middle of the volva.8 In this regard I must recommend that you not even keep any money under the specious pretext of making a profit out of it for the Society. The most useful thing for the Company is the observance of the Rules.

The clothes, the room, the furnishings of it are far from the refinement. The religious must be prepared at every moment to start from his cell and appear before his Creator without anything afflicting him in abandoning it and without the judge returning from reason to reproach him.

Everything therefore proceeds with the guidance of obedience, but humble and confident. Nothing is hidden to the superior, nothing is hidden from him. Everyone opens up to him as a son to a father with sincere sincerity. Thus the superior himself will be able to know the status of his confreres, provide for their needs and make those decisions that help to facilitate the observance of the Rules and the advantage of the entire Society.

Many things should be said in this regard. This will be done with another letter, with special conferences and especially in the next years of Trofarello, if God in his great mercy, will preserve us, as I hope, and will help us to be able to gather there in September.

May the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ always be with us and grant us the spirit of fervor and the precious gift of perseverance in the Society. Amen. Affectionate in Jesus Christ

Sac. Gio. Bosco

Means to cultivate vocations and preserve the spirit of piety


Turin, 12 January 1876

My children in Jesus Christ Dearest,

After visiting our homes, I feel the need to stay with you, dear children, around the things that can return to the greater glory of God and for the benefit of our Congregation.

First of all, I am pleased to be able to assure you that I was very satisfied with the material and moral process, both in what refers to internal administration and in external social relations.

8 Volva, in ancient Piedmontese means chaff, shell or robe of wheat, cf V. ​​Di SANT'ALBINO, Great Piedmontese-Italian dictionary, Turin, Unione Tipografico Editrice 1859, p. 146.

9 E (m) V, pp. 41-44.

Work is done, the constitutions of the Society are observed, discipline is maintained, the holy sacraments are frequented, the spirit of piety is promoted and vocations are cultivated in those who for good fortune gave signs of being called to the ecclesiastical state. Thanks be to the Lord for everything, to whose goodness and mercy is due the little good that is being done between us.

I also have the consolation of participating in it as our Society takes a greater increase every day. Several new houses were opened the year before; others will be opened in this year 1876. The staff grows in number and attitude, but as soon as someone is fit to cover some office, the divine Providence immediately presents the opportunity to put itself to work.

But what will we say about the questions that make us open houses in so many parts? In many cities of Italy, of France, of England; in North America, Central, South and especially in the Empire of Brazil and in the Argentine Republic; in Algeria, in Nigrizia, in Egypt, in Palestine, in the Indies, in Japan, in China, in Australia there are millions and millions of reasonable creatures who, still buried in the darkness of error, raise their voices saying: "Lord, send us evangelical workers to bring us the light of truth and show us that way, which alone can lead to salvation". Several of our confreres, as you well know, already listened to these moving voices and left for the Argentine Republic, of to go to the savage tribes of Patagonia; but in all the letters written in their journey and from the places of their mission they continue to sound the same voice: "Send, send workers". Among other things, they note how the archdiocese of Brazil, Rio Janeiro, has two million inhabitants with very few priests and with just five seminarians.

Oh my dear, I feel deeply saddened to reflect on the very abundant harvest which is presented at every moment and on all sides, and which one is forced to leave untended for lack of workers. But let us not lose heart and for now we will apply ourselves seriously with work, prayer and virtue to prepare new militia for Jesus Christ, and we will study to achieve, especially with the cultivation of religious vocations; and if he does so at the time we will also offer ourselves to those sacrifices that God deigned to ask for our own and others' salvation. Meanwhile, in the desire to come to things that are valid for cultivating religious and effective vocations in order to preserve the spirit of piety among the Salesians and among the young men entrusted to us, I try to recommend some things to you that the

1st In every house and especially in the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales, each one should give the utmost solicitude to promote small associations, as would be the small clergy, the company of the Most Holy Sacrament, of St. Louis, of Mary Help of Christians and of the 'Immaculate Conception. No one is afraid of talking about it, recommending it, encouraging it and explaining its purpose, origin, indulgences and other advantages that can be achieved from these. I believe that these associations can be called key to piety, a conservatory of morals, support for ecclesiastical and religious vocations.

2 ° Look at yourself well from relations, friendships or brilliant or special conversations, either in writing, or through an interview, or by means of books or gifts of any kind. So the handshakes, the caresses on the face, the kisses, walking arm in arm or walking with arms in each other's necks are strictly forbidden things, I say not only between you and between you and the students, but among the students themselves. We hold highly firm in our mind the words of St. Jerome who says: "Affection for none or affection equally for all".

3rd Escape of the century and its maxims. Relations with that world which we have abandoned and which would like to again draw us to him are roots of sorrow and disorder. Many as long as they lived in a religious house appeared models of virtue, who went elsewhere, lost relatives or friends in a short time and lost their goodwill, and when they returned to religion they could no longer recover, and some even lost the same calling. Therefore never go to the family except for serious reasons; and for these serious reasons you never go there without due permission and, as far as is possible, accompanied by some confrere chosen by the superior. Taking on commissions, recommendations, negotiating business, buying or selling for others are things to constantly escape, because you find them ruinous for vocations and morality.

4 ° In the evening after the prayers each one immediately goes to rest. Stopping to walk, chat or finish some work are harmful to spiritual and even physical health. I know that in certain sites, thanks to God not in our homes, we had to deplore painful disorders and sought their origins, found themselves in the conversations begun and continued in the hours we mention.

The punctuality in going to rest is connected with the exactness of the rising of the morning which I intend to instill with equal insistence. Believe it, dear ones, the experience has inevitably made it known that the prolonged hour of rest in the morning without necessity was always found a very dangerous thing. On the contrary the accuracy in the rising, besides being the beginning of a good day, can also be called a good permanent example for everyone. In this regard, I cannot omit a warm recommendation from superiors to ensure that everyone, named coadjutors and service people, has time to attend Mass every morning, the convenience of frequently receiving Holy Communion and regularly approaching the sacrament of penance, according to our Constitutions.

This letter that I address to everyone in general, I would like it to be considered as written to everyone in particular, that every word of it was said, repeated a thousand times in the ear of each, so that it would never be forgotten.

But I hope that for the affection you bring me, for the commitment you show in your duties every time, especially in putting into practice the advice of your father and spiritual friend, you will give me the great consolation of being not only faithful to these recommendations but you will interpret them more in the sense that they will better contribute to the greater glory of God and of our Congregation.

With this persuasion I pray God to bless you all and grant you stable health and the precious gift of perseverance in goodness. Finally, also pray for me that I will always be there in Jesus Christ, Lord

Dear friend

Sac. Giovanni Bosco

We have put our hand to the plow: we are still


Turin, 6 January 1884

My dear and beloved children,

My good and beloved daughters in Jesus Christ,

I feel great consolation whenever I can hear words of respect and affection from you, my dear children and my good daughters. But the affectionate expressions, which you have expressed to me with letters or personally in the wishes of good holidays and good year, reasonably require special thanks from me, which is a response to the affected branches that you have expressed to me.

I tell you, therefore, that I am very pleased with you, with the solicitude with which you deal with any kind of work, also taking on serious labors, in order to promote the greater glory of God in our homes and between those youngsters and those young girls who the divine Providence us he goes every day entrusting, because we lead them along the path of virtue, of honor, by the way of heaven. Already in so many ways and with various expressions you thanked me for what I did for you; you have offered to work with me courageously and with me to share the labors, honor and glory on earth, to attain the great prize that God has prepared for us all in heaven; You have also told me that you desire nothing else, except to know what I judge good for you and that you would have unalterably listened to it and practiced it,

10 Circular letters of Don Bosco and Fr Rua and others of their writings to the Salesians, Turin, Salesian Typography 1896, pp. 20-22. The same letter, with the adaptations of the case, was sent to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, cf Cronistoria, edited by G. Capetti, vol. IV: The legacy of Mother Mazzarello passes into the hands of Mother Daghero (1881-1884), Rome, FMA Institute 1978, pp. 281-284.

You know well, beloved children and my good daughters, who have accepted you into the Congregation and have constantly used all possible solicitations for your good to ensure eternal salvation; therefore, if you help me in this great undertaking, you do what my paternal heart can expect from you. Then the things that you have to practice, in order to succeed in this great project, you can of a slight guess. Observe our Rules, those Rules that holy mother Church deigned to approve for our guidance and for the good of our soul and for the spiritual and temporal advantage of our beloved students and pupils. We have read these Rules, studied them, and now they form the object of our promises and the vows with which we have consecrated ourselves to the Lord.

Therefore I commend you with all my heart, that no one let slip words of regret, worse still, of repentance for having consecrated in such a manner to the Lord. This would be an act of black ingratitude. Everything we have, whether in the spiritual order or in the temporal order, belongs to God; therefore when we consecrate ourselves to him in the religious profession, we do nothing but offer to God what he himself has lent us, so to speak, but which is his absolute property. Therefore, by withdrawing from the observance of our vows, we steal from the Lord, while before his eyes we take back, we trample, we profane what we have offered him and we have placed in his holy hands. Some of you might say: but the observance of our Rules costs effort; the Observance of the Regole costa fatica in which you observe badly, in which it is overdue. But it is not as diligent, in love as the sun shines, this observation is divine, as divine Salvatore says, a silly youth, a weighty weight: Jugum meum suave est, et onus meum migo. 11

And then, my dear and dear ones, do we want to go to heaven in a carriage? We have made ourselves religious, not to enjoy, but to suffer and obtain merit for the other life; we consecrated ourselves to God not to command, but to obey; not to attach ourselves to creatures, but to practice charity towards our neighbor, moved by God's love alone; not to live a comfortable life, but to be poor with Jesus Christ, to suffer with Jesus Christ above the earth, to make us worthy of his glory in heaven.

I therefore encourage you, dear children and daughters; we have put our hand to the plow, we are still; none of us turned back to aim at the fallacious and treacherous world. Go on.

11 My yoke is sweet and my burden light (Mt 11, 30).

It will cost us effort, it will cost us hardship, hunger, thirst and perhaps even death; we will always reply: if he delights the greatness of the prizes, they must not at all dismay the labors we have to sustain to deserve them: Si delectat magnitudo praemiorum, non deterreat certamen laborum .12

One thing I still think well to demonstrate. On all sides, our brothers write to me, and I would be happy to give everyone the answer. But this not being possible, I will try to send letters more frequently; letters which, while they give me the opportunity to open my heart to you, may also serve as a response, or rather as a guide to those who live in distant lands for holy reasons and therefore cannot of presence listen to the voice of that father who so loves them in Jesus Christ.

May the Lord's grace and the protection of the holy Virgin Mary always be with us, and help us to persevere in divine service until the last moments of life. So be it.

Very fond of Jesus Christ

Sac. Giovanni Bosco

Attitudes and virtues of the Daughter of Mary Help of Christians


Turin, May 24, 1886

Very beloved daughters in Jesus Christ,

Today, when in Turin we celebrate the very solemn feast of Mary Most Holy Help of Christians with an extraordinary contest of people from all sides, as children at the feet of their tender Mother, it is a comforting thing for me to address a thought to you and to the Institute that carries its first name. Yes, of the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, I also remembered this morning in Holy Mass and prayed for them.

Tra le altre cose ho domandato la grazia che vi conserviate sempre fedeli alla vostra santa vocazione, che siate religiose amanti della perfezione e della santità; che con la pratica delle cristiane e religiose virtù, con una vita edificante ed esemplare facciate onore a Gesù Cristo vostro celeste sposo, onore a Maria vostra amorosissima madre. Spero che anche voi avrete pregato per me e che Maria Ausiliatrice esaudirà le nostre preghiere e ci otterrà dal Signore la grazia di vivere tutti nel santo timor di Dio e di salvar l'anima nostra e quella di molti altri.

12 Se piace la grandezza dei premi, non spaventi la quantità delle fatiche (cf GREGORIUS MAGNUS, Homiliae in Evangelia, )(XXVII).

13 Cronistoria, a cura di G. Capetti, vol. V: Ultimi anni sotto lo sguardo del Fondatore (18851888), Roma, Istituto FMA 1978, pp. 91-94.

Meanwhile, I announce to you that this year ends the six-year period since the election of the members of the Superior Chapter of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians was made and therefore according to Title VII of the Constitutions the new election must take place.

This, God willing, will take place in the second half of August on a day of the octave of Mary assumed into heaven. To this purpose I invite all the leaders who, if possible, find themselves before the 15th of the said month in the mother house of Nizza Monferrato, in which the election will probably take place.

Since then from the election of a good Chapter, and above all of a wise general superior, the good of the whole Institute and the glory of God depends to a great extent, so the electric nuns need to be particularly enlightened in choosing and in giving the vote to those who are esteemed most adept at the important office.

It is therefore necessary for the Lord to enlighten and direct them to fulfill this duty according to his divine will and to have a great benefit.

For this reason I recommend that, from the day you receive this letter, each director should have the hymn Veni Creator recited by the sisters in common or sing in the morning, and the Ave Maris Stella in the evening until the election has taken place .

I then urge each sister to add particular prayers in private, especially after Holy Communion and to do some act of virtue or mortification, in order to obtain all the lights that are necessary for the directors.

In addition to prayer, electric power will also benefit from reflecting on the needs of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. From what it seems to me in the Lord, it needs nuns informed to the spirit of mortification and sacrifice, so that they love to work and suffer for Jesus Christ and for the health of their neighbor. It needs nuns, who are well convinced that exact obedience, without observation and without complaint, is the way they must walk courageously to reach perfection and holiness soon. It takes nuns, that they know how to master their defects and keep their hearts turned to God only to be able to say with St. Francis de Sales: "If I knew that a fiber of my heart is not for God, I would tear it". Of nuns, who regret neither the world nor the goods nor the comforts to which they have renounced; of nuns who consider them glory to live in a state of poverty and deprivation, like their divine spouse Jesus, who as a rich man became poor to enrich the souls with his graces and to make them heirs of paradise; of nuns, who have no other ambition than to follow the humiliated Jesus Christ on earth, crowned with thorns and a cross, to surround him then in exalted heaven, clothed with glory among the splendours of angels and saints.

It needs nuns of good physical constitution, of good character, of honestly cheerful spirit, desiring above all to become saints, not by means of extraordinary actions, but because of common works, so that they may be to the neighbor and especially to the young women of stimulation and enticement to Christian virtues. Lastly, we need nuns who are and can at least become skilled instruments of the glory of God by disengaging those offices and fulfilling those occupations that are proper to the Institute.

Now, to have nuns of this kind, it is very important to have them first of all as head of the Institute of the superiors, who have a good criterion for proving and discerning the vocations of the young before admitting them to clothing and profession. It is very important for the superior that they possess in depth and practice them, for the first, those virtues they have to instill in their subjects. It is very important that the superiors love all the sisters without distinction as their sisters, as daughters of Mary, as spouses of Jesus Christ; but that to a patient and benign charity they combine such a firmness of mind, which in due time, without violence but, but without human respect, prevents abuses and transgressions of the Constitutions; firmness of mind, however, prudent and discreet which, while preserving piety and

Each director therefore reflects within herself which of her sisters have more or less these qualities, and at the time she gives the vote to those who, in the face of God and of their own conscience, seem more suitable for the place they will have to occupy.

In the hope of being able to attend the intimate General Chapter, I pray to God to keep you all in his holy grace, and grant you to love him and serve him faithfully as superior and subject, healthy and sick, and in any place and occupation to whom you apply obedience, so that on any day and now our Lord Jesus Christ will come and call you to eternity, each one can answer him: "Here I am, my God, let us go to the enjoyment of that happiness, which in your infinite mercy you you prepared me ".

Pray for me, and believe me in the Lord

Your most affectionate Sac. Gio. Bosco




These short letters, written in a modest and familiar form, contain valuable spiritual life advice. Don Bosco knows his recipients and invites them to focus on concrete but essential attitudes to nourish fidelity to the Salesian vocation and the constant orientation of the heart to God.

To the cleric Giovanni Bonetti


S. Ignazio, 20 July 1863 My dear Bonetti,

Don't give yourself the slightest concern about what you write to me. The devil sees that you want to run away from him definitively, so he tries to deceive you. Follow my advice and go ahead with confidence. In the meantime you will be able to let the melancholy pass by singing this song of St. Paul: Si delectat magnitudo praemiorum, non deterreat multitudo laborum. Not coronabitur faces here legitimetablevit. Esto bonus Christi miles and ipse coronabit te. 2 Or sing with St. Francis of Assisi: So much is the good that I expect / I am delighted in every pain, / The pain becomes pleasure, / Every grief a beautiful enjoyment, / Every anguish cheers the heart.

Moreover pray for me and I will not fail to pray for you too and do what I can to make you happy in time and in eternity. Amen.

Yours affectionately in Jesus Christ

Sac. Bosco Gio.

To the cleric Costanzo Rinaudo


Venice, 14 October 1865

Dearest Rinaudo,

You can and must study the way of inflaming all the brothers of our Society with the love of God and not arresting yourself unless one heart and one soul is made to love and serve the Lord with all our strength. throughout the course of our life.

1 E (m) I, pp. 591-592.

2 If you like the size of the prizes, do not frighten the amount of fatigue (cf GREGORIUS MANUS, Homiliae in Evangelia, XXXVII)). He will not be crowned if not those who have fought by following the rules (2 Tim 2: 5). Be a good soldier of Christ (2 Tim 2: 3) and he will give you the crown of victory.

3 Cf The little flowers of Saint Francis, in Fonti francescane, Padova, Messenger 1980, pp. 1578-1579.

4 E (m) II, p. 174.

Certainly you will give the example verb et opere.5 God bless you and pray for me who you are

Very fond of the Lord

Sac. Bosco G.

To Don Domenico Belmonte


Trofarello, 22 September 1869

Dearest Belmonte,

A particular Sisse al Salvatore: Lord, I will follow you wherever you go, but let me go and bury my father. Jesus said, 'Follow me and let the dead bury the dead. (Mt 8: 19). You go and proclaim the kingdom of God (Lk 9, 60). Another said, Lord, I will follow you wherever you go, but let me go back, which is my home. Said to him: No sending out etc. (Ibid.). 7 Perciò scrivere la letters from begs yo farö altrettanto. Passiamo the edge altro.

You add me some words that show me or rather confirm that filial affection that you have always nourished for me, that I have always had for you in a much more intense way. I have always tried and studied to put in your hands those things that seem to me to be compatible with your character and according to the greater glory of God. With this thought I would have decided to entrust you to the office of prefect at Mirabello. As you can see the step is gigantic: today a simple subject, tomorrow superior and referee of an institute where he contains almost 200 individuals! However you will succeed:

1 ° With seeking the glory of God in what you do. Do good to those you can, hurt anyone. Supervision in everything.

2nd filial dependence on the director, studying to pursue his aims and assisting him in his efforts. Many things exceed your strengths, so some attributions will be reserved for the director.

3 ° the money is with the director, the payments are made by him or with his consent.

4 ° Study to reconcile the economy of the house with the content of the subordinates.

5 With word and action.

6 E (m) 3, pp. 137-138.

7 Citations of meaning from the Vulgate: "Lord, I will follow you wherever you go, but allow me before I go and bury my father. Jesus replied: Follow me and let the dead bury their dead" (Mt 8, 19. 22). "Thou goest and proclaim the kingdom of God" (Lk 9, 60). "Another said," I will follow you, Lord, wherever you go, but first let me say goodbye to those at home. Jesus answered him, "No one who has put his hand to the plow, etc." (Le 9, 61-62). Don Bosco suggests to Don Belmonte how to respond to relatives who are pressuring him to return to his family.

How necessary it is for everyone: but fearless in opposing abuses and squanderings.

I would recommend another thing for your peace of mind and that is to send your brother to Turin. That would take you away from brigades and perhaps from sorrows. Moreover let us abandon ourselves into the holy hands of the Lord; it is with us and we will say with St. Paul: Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat.8

God bless you and your labors, greet D. Provera and all our other brothers and you always believe me.

Very fond of Jesus Christ

Sac. Gio. Bosco

A suor Maddalena Martini


[Turin, 8 August 1875]

Very beloved daughter in Jesus Christ,

Your going to Mornese gave such a blow to the world that he sent the enemy of our souls to worry you. But you listen to the voice of God who calls you to save yourself by an easy and flat road and despise any contrary suggestion. On the contrary, be glad of the disturbances and anxieties you experience, because the way of the cross is that which leads us to God. On the contrary, if you were immediately cheerful and happy, there would be to fear some deceit of the evil enemy.

So you think:

1 ° One does not go to glory except with great effort;

2nd We are not alone, but Jesus is with us; and St. Paul says that with Jesus' help we become omnipotent; 13

3 ° Whoever abandons his homeland, relatives and friends and follows the divine Master, he has secured a treasure in heaven that no one can take from him; "

4 ° The grand prize prepared in heaven must animate us to tolerate any punishment over the earth "

Therefore take heart: Jesus is with us. When you have thorns, put them with those of the crown of Jesus Christ. I commend you to God in the holy Mass, you pray for me that I am always in Jesus Christ

Your most humble servant

Sac. Gio. Bosco

8 I can do all things in him who supports me (Phil. 4, 13).

9 E (m) IV, p. 499.

10 Cf Fil 4, 13.

11 Citation in the sense, cf. Mt 19, 29; 6, 19-20

12 Cf 2 Cor 4, 17.

To the first missionaries


Memories given to the Salesian religious on November 11 [1875] in the act that they left from the church of Mary Help of Christians to undertake the journey to the Argentine Republic

1. Seek souls, but not money, honors or dignity.

2. Use charity and courtesy to all, but flee conversation and familiarity with people of another sex or suspicious conduct.

3. Do not make visits except for reasons of charity and necessity.

4. Never accept lunch invitations except for very serious reasons. In these cases you try to be two.

5. Take special care of the sick, the children, the old and the poor, and you will gain God's blessing and the benevolence of men.

6. Pay attention to all civil, religious, municipal and governmental authorities.

7. Meeting with an authoritative person on the way, take care to greet him obsequiously.

8. Do the same to ecclesiastical or aggregate persons in religious institutes.

9. Escape idleness and issues. Great sobriety in food, drink and rest.

10. Love, fear, respect other religious orders and always speak well of them. This is the means of making yourself esteemed by all and promoting the good of the Congregation.

11. Take care of your health. Work, but only as much as your own strength does.

12. Let the world know that you are poor in clothes, food and dwellings, and you will be rich in the face of God and you will become masters of men's hearts.

13. Be in love with each other, advise yourselves, but never bring envy or rancor, rather the good of one is the good of all; the pains and sufferings of one are considered as pains and sufferings of all, and each one studies to remove them or at least to mitigate them.

14. Keep your Rules, and never forget the monthly exercise of the good death.

15. Every morning recommend the day's occupations to God, denominations such as confessions, schools, catechisms and sermons.

16. Constantly recommend devotion to Mary Help of Christians and to the sacrament of Jesus.

13 E (m) IV, pp. 547-548.

17. To the youngsters recommended the frequent confession and communion.

18. To cultivate the ecclesiastical vocation you insinuate: 1st love of chastity; 2nd horror of the opposite vice; 3rd separation from the urchins; 4th frequent communion; 5th charity with signs of loving kindness and special kindness.

19. In contentious matters, both sides are heard before judging.

20. In labors and sufferings, let us not forget that we have a grand prize prepared in heaven. Amen.

To the Salesian brother Bartolomeo Scavini


Turin, 1 December 1877

My dear Scavini,

The voice came to me that you are tempted to abandon the Salesian Congregation. Don't do this. You consecrated to God with perpetual vows, you Salesian missionary, you of the first [to] go to America, you great confidant of Don Bosco, will you now want to return to that century where there are so many dangers of perversion? I hope you won't make this out of place.

Write the reasons that disturb you and I as a father will give advice to my beloved son, who will make him happy in time and in eternity.

God bless you and believe me always in Jesus Christ

Very affectionate friend

Sac. Gio. Bosco

To Mr. Taddeo Remotti


Turin, December 31, 1878 Dearest D. Remotti Taddeo,

I liked very much the frankness with which you repeatedly wrote to me. Continue in the same vein. But base yourself on some notices that are my testament to you:

1 ° Endure the defects of others even when they are to our detriment.

2. Cover the stains of others, never make fun of anyone when he is offended.

3rd Work, but work for Jesus' sake; suffer everything, but do not break the charity. Alter alterius onera portate et sic adimplebitis legem Christi.16

14 E (m) V, pp. 516-520.

15 E (c) 3, P-425.

16 Bring the burdens of us to others, so you will fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6: 2).

God bless you, dear Dar Remotti; goodbye on earth, if it pleases the divine wills; otherwise, heaven is prepared for us and divine mercy will grant it to us. Pray for me that now and always I will be you in Jesus Christ


Sac. Gio. Bosco

To the Salesian brother Charles Audisio


Turin, January 31, 1881

Dearest Audisio,

The ancient friend of your soul sends you a greeting and recommends that you never forget the eternal salvation of the soul. Work, but work for the sky.

Exactness in the practices of piety, that's all. Then obedience is the key to all virtues.

God bless you, oh my dear Audisio, God keep you in his holy grace and pray for me that I will always be you in Jesus Christ

Very affectionate friend

Sac. Gio. Bosco

To the cleric Luigi Calcagno


Turin January 31, 1881

Dear Calcagno,

Are you always good, my dear Calcagno? I hope so. But don't look back. Let's aim at the sky that awaits us. There we have a grand prize prepared.

Work, earn souls and save me yours. Sobriety and obedience for you

I'm all.

Write to me often. God bless you and always keep you in his holy grace and pray for those who will always be you in Jesus Christ

Very affectionate friend

Sac. Gio. Bosco

17 E (c) IV, p. 12.

18 Ibid., P. 13

To mother Caterina Daghero


Nizza Monferrato, 12 August 1881

Reverend mother superior general,

Here are some confetti to distribute to your daughters. Consider for yourself the sweetness to be practiced always and with everyone; but always be ready to receive the macaroons, or rather bitter morsels, when God liked to send them to you.

God bless you and give you virtue and courage to sanctify you and the whole community entrusted to you. Pray for me who am in Jesus Christ

Humble servant

Sac. Gio. Bosco

A suor Eulalia Bosco


Pinerolo, 20 August 1884

My good Eulalia,

I blessed the Lord when you took the resolution to make yourself religious; now I thank him wholeheartedly that he kept the good will to break it definitively with the world and consecrate you totally to the good Jesus.

Please make this offer, and reflect on the reward which is a hundredfold in the present life and the real prize, the grand prize in the future life.

But, my good Eulalia, this is not for fun but seriously. And remember the words spoken by the father of Chantal when she found herself in such a case: "What is given to the Lord, do not be taken away". You believe that religious life is a life of continuous sacrifice and that each sacrifice is largely rewarded by God. The only obedience, the only observance of the Rules, the only hope of the heavenly prize are our comfort in mortal life.

I have always received your letters and with pleasure. I didn't answer because I didn't have time.

God bless you, or Eulalia; May Mary be your guide, your comfort to heaven. I hope we will see each other again in this life; otherwise, goodbye: we will see each other talking about God in the blessed life. So be it.

I wish all blessings to the general mother and to all the sisters, novices and postulants of Mary Help of Christians.

I owe a reply to my mother and I will do it. Pray for me and for all our family and always have me in Jesus Christ

Most devoted uncle

Sac. Gio. Bosco

19 Ibid., P. 75

20 Chronology, by G. Capetti, vol. IV, pp. 309-310.

To Don Domenico Tomatis


Mathi, August 14, 1885

My dear D. Tomatis,

Receiving so few of your letters makes me judge that you have much to do; I believe it; but to give your news to your dear Fr Bosco certainly deserves to be one of the things not to be overlooked. What to write? you will tell me. Write about your health and the health of our brothers; if the Rules of the Congregation are faithfully observed; if you do and how to do a good death exercise. Number of students and hopes that give you success. Do you do something to cultivate vocations, do you have any hope? Is Mons. Ceccarelli always a friend of the Salesians? I await these answers with great pleasure.

Since my life is taking a big step towards its end, so the things I want to write to you in this letter are those that I would recommend to you in the last days of exile: my will for you.

Dear D. Tomatis: keep in mind that you became a Salesian to save yourself; preach and recommend to all our confreres the same truth. Remember that it is not enough to know things, but you have to practice them. God help us that the words of the Savior are not for us: Dicunt enim et non faciunt.22

Try to see your business with your eyes. When someone makes faults or carelessness, warn him promptly without waiting for evils to be multiplied.

With your exemplary way of living, with charity in speaking, in commanding, in bearing the faults of others, many will be gained to the Congregation.

He constantly recommends the frequency of the sacraments of confession and communion.

The virtues that will make you happy in time and in eternity are: humility and charity.

Always be the friend, the father, of our confreres; help them in everything you can in spiritual and temporal things; but know how to use them in all that can benefit the greater glory of God.

Every thought I express in this paper needs to be somewhat explained. You can do this for yourself and for others.

God bless you, or always my dear Fr Tomatis; make a very cordial greeting to all our confreres, friends and benefactors. Say that every morning in the holy Mass I pray for them and humbly recommend myself to everyone's prayers.

God grant that we can still see ourselves in this mortal exile, but that we can then one day praise the holy name of Jesus and Mary in the blessed eternity. Amen.

21 F. MOTTO, Three letters to Salesians in America, in P. BRAIDO (ed.), Don Bosco educator. Writings and testimonies, Rome, LAS 1997, pp. 451-452.

22 They say and they don't (Mt 23, 3).

In a short time I'll write to you or I'll write other things of some importance.

Mary keep us all still and guide us on the path to heaven. Amen.

Yours affectionately in Jesus Christ

Sac. Gio. Bosco


These texts are taken from notes taken during Don Bosco's lectures. As you can see, they reflect the style of those who wrote them (don Giovani Bonetti and don Giulio Barberis), but report Don Bosco's ideas. Here, as in the circular letters, the saint emphasizes those he considers the characterizing aspects of Salesian consecrated life, but with that freshness and vivacity that is typical of speech. A model of an integral Salesian emerges in his consecration and aware of the needs of his own vocation, in which he generously commits himself and with all his strength.

Speech after the first religious profession of the Salesians (May 14, 1862)


This vow that I have now made means that I am not imposing any obligation other than to observe what you have observed so far, that is, the rules of the house. I greatly desire that no one let themselves be taken by some fear, some anxiety. In each occurrence let me be [open] to his heart, expose to me his doubts, his anguish. I tell you this because it could be that the demon, seeing the good that you can do by staying in this Society, would put into your head some temptation, trying to make you turn away from the will of God. But if I will be soon informed by you I will be able to to examine the thing, to put peace in your hearts, and also to dissolve you from the vows, if you saw the will of God and the good of souls as such.

But someone will say to me: "Did Don Bosco also make these vows?" Behold, while you were making these vows to me, I also did them to this Crucifix for my whole life, offering myself in sacrifice to the Lord, ready for everything akin to procuring his greatest glory and the health of souls.

My dear ones we are in troubled times and it seems almost a presumption in these ill-omened moments to try to build up a new religious community, while the world and all power to hell endeavor to isolate from the earth those that already exist. But it does not matter, I have not only probable but certain arguments to be the will of God that our Society begins and continues. Many are already making efforts to prevent it, but all succeeded. Indeed some who wanted to oppose it more stubbornly had to pay dearly. It is not much that a distinct person, who for various reasons does not mention, perhaps out of zeal, greatly opposed this Society. Well it was taken from a serious illness and in a few days it went to eternity.

1 ASC A0040604: Annali III 1862/1863, ms of Giovanni Bonetti, pp. 1-6 (cf. MB VII 162-164).

I wouldn't finish it tonight if I wanted to tell you about the special protective acts we had from heaven since our Oratory began. Everything makes us argue that we have God with us and we can go forward with confidence in our businesses, knowing that we are doing his holy will.

But these are not yet the arguments that make me hope for this Society; there are other major ones, among which the only purpose we have set ourselves which is the greater glory of God and the health of souls. Who knows that the Lord does not want to use this our Society to do much good in his Church? Twenty-five or thirty years from now, if the Lord continues to help us as he did so far, our Society spread over different parts may also ascend the number of a thousand members. Of these some intents with the sermons to instruct the low people, others with the education of abandoned boys; some to do school, others to write and spread good books; in short, all to support the dignity of the Roman pontiff and of the ministers of the Church. How well you won't do it! Pius IX believes that we are already fully ordered: we are therefore in order tonight, fighting with him for the cause of the Church, which is that of God. Let us take courage, let us work heartily. God will know how to pay us as a good master. Eternity will be long enough to rest.

Always bear in mind the purpose of the Congregation


12 January 1873

I see with great pleasure that our Congregation is increasing day by day [...]. But if it is my great desire that this Congregation of ours grow and multiply the children of the apostles, so it is also my greatest and greatest desire that these members be zealous ministers of it, worthy children of St. Francis, like the Jesuits sons of the valiant Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The whole world and more than all the wicked ones, who for satanic hatred would like to extinguish this most holy seed, are astonished. The persecutions, the most horrendous massacres do not move these magnanimous. They are divided so that one does not know more than the other, yet in such a great distance from one another they perfectly fulfill the Rules dictated by their first superior not otherwise than if they were in community. Where is a Jesuit there, I say, it is a model of virtue, an example of sanctity: there one preaches, there one confesses, there is announced the word of God. What more? When the wicked believe they have extinguished them, it is precisely then that they multiply the most; it is then that the fruit of souls is greater,

So be it of you, my children, think seriously about the state to which God calls you; think and pray, and entering into this Congregation, reflect yourself in these magnanimous sons of Christ and work like this.

2 ASC A0250202: Conference of D. Bosco, anonymous MS (cf MB X, 1061-1063).

Whether you embrace the ecclesiastical state or remain secular or whatever office you are in, always keep exact compliance with the Rules. Your home will be here, it will be in Lanzo, it will be in one of the other houses, or in France, in Africa, in America, or be alone or more together, always have in mind the purpose of this Congregation, to educate the youth, and in general our neighbor, in the arts and sciences and more in religion; that is, in a word, the salvation of souls. And I had to express what is presently passing through my memory, I would describe to you a large number of Oratories scattered on this earth, such as in France, which in Spain, which in Africa, which in America and in many other places where the vineyard work indefatigably of Jesus Christ our brothers.

This hour is a simple idea of ​​mine, but I think I can already assert it as a historical thing. But since the holy father Pius IX urged us to take Italy as the sole field of our work for the time being, which, as he says, has this extreme need, our efforts will be made here in Italy. But however, as the sky wishes, always remember the purpose of the Congregation to which you ascribe or to which you are ascribed. Let us encourage one another and work together and tirelessly to then one day, in the company of those souls that we will have gained for God, to enjoy in heaven together the beatific sight of God for all eternity.

With all the vows we are all and entirely consecrated to God (17 September 1876)


When an army general sees his champions' ranks grow, he enjoys because he hopes to be able to more easily defeat his enemies with them, without having anything to fear from them. So in this moment I enjoy that I have seen the growth of my children, of those champions who want to fight against the devil; of those champions who will give me a way to eradicate, for as long as we can, his kingdom on this earth and prepare a beautiful throne in heaven.

Do you know what it means to make the holy vows? It means having settled in the front ranks of the divinity of the divine Savior to fight in every way under his salaries. But the thing that I want to tell you here right now is this, that it is not enough to make the vows, but you have to make an effort and do what God promised with a vow. We, therefore, with the holy vows we are all and entirely consecrated to him; we no longer take what we once gave him.

3 ASCs A0000409: Sermons of Don Bosco - Exercises Lanzo 1876, Quad. XX, ms by Giulio Barberis, pp. 14-19 (cf MB XII, 451-454). This is how Don Barberis introduced the text: "On September 17 [1876] it was the day of the issuing of the vows for those who had not yet issued them and who wanted to make them. [...] After the issue, D. Bosco, already sitting on his high chair, he began a beautiful prediction that I will reproduce in the part I remember most "(ibid., p. 14).

We have consecrated these eyes to him: so let us leave those useless and indifferent readings, those vain and bad looks. We have consecrated all these ears to God: therefore, no longer stop to listen to those who murmur and sow discontent, no longer desire weaknesses or find us in those conversations, those gatherings where, although speaking is not bad, it is nevertheless entirely secular and worldly . This language is to the Lord that we have consecrated it to: therefore no more biting and piercing words towards our companions, no more answers to the superiors, no more sowing malcontents; no, now that we have consecrated it to you, let us not stain it any more; rather, let it be all understood to sing the divine praises, to tell good examples to animate others for good. We consecrated this throat to the Lord, therefore far from us every subtle delicacy in food; great parsimony in wine; never let us pull from the throat to accept lunches, drinks or similar things. We have especially dedicated these hands to the Lord, so they are no longer idle; do not be sorry for them to work in vile offices in appearance, provided that everything proceeds to the greater glory of God. These feet are all consecrated to the Lord: oh, here I enter a very vast field, so let us not use these feet to return to that world that we we have abandoned. Yes, I need to stop at this moment to discuss this subject. do not be sorry for them to work in vile offices in appearance, provided that everything proceeds to the greater glory of God. These feet are all consecrated to the Lord: oh, here I enter a very vast field, so let us not use these feet to return to that world that we we have abandoned. Yes, I need to stop at this moment to discuss this subject. do not be sorry for them to work in vile offices in appearance, provided that everything proceeds to the greater glory of God. These feet are all consecrated to the Lord: oh, here I enter a very vast field, so let us not use these feet to return to that world that we we have abandoned. Yes, I need to stop at this moment to discuss this subject.

The Lord gave us a great grace calling us to follow him: this world is too perverse and perverting. So let us follow the grace and not return to pervert ourselves. You see, the Holy Spirit clearly instructs us that the world is all settled in evil: mundus in malign positus est totus.4 Let us therefore make these feet not revolt us again from there [from] where we escaped. The main stumbling block, the biggest difficulty to be found is with regard to parents. But the Lord said that when these were to stumble over our greater good we must not listen to them, not even look at them, rather it even goes so far as to say [to] hate them. ' It is therefore necessary that we withdraw from them at all, since God gave us the great favor of calling us to follow Him. And then with the vows we made we detached ourselves from them to bind ourselves in a peculiar way to God, why put ourselves back in danger of detaching ourselves from God by going to feel their miseries, their needs or their wishes? [...]

I realize that I have moved somewhat away from the subject that I wanted to treat you, that being that there is in a special way consecrated to God we owe to him [to give] our whole life, all our works, all of ourselves. We must try very hard because in reality the fact, our works, correspond to this purpose. Believe it too, there was never anyone who was discontent on the point of death to have consecrated himself to God and to have spent his life in his holy service. Instead there are innumerable those who complain at that point of not having served and loved him.

4 The world is all under the power of the evil one (1 Jn 5:19). Cf Lk 14, 26.

Then the poor weep, but they are no longer in time. Since the Lord in his great mercy wanted to warn us in time and call us to himself, let us surrender and let us do works worthy of his call.

Patience, hope, obedience: memories of spiritual exercises (18 September 1876)


We are at the point of separating ourselves and going to each place where the Lord is destined to exercise his sacred ministry. What will I tell you at this time that it serves as a watchword that everyone has to remember anywhere and at any time as a result of these exercises? These are three simple words that I believe are of the utmost importance at this time. It is good that we await them with all the possible effort of our soul. Here it is: Patience, Hope, Obedience.

[1. Patience] - And at first I recommend you a lot of patience. It is the Holy Spirit himself who warns us: Patientia vobis necessary est, 'he tells us in a place of sacred Scripture. In patientia vestra, he says elsewhere, possidebitis animas vestras.8 Patientia opus habet perfectum.9 I do not mean here to speak of that patience required to endure great labors or extraordinary persecutions; not of that patience that is required to endure martyrdom nor of that which must be exercised in serious infirmities. Patience is certainly required in these cases and in heroic degree; but they are cases that are rarely required to be put into execution, and besides God, in these cases, gives extraordinary graces. The patience of which I intend to speak here is of that which is necessary to accomplish our duties well, what it takes to carry out our duties in all our Rules, to accurately disengage our duties. Of this I intend to speak to you. They need both the superiors and the inferiors, and it may be the case to use them in a thousand circumstances, therefore it must be supplied in abundance.

There will be that one who is overloaded with occupations and if he would still like to add something to it and it is to get irritated with the one who wants to occupy it, and because he does not know his other attributions or because he believes it fit for that rest. It takes patience.

6 ASCs A0000409: Sermons of Don Bosco - Exercises Lanzo 1876, Quad. XX, ms by Giulio Barberis, pp. 1-11 (cf MB XII, 454-460).

7 Patience is necessary (Heb 10, 36).

8 You will save your souls (cf Lk 21, 19).

9 Patience perfects the work (Ge 1, 4).

There is that other person who would like to teach and assist him; the other one would like to go to school and do it or if he wants to stay in one place, they put him in another. In all these cases, patience is needed.

There is that one who believes himself superior to have it against him, not to see him favorably, to always give him the vilest attributions. If one has no patience and one immediately starts to murmur, to show discontent, what will become of it?

That other one has an occupation that is unpleasant to him, he cannot do good in that place; a thousand times the desire to plant everything there and leave who knows where. Adagio to the evil steps: here we must more than ever preserve patience.

The time will come when one will say: the superior hates me; it will be more of an effect of imagination than anything else; but still, may it be lawful for you to complain, to show it, to show you publicly offended? Not already. That is why I said that one must have patience as an indivisible companion.

The superior then, oh how much more will he need it! Because if it knows how to make it exercise for others, the subjects can say: we are many, it alone and we exercise a little patience for each one. But the superior remains alone against all and must endure patience with everyone and that is why, although young, they must sometimes hunch back. Because a little about one, a little about others sometimes has a lot to chew, both because one is not capable, and because one does not see that good will and spontaneity in things, and also because one sees the bad will. But will it be for this reason to cut off all relations with that person or in that business and plant things there as they are? I know that the desire will come a thousand times or to make dry wigs or to send away or whatever, but it is precisely here that there

Even that master, that assistant could cut off any question by giving this slap a kick from there; but let's keep this, if sometimes it truncates a disorder, it never does good and never serves to make virtue loved or make it penetrate into anyone's heart. There is true zeal, yes. Look for ways to do good, yes. But always calmly, gently, with patience.

He will say that man: well said like this, but it costs not to irritate us when we see ... Costa. And I know it too that it costs; but do you know what the word patience comes from? From the [Latin verb] patior, pateris, passus sum, pati, which means: suffering, tolerating, suffering, making us violence. If it did not cost effort it would no longer be patience. And it is precisely because it costs so much effort that I recommend it so much and the Lord inculcates it with so much instance in the sacred scriptures. I also notice that it costs.

10 "Far dry wigs": dialectal expression which means harshly reproaching.

And do not believe that it is the greatest taste in the world to stay all morning nailed to giving an audience or a stop at a table all evening to carry out all the affairs, in letters or the like. Oh I assure you that many times I would gladly go out and get some air and maybe I would really need it; but it is necessary that he take good Pazienza to the good. If this were not done, many businesses would not have run; so much good would remain to be done; stranded you would find various shops of importance: epperciò, patience.

Do not think that it does not cost me too, after having entrusted someone with an affair, after having entrusted him with some task of importance or delicacy or care, and in time he is not executed or wrong, he does not even cost to me to be calm. I assure you that sometimes the blood boils in the veins; a tingling dominates for all the senses. But what? impatient? it is not obtained that the thing not made is done; not even the subject is corrected with fury. Quietly let us know, give us the appropriate rules, and exhort ourselves; and even when it is appropriate to scold a little dry face, but think for a moment: in this case, St. Francis de Sales, how would you go about it? I can assure you that if we do so, we will get what the Holy Spirit said: In patientia tuo possidebitis animas vestras.

And then? It also takes patience, that is, constancy, perseverance to always carry out our Rules. That day will come when one is exhausted, bored or, let us say it too, in which one does not want to do meditation, recite the rosary, attend the sacraments, continue that dry assistance. And here it is precisely the case to constantly and patiently ask the Lord and the Blessed Virgin for patience.

You see a gardener how much care he takes to bring up a seedling. It would seem fatigue thrown to the wind. But it knows that in time that little plant will come to give him much, therefore it does not cure fatigue and will begin to work and sweat to prepare the ground: here it digs, there hoe, then fertilize, then weed, then plants or puts the seed. Then, as if this were little, how hard it is to see that the place where it was sown is not trampled, birds or chickens are not going to eat the seed. When he sees her born he looks at her with pleasure: oh! it sprouts, it already has two leaves, three ... Then it thinks of the graft and, oh how carefully, it looks for it from the best plant of its garden and it cuts the branch, it wraps it, covers it, it procures that the cold or the humidity don't let him die. When the plant grows and turns or bends to one side, immediately try to put a support on it that makes it grow straight, and if it fears that the trunk or trunk is too weak, that the wind or the storm can land it, places them near a large pole and the league and the band so that it does not have to incurring the feared danger. But why, my gardener, so much care for a plant? Because, if I do not do so, it will not bear fruit for me and it is well done: if I want it to give me many good fruits, it is necessary that I take care of it in this way.

11 By your patience [perseverance] you will save your souls (Lk 21, 19).

And, though too much, note that despite this, many times the graft dies, the plant is lost; but in the hope of making up again later, many efforts are being made.

We too, my dear ones, are gardeners, cultivators in the vineyard of the Lord. If we want our work to take place, we need to put a lot of care around the seedlings we have to grow. Even if the graft will dry and the plant will go bad, despite the many hardships and cures; but if these cures really do arise, most of the time the plant succeeds ... If it ever fails, the owner of the vineyard will reward us by being so good! Keep it in mind, the fury is not worth, the instantaneous impulses are not worth: we need continuous patience, that is constancy, perseverance, effort.

[2. Hope] - But the cultivator at least hopes for the pay, the reward. And U.S? who will pay us? Here I enter the second point to tell you about hope. Yes, what sustains patience must be the hope of reward. Oh we work that very consolating us the hope of the prize. We are fortunate that we have to do with a good master. Note how consoling these words are: Quia super panca fuisti fidelis, super multa te constituam; because you were faithful in little, I will set you up a lot.12 We petty know how to do little, we have little strength, little skill. It does not matter, in what little we can we are faithful and the Lord will give us the great reward. When you, master, are tired and would like to leave your occupations there, watch out! Be careful to be faithful to the little, if you want the Lord to make you up for the long. Oh a manager! He has already advised, said, recommended ...; would be to let go of patience or plant everything that goes as you want or make some outburst ... Be careful to stay faithful in the little, if you want to be constituted on much.

A point where we still have to use so much patience, looking to hope, is to win ourselves. It is a matter of overcoming our habits, our bad inclinations, the temptations that continually harass us. Oh how much it costs to leave that habit, that ordinary lukewarmness, that softness, that carelessness in the small practices of obedience or piety. Yet it is here that we must use continuous patience, even extraordinary suffering, but do not allow the devil to win us and, both day and night, both in waking and in rest, both in recreation and in work, always try to win these our bad inclinations. This is what I call patience or long-suffering. And if to win the victory we will have to fight a lot, we look at the great reward, lasceremo of Cupid 'che ci e non ci al gran prepared to win, stand by. The endurance you will gain vestras.13

12 Mt 25, 21.

13 With your perseverance you will save your souls (Le 21, 19).

E San Paolo aggiunge If you delights size of awards will not be deterred size laborum.14

I am not here to tell you how much our hope is based. You know that it is our Lord who is very gracious who promised us this, and for the little we are faithful he promised us much, 15 and he himself calls blessed those who keep his law, "because he knows how great his reward will be. And elsewhere he says that a single glass of fresh water given in his name will be compensated "Courage therefore: hope supports us when patience would like to miss us.

[3. Obedience] - Now we would need a virtue that these two first understood and held together. This virtue is obedience. I will not say that a few things, having read along these exercises the treatise on the obedience of Rodriguez and having even spoken of it in some sermons. I highly recommend that you use patience in obeying and when this obedience does not want to be there, when our head wants to be far from obedience, we look at the sky, we take hope to good.

Well-supported obedience is the soul of religious congregations; is the one that keeps them together. How much good can be done when many members all depend absolutely on one, who, for the very reason of his position, has very broad views, sees in great what is good to do and says to him: Stay here, and [he ] stands; do this, and do it; go there, and immediately that man walks on. The good is multiplied and it is a good that cannot be done if there is no absolute obedience.

Oh what other good is obedience! Raise all the actions by merit, I talk about manual actions. There will be that one who is good for little or nothing, he puts himself under obedience and the superior will put him to fuck or cook, and he can have the merit of the one who takes care of himself all day long and takes care of himself. or on the pulpit or in the confessional or on a chair to teach. This is a great good that comes from obedience. Each patient in the task he has, performs it well, as long as he can, and does not think further, that the Lord welcomes him and blesses him.

Now I still have a thought that I would like to recommend to you today. This thought will be what will tear the first three together. It consists in doing well every month the exercise of the good death; that is, to consecrate a day each month in which, let go, as far as possible, all other occupations, let us think about establishing the things of our soul well.

It will be very useful to make a comparison between month and month: have I made a profit this month? Or was there a regression in me?

14 If you like the greatness of the prizes, do not frighten the quantity of the labors (cf GREGORIUS MAGNUS, Homiliae in Evangelia, XXXVII),

15 Cf Lc 16, 10.

16 Cf Lc 11, 28.

17 Cf Mc 9, 41; Mt 10, 42.

Then come to the details: in this virtue, in this other, how did I go about it? And especially give a magazine to what form the subject of vows and to the practices of piety: regarding obedience how did I go about it? have I progressed? - Did I do it right, for example, that assistance you gave me to do? how did i do it - In that school, how did I get involved? - Regarding poverty, whether in clothes, in food, in cells, do I have anything that is not poor? have I desired gluttony? I complained when I missed something? - Then come to chastity: have I not given place to bad thoughts in me? am I ever more detached from the love of relatives? am I mortified in the throat, in the looks, etc.? - And so let the practices of piety pass and especially notice if there was ordinary lukewarmness,

This exam, either longer or shorter, should always be done. Since there are various who have occupations from which they cannot exempt themselves in any day of the month, these occupations will be permissible to hold them, but each one in said day does proper [in way] to execute these considerations and to make good special intentions.

One more thought. The Lord, to that young man who asked him what he should do to save himself, gave him the law and said: Fac hoc et vives. Do this and you will live: 8 So I say to you: you have the Rules, it is the Lord who gave them to us; let's run them and live. Each one studies and at the same time studies how to put them into practice. Each, for his part, or superior or inferior, or priest or coadjutor, all try to carry them out. Oh on the verge of death how happy and consoled we will be to have done them! Rest assured that our hope, as we said, will not be confused. The Lord is faithful in his promises and he will give us so much hope. Indeed he is full of goodness and mercy. It will give us much more than we can imagine.

Let us therefore be brave. If there is something to suffer, to bear to perform in all that the Lord asks of us, we do not give back. It will know how to reward all our efforts and will satisfy us in time, in eternity, and will give us that prize that surpasses all expectations.

18 The 10, 28.



Unlike the dreams told to young people, in which the didactic intent prevails and the fantastic aspects are emphasized, those reserved for the Salesians reflect more immediately the mind of Don Bosco, his charism as Founder. The images and metaphors are used to focus on the virtues of the good Salesian and some operational aspects that he considers crucial. The texts shown here are taken from the original documents: from the saint's autographs or from the listener's notes.

Roses and thorns in the commitment to the salvation of the young


8 May 1864

One person led me and placed me in a place where there was a beautiful road, all covered with roses, not only below, but also above in the form of a vault and next, all were roses, but so beautiful that I do not he had never seen such things; and he said he walks. I didn't want those beautiful roses with my shoes and I took off my shoes. But I took a step or two and then, ah, I soon had to retreat, for I put my foot on a thorn, which made me very sorrowful, and I observed that under those beautiful roses many very harsh thorns were hidden, and not only below , but from all sides. I then said: "But here you have to put on your shoes"; and the other who looked at me resumed: "Certainly that I must put on your shoes". And so I did. And I had a large number of priests and other people who accompanied me. And I set off; and in spite of all my precautions nevertheless, from time to time, he took bites either on one side or the other of those big thorns; but nevertheless I reached the end of that road. Then I turned back and of many companions no one I saw. I was very distressed and soon I went back to see what they did and where they were, and no one I saw any more. I started crying and said, "Is it possible that they all have to leave me and that I should find myself alone on this road?" Then I turned back and of many companions no one I saw. I was very distressed and soon I went back to see what they did and where they were, and no one I saw any more. I started crying and said, "Is it possible that they all have to leave me and that I should find myself alone on this road?" Then I turned back and of many companions no one I saw. I was very distressed and soon I went back to see what they did and where they were, and no one I saw any more. I started crying and said, "Is it possible that they all have to leave me and that I should find myself alone on this road?"

But here, while I was going with myself, when I was recounting myself and weeping, I see a great crowd of priests and clerics and other people coming to meet me. And here I arrived dissecting myself: "Here we are, ready to follow it; command us and we will obey it". Then I calmed myself, and I said to them: "Well, if you are ready to beat this way with me, go for it"; and everyone took that path and I came after them. Few lost heart and retreated. A great part, happy and courageous, arrived at the end, and I too.

1 ASC A0040605: Cronaca dell'anno 1864. Prediche, ms di Giovanni Bonetti, pp. 15-18 (cf MB III, 33-36, in a broadly remanegended version).

Here we see a very large and magnificent room appearing to us, where other beautiful roses were, and I observed, and all were without thorns and gave a smell, a very sweet fragrance.

Then that person who accompanied me addressed me and said, "Did you understand everything?" "No, I told him, please explain everything to me." And then he: "Know then, that this road means the care that you must take of youth. You must walk on this road with shoes, or with mortification. Beautiful roses are a symbol of ardent charity that must distinguish you and all your coadjutors in the education of the youth. The thorns signify all the obstacles, the sufferings, the sorrows that you will have to sustain in this employment. , as you saw in that rich hall you arrived at ". And I found myself in my room definitely,

Humility, work and temperance


28 September 1876

It is said that we must not pay attention to dreams; I tell you in truth that in most cases I too am of this opinion. However, sometimes, although they do not reveal things to us in the future, they nevertheless serve to let us know how to dissolve intricate business and to make us act with real prudence in various matters. Then we can understand by the part that they offer us good. At this moment I want to tell you about a dream that kept me busy and can be said at all times during these exercises and especially during this last night. I tell it to you as I did, restricting it only a little here and there so as not to be too long, because it is full of many serious teachings.

[Part 1] - It seemed to me, therefore, that we were all together and we went from Lanzo to Turin. We were all on some vehicle, but I couldn't tell if we were on the railway or on an omnibus, but we weren't on foot. Arriving at a given point on the road, I no longer remember where, the vehicle stopped. I descend down to see that there was never one and one appears to me that I could not define: it seemed tall and short in the same time, it was big and thin, while it was white it was also red; he walked on the ground and in the air.

2 ASCs A0000409: Preaches D. Bosco - Exercises Lanzo 1876, Quad. XX, ms by Giulio Barberis, pp. 33-46 (cf MB XII, 463-469). Sermon made by Don Bosco in Lanzo Torinese, at the end of the Salesian spiritual exercises.

I was completely astonished and I didn't know how to give me reason for this, when I took courage I asked him: "Who are you?" It said, without saying anything else, "Come". I wanted first to know who he was, that he wanted, but it resumed: "Come quickly; let's turn the vehicles around in this field".

It was admirable that he spoke softly and loudly at the same time and in various voices, of which I did not finish doing wonders with myself. The field was vast, just as far as the eye could see, everything was well leveled, it was not furrowed, but really beaten like a farmyard. Not knowing what to say and seeing the other so resolute, we turned to the vehicles, who entered that vast field and then shouted to all those who were inside to descend. All descend in a very short time, and as soon as they descended, they saw the vehicles disappear without knowing where they had left.

- Now that we have descended, I whispered, you will tell me, you will tell me, he will tell me why he made us stop in this place. He replied: "The reason is serious: it is to make you avoid a very great danger". "And which?". "The danger of a furious bull who does not leave a person alive in his passage: Taurus rugiens quaerens quem devoret" .3 "Adagio, my dear, you attribute to the bull what in the Holy Scripture St. Peter says of the lion: Leo rugiens". 4 "It doesn't matter: there was leo rugiens, here is taurus rugiens". The fact is that you have to be on the alert. Call all your people around you. He solemnly announces to them with great care that they are attentive, very attentive, and as soon as they hear the bull's bellow, an extraordinary, immense bellow, they immediately fall to the ground and so they lie face down, face even entirely on the ground, as long as the bull has made his way. Woe to him who will not hear your voice, he who does not bow down in the way I have told you is so lost, because it is read in the holy scriptures that he who is low will be exalted and he who is high will be lowered: Here if humiliat exaltabitur et qui se exaltat humuliabitur ".5 Then he added again:" Soon, soon: the bull is about to come; he cries, he cries out loudly. "I shouted and he said:" Come on, louder still, scream, shout. "I shouted so loudly that I think I even frightened D. Lemoyne who sleeps in the adjoining room, but more I could. I said it's good and lost, because we read in the holy writings that those who are low will be exalted and those who are tall will be lowered: Here if humiliat exaltabitur et qui se exaltat humuliabitur ".5 Then he added again:" Soon, soon: the bull is about to come; he cries, he cries out loudly. "I shouted and he said:" Come on, louder still, scream, shout. "I shouted so loudly that I think I even frightened D. Lemoyne who sleeps in the adjoining room, but more I could. I said it's good and lost, because we read in the holy writings that those who are low will be exalted and those who are tall will be lowered: Here if humiliat exaltabitur et qui se exaltat humuliabitur ".5 Then he added again:" Soon, soon: the bull is about to come; he cries, he cries out loudly. "I shouted and he said:" Come on, louder still, scream, shout. "I shouted so loudly that I think I even frightened D. Lemoyne who sleeps in the adjoining room, but more I could.

Here in an instant you hear the bull's bellow: "Be careful, beware! ... Make them all come close to each other in a straight line on one side and the other, with a passage in the middle so the bull can pass ". I cry, I give these orders; in the blink of an eye everyone is prostrated on the ground and we begin to see the bull from far away coming furiously.

Although the great majority were prostrate, yet some wanted to see what that bull was and did not prostrate, they were few.

3 A roaring bull, looking for whom to devour.

Version 4 Rimando alia: "Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, quxrens to devour" (1 Peter 5: 8) Il vostro awersario, il diavolo, Lion ruggente come around, VA, cercando Chi divorare.

5 He who humbles himself will be exalted and he who exalts himself will be humbled (Le 14, 11).

That individual told me: "Now you will see what will happen to them; you will see what they will receive because they do not want to lower themselves." I wanted to warn them again, to shout, run to them. The other denied it to me. I insisted that he let me go to them. He replied severely: "Obedience is also for you, lower yourself". I was not yet prostrate, that a great bellow, tremendous and terrible, made itself heard. The bull was already close to us; all trembled and asked: "Who knows, who knows ...". "Fear not: down to earth!" And that man continued to shout: "Here if humiliat exaltabitur et qui se exaltat humiliabitur ... here if humiliat ... qui se humiliat".

A strange thing, which also amazed me, was this, that although I had my head on the floor and I was really all completely prostrated with my eyes in the dust, I nevertheless saw very well the things that happened around me. The bull had seven horns almost like a circle: two had them instead of a nose; two for eyes; two in the ordinary place of the horns and one above; but, marvelously, these horns were very strong, movable, he turned them to the side he wanted, so that in order to knock down or land someone did not run from turning here and there, it was enough to go on without turning around to knock down whatever he encountered. The horns on his nose were longer and with them he made truly amazing massacres.

The bull was already very close to us; then the other shouts: "See the effect of humility". And in an instant, oh wonder! we all saw ourselves raised in the air at a considerable height so that it was impossible for the bull to reach us. Those few who had not subsided were not relieved. The bull arrives, it tears them away in a moment; not one was saved. In the meantime, so lifted up in the air, we were afraid and we said: "If we fall down, so that we are beautiful; we are poor! What ever it will be of us!". Meanwhile we saw the furious bull trying to reach us. He made terrible leaps to be able to give us horns, but he couldn't hurt us at all. Then, furious more than ever, he makes a sign that he wants to go and look for companions; almost saying: Then we will help each other, we will climb ... And so,

Then we found ourselves on the ground again and that man started shouting: "Let's turn to the side of noon". And then, without understanding how it happened, it changed the scene before us. Turning towards noon, we saw the most holy sacrament exposed: many lighted candles stood on either side and that meadow no longer appeared, but it seemed that we were in an immense church, all well decorated. While we were all in adoration before the most holy sacrament, here came many angry bulls, all with horrible horns and very frightened in appearance.

6 Pien di was furious. The New rimando alia: "The devil came down to you having great anger" (Rev 12, 12).

They came, but since we were all in adoration of the most holy sacrament, they could do us no harm. In the meantime we had set ourselves to recite the chaplet to the most sacred Heart of Jesus. After a while, I don't know how, we looked and the bulls were no longer there. Then again turned to the altar side, we found [that] the lights were off, the sacrament no longer exposed, the church disappeared ... "But where are we?". We were in the field where we were before.

You understand enough that the bull is the enemy of souls; the devil who has great anger against us and continually seeks to harm us. The seven horns are the seven deadly sins. What can free us from the horns of this bull, that is, from the assaults of the devil, from not falling into vices, is mainly humility, the basis and foundation of virtues.

[Part II] - Meanwhile, we were astonished, amazed, and looked at each other. No one spoke, we didn't know what to say. He expected that Don Bosco would speak or that such a person would tell us something, when he, presomally aside, added: "Come, I will show you the triumph of the Congregation of St. Francis de Sales. Mount on this stone and you will see". It was a great boulder in the midst of that endless field and I climbed on it. Oh what an immense sight appeared before my eyes! That field, which I never thought so vast, appeared to me as if it occupied the whole earth. Men of every color, of every dress, were gathered from every nation. I saw so many people that I don't know if the world has so many. I began to observe the first ones who looked at us: they were dressed like us Italians. I knew those first rows and there were many Salesians who led teams of boys and girls as if by hand. Then others came with other teams; then still others and others that I no longer knew and I could no longer distinguish, but they were in an indescribable number. Towards noon Sicilian, African and a vast population of people I did not know appeared to my eyes. They were always led by Salesians whom I knew in the front rows and then no longer.

"Notice," said the man. Here came to my eyes other peoples exterminated in numbers, dressed differently from us. They had furs, especially cloaks that looked almost like velvet, all in various colors. He made me turn towards the four cardinal points. Among other things, I saw women with small feet to the east, so that they could hardly stand up and could hardly walk. The singular thing was that everywhere I saw Salesians leading teams of boys and girls and with them an immense people. In the first rows I always knew them, then going on I didn't know them anymore, not even the missionaries. Here I cannot tell you many things because I would be too long.

you need to have the Rules printed and on the first page in large characters, remember, you will print these words which will be like your emblem, your password, your badge. Note well: Work and temperance will make the Salesian Congregation flourish. You will explain these words; you will repeat them, you will insist. You will print the manual explaining them and make it clear that work and temperance are the legacy you leave to the Congregation and at the same time they will also be the glory ". you will repeat them, you will insist. You will print the manual explaining them and make it clear that work and temperance are the legacy you leave to the Congregation and at the same time they will also be the glory ". you will repeat them, you will insist. You will print the manual explaining them and make it clear that work and temperance are the legacy you leave to the Congregation and at the same time they will also be the glory ".

I replied: "This I will do very willingly; this is all according to our purpose and what I already recommend every day and I always insist that I get the chance."

"Are you then well persuaded? Do you understand then well? This is the inheritance that you will leave them; and yet it is clear that as long as your children correspond, they will have followers at noon, in the north, in the east and in the west. Now come down also from the exercises and walk for their destination. These will normally come then others ".

And here the vehicles appear again to lead us all to Turin. I observe, I observe: they were omnibus sui generis, as strange as ever. Ours begin to mount; but those omnibuses had no support anywhere and I was afraid they would fall and I didn't want to let them leave. But that man told me: "Go, go well: they need no support, only that they perform well those words: Sobrii estote et vigilate". ' Do these two things well, do not fall, although there are no supports and the carriage runs.

[Part III] - So they left. The carriage ran and I was left alone with that guy. "Come, he added quickly; come on, I want you to see the most important part. Oh, you'll have to learn! Well, do you see that big wagon there?" "I see". "Do you know what it is?" "But, I don't see well." "If you want to see well, come closer. Do you see that billboard there? Come closer, look at it: on that sign there is the emblem, from which you will know the rest". I go up and see four very big nails on that sign. I turned to him and said, "But I don't understand anything, if you don't tell me!" "Don't you see those four nails? Observe them well. They are the four nails that pierced and tormented so cruelly the person of the divine Savior".

7 Stay temperate and watch (1 Pt 5, 8).

"And thereby?". "There are four nails that torment the religious congregations. If you avoid these four nails, that is, that your Congregation does not remain tormented by them, that you know how to keep them away, then things will go well, you will be safe". "But I know how before. What do these nails mean?" "If you want to know better, visit that bandwagon that has nails for emblem better. See, this bandwagon has four compartments, each of which corresponds to a nail". "But these compartments that mean?" "Observe that in the entrance of each there is a sign with an inscription which explains everything to you".

I observe the first compartment; I read on the sign: Quorum Deus venter est. ' "Oh, now I'm beginning to understand something." That guy replied: "This is the first nail that torments and ruins the religious congregations. It will also kill you if you are not careful. Fight it well and you will see that things will prosper".

"Now we come to the second compartment. Read the inscription of the second nail: Quaerunt quae sua sunt non quae Iesu Christi. 9 Here are those who seek their own comforts, comforts and brigade for their own good or perhaps even relatives, and they do not seek the good of the Congregation, which is what makes up the portion of Jesus Christ. Be careful, remove this scourge and you will see the Congregation prosper ".

Third compartment. I observe the inscription of the third nail, and it was: Aspidis lingua eorum. "" The fatal nail for the congregations are the murmurers, the whisperers, those who are always trying to criticize, either straight or sideways. "

Fourth compartment: Cubiculum otiositatis. "" Here are the idlers in large numbers; when one begins to introduce idleness, the community remains beautiful and ruined; instead, as long as you work a lot, no danger for you ".

"Now again observe one thing that is in this caravan, to which many and many times it is not taken care of and I want you to observe it with special attention. See that closet that is not part of any compartment, but extends a little in all? Observe it well: it is like a half compartment or district ". "I see, but there is nothing left of leaves, high weed, another lower, tangled." "Good, good: this is what I want you to observe". "But what can I get out of this?" "Look carefully at the inscription that is almost hidden". I observe well and I see written: Latet anguis in herba.12 "And with this?". "Look, there are certain individuals who hide themselves; they do not speak, they ruminate among themselves alone. Be careful: latet anguis in herba. They are true scourges,

8 They have their bellies as gods (Phil 3:19).

9 They seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2, 21).

10 Their tongue is a serpent.

11 The room of idleness.

12 La serpe if nasconde nell'erba (P. Virgil Matto, Carl pastoral, 3, 93).

Even if bad, if they were revealed they could be corrected. But no, they're hidden. We do not realize it and meanwhile the evil becomes serious; the poison multiplies in the heart of them and when they are known there would be no more time to repair the damage they have already produced. So learn well the things you have to keep away from your Congregation. Keep in mind what you have seen. Give order for these things to be explained and explained at length. Doing this, you are calm about your Congregation that things will prosper one day more than the other ".

Then I prayed to the man who, in order not to forget any of the things he had said to me, would leave me some time to write to her. "If you want to make the test, he replied, write them; but I fear you lack time. Be careful." While I was telling myself these things and I was preparing to write, I thought I heard a confused noise, an agitation all around me. The floor of that field seemed to wobble. Then I turn around to see if there was something new and I see the young people, just before they left, that all frightened on all sides come back to me, and immediately after the bull's bellow and the bull itself that chased them. When the bull reappeared I was so frightened by his sight that I woke up.

I have told you in this circumstance, before separating, the dream, well persuaded to be able to say with all truth that it would be worthy conclusion of the exercises if we propose to stick to our coat of arms: Work and Temperance; and if we will try to avoid the four great nails that martyred the congregations: the vice of the throat; seeking comfort; murmurs and idleness; to which it should be added that everyone is always open, frank and confident with their superiors. In this way we will do good to our souls and at the same time we will also be able to save those that Divine Providence will entrust to our care.

Wanting to come now to give some special memory that will serve for the course of this year, here is what it would be: that we seek all the means to preserve the queen virtue, the virtue that preserves all the others; that if we have it, it will never be alone, indeed it will have all the others as a procession; and if we lose this, the others either are not there or are lost in a short time. Love this virtue, love it very much and remember that to preserve it you have to work and pray: Do not eicitur nisi in jejunio et oratione. "

Yes, prayer and mortification. Especially mortification in looks, in rest, in food and especially in wine. For our body, do not seek comfort, or rather, I would almost say, overpower it. Don't look at him, out of necessity, when health requires it, then yes.

There should be no col 13 scacciano to fast e la preghiera. Citazione a sense dalla Version, "Roe kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting" (Mt 17: 20).

Necessary to give al corpo e non più del resto lo stretto; perch, diceva Deharbe body that is corrupted weighs down. "Si! Allora che cosa faceva Deharbe? I keep my body under control and that the spirit of service

I then recommend here what I recommended in the other set of exercises: obedience, patience, hope ... The other thing is the humility that we need to try to possess ourselves and inculcate in our young people and in everyone, virtue that is ordinarily called the foundation of Christian life and perfection.

Future things for vocations


9 May 1879

Big and long battle of youngsters against warriors of various appearance, different shapes with strange weapons. Finally, very few survivors remained.

Another more fierce and horrible battle took place between gigantic monsters against well-armed, well-exercised tall men. They had a very high and wide banner in the center of which these words were painted in gold: Maria Auxilium Christianorum. The fist was long, bloody. But those who followed the banner were invulnerable and remained masters of a vast plain. They were joined by the youngsters who had survived the previous battle and all of them formed a sort of army, each with a weapon in the right side of the crucified saint, in the left a small banner of Mary Help of Christians, modeled as above.

The new soldiers made many maneuvers in that vast plain, then they divided and departed one to the West, others towards the East, some few in the North, many in the South.

The same battles, the same maneuvers and departures for the same directions took place.

I have known some of the first fights; those who followed were unknown to me, but they gave way to knowing that they knew me and asked me many questions.

It came down shortly after a shower of bright flames that looked like fire of various colors.

14 This corruptible body weighs down the soul. The quotation is not from St. Paul, but from Sap 9, 15: "Corpus enim quod corrumpitur aggravat animam".

15 I punish my body and make it a slave to serve the spirit. Citation to meaning and adapted from the Vulgate: "Punishment corpus meum et in servitutem redigo: ne forte cum aliis prwdicaverim, ipse reprobus efficiar" (1 Cor 9, 27): I harshly beat my body and enslave it so that after that having preached to others, be disqualified myself.

16 Autograph of Don Bosco, published in C. ROMERO, Dreams of Don Bosco. Critical Edition, Leumann (Turin), Elle Di Ci 1978, pp. 51-57 (cf MB XIV, 123-125).

It thundered and then the sky brightened and I found myself in a very pleasant garden. A man who had the appearance of St. Francis de Sales, offered me a booklet without saying a word to me. I asked who he was. "Read in the book," he replied. I opened the book and found it hard to read. I could however note these precise words:

To the novices: Obedience and diligence in everything. With obedience they will deserve the blessings of the Lord and the kindness of men. With diligence they will fight and overcome the pitfalls of spiritual enemies.

To the professed: jealously guarding the virtue of chastity. Love the good name of the confreres and promote the decorum of the Congregation.

To the directors: Every care, every effort to observe and enforce the Rules with which everyone consecrated himself to God.

To the superior: Absolute Holocaust to earn himself and his subjects to God. Many other things were printed in that book, but I could no longer read because the paper appeared blue as ink.

- Who are you? I again asked that man who was gazing at me with a serene look.

- My name is known to all the good guys, and I am sent to tell you some future things.

- Which?

- The ones on display and the ones you ask for.

- What should I do to promote vocations?

- The Salesians will have many vocations with their exemplary conduct, treating the pupils with great charity and insisting on frequent communion.

- What should be observed in the acceptance of novices?

- Exclude the lazy and the gluttonous.

- In accepting votes? - Watch if you have a guarantee on chastity.

- How can the good spirit be better preserved in our homes?

- Write, visit, receive and treat with kindness, and this very frequently by the first superiors.

- How should we regulate ourselves in the missions?

- Sending safe individuals into morality; call back those who let you glimpse serious doubt; study and cultivate indigenous vocations.

- Does our Congregation walk well?

- He just, he still; Not to go forward is to go backward that he continues to be saved. "

- Will it expand a lot?

- As long as the superiors do their part they will grow and no one can stop their propagation.

17 Who is righteous will always be justified (Ap 22, 11). Not going ahead is like regressing. Whoever persists will be saved (cf Mt 24, 13).

- Will it last a long time?

- Your Congregation will last until its parents love work and temperance. Missing one of these two columns your building undermines crushing superiors and inferiors and their followers.

At that moment four individuals appeared carrying a mortuary coffin and walking towards me.

- Who is this for? I said

- For you.

- Soon?

- Don't ask, just think you're mortal.

- What do you mean to me with this coffin?

- What you have to do in life what you want your children to practice after you. This is the inheritance, the testament you must leave to your children; but you have to prepare it and leave it well done and well practiced.

- Do flowers or thorns hang over us?

- There are many roses, many consolations; but they are imminent pungent thorns that will cause in all deepest bitterness and grief. We must pray a lot.

—Are we going to Rome?

- Yes, but slowly, with the greatest prudence and with careful precautions.

- Will the end of my mortal life be imminent?

- Don't worry about this. You have the Rules, you have the books, do what you teach others. Supervises.

I wanted to ask more questions, but thunder burst with lightning and lightning, while some men, or I'll say better, hideous monsters pounced on me to tear me apart. In that instant a gloomy darkness took my eyes off everything.

I thought I was dead and I started screaming like a frenzy. I woke up and I found myself still alive and it was four-quarters of the morning.

If there is anything that can be advantageous, let's accept it.

In everything, then, may it be honor and glory to God for all ages.

The ten diamonds


10-11 September 1881

Holy Spirit enlighten our minds and hearts. Amen 19

18 Autograph of Don Bosco, published in C. ROMERO, Dreams of Don Bosco, pp. 59-71 (ef MB XV, 183-187). It is also called "the dream of San Benigno Canavese"; one of the most important texts for Salesian spirituality,

19 The grace of the Holy Spirit illuminates our senses and our hearts. Amen.

On September 10th, the current year (1881), the day that the Holy Church consecrated to the glorious name of Mary, the Salesians gathered in S. Benigno Canavese, did the spiritual exercises. In the night from the 10th to the 11th, while I was sleeping, the mind found itself in a large, beautifully decorated room. It seemed to me that I was walking with the directors of our houses when a man of such majestic appearance appeared among us, that we could not look at him. Give us a look without speaking, he started walking a few steps away from us.

He was so dressed. A rich cloak like a cloak covered his person. The part closest to his neck was like a band that curled in front of him and a ribbon hung on his chest. On the band was written in luminous characters: Pia Salesianorum Societas year 1881, and on the strip of it band he wrote these words: Qualis esse debet. "

Ten diamonds of extraordinary thickness and splendor were those that prevented us from gazing at that august character, if not with great pain.

Three of those diamonds were on the chest and it was written on top of one Fides, on the other Spes and Charitas on what was on the heart. The fourth diamond was on the right shoulder and he had written: Labor; above the fifth in the left shoulder Temperantia vase-law.

The other five diamonds adorned the back of the mantle and were so arranged: a larger and more thundering one stood in the middle like the center of a quadrilateral, and bore written: Obedientia. On the first on the right you read: Votum Paupertatis. On the second lowest: Praemium. In the left on the highest was written: Votum Castitatis. The splendor of this sent a very special light and by looking at it it drew and attacked the look as the magnet pulls the iron. Ieiunium was written on the second left plus lower. All these four folded their luminous rays towards the diamond of the center.

Dilucidation - In order not to cause confusion it is good to note that these brilliants handed down rays that, like flames, rose and carried various judgments here and there: on the Faith the words were raised: Sumite scutum fidei ut adversus insidias diaboli certare possitis.2 'Other ray had: Fides sine operibus mortua est?' Non auditores, sed factores legis regnum Dei possidebunt.23

20 How it should be.

21 Take the shield of faith, to be able to fight against the snares of the devil. Meaningful quotation from the Vulgate: "In omnibus sumentes scutum fidei, in quo possitis omnia tela nequissimi ignea extinguere" (Eph 6:16): In every situation you hold the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one .

22 Faith without works is dead (Jas 2, 20).

23 Not those who merely listen, but those who practice the law will possess the kingdom of God. Meaningful quotation from the Vulgate: "Do not enim auditores legis justi sunt apud Deum, sed factores legis justificabuntur" (Rm 2, 13): Not those who hear the law are justified before God, but those who practice the law.

His Raggi della Speranza: Let your hope be in the Lord, do not your hearts may be set in the place where the truths are always gaudia.25 hominibus.24

His raggi della love one another's burdens if they wish to carry out the law is .26 Love and be loved. But I love your lives vestrorum.27 Devote divine service revenues; Mass is celebrated with attention; Saints win the visitetur.28

Work sulla word: cure desire; Powerful weapon against the snares of the devil. "

Sylla Temperanza: If a tree, you must make a fire extinguitur.3 ° agreement with your eyes with greed, he did so to prevent your enemy prey animal-mas. "Indulgence and self-incompatible cohabitare.32

His Raggi dell'obbedienza, the entire building foundation, and most compendium.33

His Raggi della povertà, the kingdom coelorum.34 wealth spinae.35 poverty is not the words but the heart and the work is performed. "She opens the door of Heaven introibit.37

His raggi della Castita: All the powers of the world in their heart, they come together with the illa.38 Who, mysteries of God, they see, and your God, the very videbunt.39

24 Hope in the Lord, not in men.

25 Your hearts are constantly turned where the true joys are. The expression is taken from a collection of the Missale Romanum (Dom. IV post Pascha).

26 Carry the burdens of each other, if you want to fulfill my law. Meaningful quotation from the Vulgate: "Alter alterius onera portate, et sic adimplebitis legem Christi" (Gal 6: 2).

27 Love and you will be loved. But love your souls and those of your neighbor.

28 Let us pray the liturgy of the Hours devoutly; let us celebrate the mass carefully; let us visit the Holy of Holies with much love.

29 Remedy for concupiscence; powerful weapon against all the traps of the devil.

30 If you take away the wood, the fire goes out.

31 Make a covenant with your eyes, with your throat, with sleep, so that these enemies do not devastate your souls. Meaningful quotation and extended by the Vulgate: "Pepigi fcedus cum oculis meis" (Job 31, 1): I made a pact with my eyes.

32 Intemperance and chastity cannot be together.

33 Foundation of the whole building and compendium of holiness. Thomas Aquinas uses the expression "fundamentum totius spiritualis aedificii", speaking of faith (In III Sent., D. 23, q. 2, q. 1, a. 1, ad 1; cf Summa Theologiae, II-II , q. 4, a. 7).

34 Of these is the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5: 3).

35 Riches are thorns.

36 Poverty is not lived with words, but with the heart and works.

37 It will open the gate of heaven and introduce you.

38 All the virtues come with her. Citation to meaning and adapted from the Vulgate: "Venerunt autem mihi omnia bora pariter cum illa" (Wis 7, 11): Together with it all the goods came to me.

39 The pure in heart see the secrets of God and will see God Himself. Meaningful quotation and extended by the Vulgate: "Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt" (Mt 5, 8).

His raggi del Premio: If it is agreeable the magnitude of the rewards, it does not make them afraid: the multitude of your troubles. "He who suffers with me, with me, it is that which we suffer in the land of gaudebit.41, the momentary, the eternal is that which shall delight the .42 in heaven for my friends,

His Raggi del Digiuno: weapon against the most powerful of all the virtues inimici.43 guardian 44. Every kind of demon by him ejicitur.45

D 'un largo nastro from the color di rosa serviva orlo nella parte inferiore del manto, from the era scritto sopra questo nastro: The argument of preaching, in the morning, at noon, and, Gather up the fragments of the virtues and of great holiness, and the building vespere.46 .47 Woe to you, you decide you reject those who were small, and gradually decidete .48

Until then the directors were standing, kneeling; but all astonished and no one spoke. At this point, Fr Rua, as though he were beside himself, said: "We must take note so as not to forget. Look for a pen and don't find it; he takes out his wallet, rummages and has no pencil. I will remember, said D. Durando. I want to note, added Fr. Fagnano, and began to write with the stem of a rose. We all aimed and understood writing. When Fr. Fagnano stopped writing, Fr. Costamagna continued to dictate in this way: Charity understands everything, endures everything, conquers everything; let us preach it with words and deeds.

While D. Fagnano wrote, the light disappeared and we all found ourselves in dense darkness. - Silence, said D. Ghivarello, let us kneel, pray and the light will come. D. Lasagna began the Veni Creator, then the De Profundis, Maria Auxilium Christianorum etc. which we all answered. When it was said: Ora pro nobis, a light reappeared, which surrounded a sign in which it read: Pia Salesianorum Societas qualis esse periclitatur anno salutis 1900.49

An instant later the light became brighter than we could see and know each other.

40 If it attracts the greatness of the prize, do not frighten the quantity of the labors (cf GREGO1UUS MAGNUS, Homiliae in Evangelia, XXXVII).

41 Those who suffer with me will rejoice with me.

42 Whether you suffer from earth or momentary, eternal, and how much will you rejoice my friends in heaven? Citation inspired by the Vulgate: "What is next is the momentaneum et leve tribulations nostrx, sopra modum in sublimità wternum glori pondus operatur in nobis" (2 Cor 4, 17): The momentaneo and leggero weight of our tribulation, looks for a quantity earrings and eternal glory

43 Powerful weapon against the traps of the enemy.

44 Keeper of all the virtues.

45 With it all kinds of temptations are chased away. It is a reference to the text of the Vulgate: "Hoc autem genus non ejicitur nisi per orationem et jejuniuna" (Mt 17, 20): This race of demons is not cast out except by prayer and fasting.

46 Preaching topic, morning, noon and evening.

47 Take care of the details of the virtues and build a great building of holiness.

48 Woe to you who despise little things, little by little you will go into decay. Citation to sense and adapted from the Vulagata: "Qui spernit modica paulatim decidet" (Sir 19, 1): He who despises little things is destined for a slow ruin.

49 The Pious Salesian Society which risks being in the year 1900.

In the midst of that glow the first character appeared again, but with a melancholy appearance similar to the one who begins to cry. His coat had become discolored, worm-eaten, torn. On the site where the diamonds were fixed, there was instead a deep breakdown caused by woodworm and other small insects.

Respicite, he told us, et intelligite. "I saw that the ten diamonds had become as many woodworms that angrily gnawed at the mantle.

Pertanto al Diamante delta faith but also sottentrati, sleep and apathy. "From Hope besmirched smile and talk .52

A CHARITY perficiendis.53 negligence in divine love and seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. "

A temperance, whose gullet and the stomach. "

From Work, Sleep, theft and otiositas.56

In place of the Obedientia there was nothing but a large and profound failure without writing.

A Chastity desire and the pride vitae.57

A Povertà era succeduto reader, habits, food and money. "

A prize will be part of our things on terram.59

There was a breakdown in Ieiunium, but nothing in writing.

At that sight we were all frightened. D. Lasagna fell unconscious, D. Cagliero became pale as a shirt and, leaning on a chair, shouted: "Is it possible that things are already at this point?" D. Lazzero and D. Guidazio stood like they were beside themselves and held out their hands to avoid falling. D. Francesia, Count Cays, D. Barberis and D. Leveratto were there on their knees, praying with the crown of the holy rosary in their hands.

In quel tempo suited if you intend to draw one voice: What changed? 60

But in the darkness a singular phenomenon succeeded. In an instant we found ourselves wrapped in thick darkness, in the midst of which a very bright light soon appeared, shaped like a human body. We could not keep our eyes on it, but we could see that it was a handsome young man dressed in a white dress worked with gold and silver threads.

50 Look and learn.

51 Sleep and sloth.

52 Rice and scurrilous words.

53 Negligence in the sacred celebrations.

54 They love and seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2, 21).

55 Throat; they have their womb as god (Phil 3:19).

56 Sleep, theft and leisure.

57 Concupiscence of the eyes and pride of life (1 Jn 2, 16).

58 Rest, dress, drink and money,

59 Our gain is worldly goods.

60 How much that beautiful color has altered (Lam 4, 1).

All around the dress there was a hem of very bright diamonds. With majestic appearance, but sweet and lovable, he advanced somewhat towards us and addressed us to these textual words:

"We are also tools of almighty, look and understand. Firm and steadfast. That is now seen and heard is a heavenly reminder to you and your brothers has become; Understand clearly understand the conversation. Throwers, foreseen to withstand them, and they can be anticipated. How many words are marked, many topics are any attributes. Ceaselessly proclaim and out. But which you affirm, constantly do all this, so much so that the light which is just as dangerous, of being regarded as a transfer to the work of your sons, and your brethren, and to pass from generation to generation. Listen and understand: - Be of eyes on the new recruits accepted; strong in cultivating prudent admission. All the test; But just what is good. Sooner mobile remit. Listen and understand: - Morning and evening thinking is firmly based on the observance of the Constitutions. If you do this you will never fail Mighty aid. The show will be realized and angels will then be proud of the glory of God. And Jesus went forth, and the other he will see the beginning: for this world, and they shall say to you: the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes? -A. Then, all with one voice, they shall sing of your brethren, the sons of your lord, and: - Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but give glory to your name". O Lord, not to us; but give glory to your name". O Lord, not to us; but give glory to your name".61

These last words were sung, and to the voice of the speaker there was a multitude of other voices so harmonious, sonorous, that we remained unconscious and, in order not to fall unconscious, we joined the others to sing. At the moment the song ended, the light darkened. Then I woke up, and realized it was daylight.

61 «Servants and instruments of Almighty God, listen and understand. Be brave and be strong. What you have seen and heard is a warning from heaven, sent now to you and your brothers. Pay attention and understand well what is being said. The intended blows do less damage and can be prevented. The words indicated, are as many topics of preaching. Preach incessantly, at appropriate and inappropriate time. But the things you preach always do them, so that your works may be like a light, which in the form of a sure tradition radiates over your brothers and children from generation to generation. Listen well and understand: - Be cautious in accepting novices, strong in cultivating them, prudent in admitting them [to the profession]. Try them all, but keep only the good. Send away the light and fickle ones. Listen well and understand: - Morning and evening meditation is constantly on the observance of the Constitutions. If you do this, you will never miss the help of the Almighty. You will become spectacle for the world and for the angels and then your glory will be the glory of God. Those who will see the end of this century and the beginning of the other will say of you: - From the Lord this has been done and it is admirable in the eyes our. Then all your brothers and your children will sing: "Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name gives glory". Those who see the end of this century and the beginning of the other will say of you: - From the Lord this has been done and is admirable in our eyes. Then all your brothers and your children will sing: "Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name gives glory". Those who see the end of this century and the beginning of the other will say of you: - From the Lord this has been done and is admirable in our eyes. Then all your brothers and your children will sing: "Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name gives glory".

Reminder - This dream lasted me almost the entire night and in the morning I found myself exhausted. However, for the fear of forgetting about it, I quickly got up and took some notes that served as a reminder to remind me of what I have shown here on the day of the presentation of the Most Holy Mary to the temple.

I could not remember everything. Among the many things I was able to confidently point out that the Lord uses great mercy for us. Our Society is blessed by heaven, but he wants us to lend our work. The threatened evils will be prevented if we preach on the virtues and on the vices noted there: if what we preach, we will practice it and we will pass it on to our brothers with a practical tradition of what we have done and will do.

I could even see that many thorns are imminent, many hardships to which they will hold behind great consolations. Around 1890 great fear; about 1895 great triumph. Maria Auxilium Christianorum, now pro nobis.



The salient parts of an autographed notebook of Don Bosco are reproduced, called from the Salesian tradition "Spiritual Testament":

1. Farewell, my dear and beloved children in Jesus Christ (p. 219).

2. Special notices for all (p. 220).

3. Aspirants to the Salesian vocation (pp. 220-221).

4. The director of a house with his brothers (pp. 221-222).

5. Fundamental recommendation to all Salesians and Salesians (pp. 222-223).

6. The future (p. 223).

7. Last farewell to benefactors and Cooperators (pp. 224-226).



Before leaving for my eternity I must fulfill some duties towards you and thus satisfy a keen desire of my heart.

First of all I thank you with the most heartfelt affection for the obedience you have given me and for what you have worked to support and propagate our Congregation. I leave you here on earth, but only for a while. I hope that the infinite mercy of God will make that we can all find ourselves one day in the blessed eternity. I await you there.

I recommend you not to cry my death. This is a debt that we all have to pay, but afterwards every effort sustained for our master's sake, our good Jesus, will be largely rewarded. Instead of crying, make firm and effective resolutions to remain firm in the vocation until death.

Watch and make that neither the love of the world nor the affection for relatives nor the desire for a more affluent life move you to the great inappropriateness of profaning the sacred vows and thus betraying the religious profession with which we consecrated ourselves to the Lord. No one takes up what we have given to God.

If you have loved me in the past, continue to love me in the future with the exact observance of our Constitutions. Your first rector is dead. But our true superior, Christ Jesus, will not die. He will always be our teacher, our guide, our model; but you believe that in his own time he will be our judge and rewarder of our loyalty in his service.

Your rector is dead, but another who will take care of you and your eternal salvation will be elected. Listen to him, love him, obey him, pray for him, as you did for me.

Goodbye, dear children, goodbye. I await you in heaven. There we will talk about God, Mary, mother and support of our Congregation; there we will eternally bless our Congregation, whose observance of the Rules contributed powerfully and effectively to save us. Sit nomen Domini benedictum ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum. In you Domine speravi, not confundar in aeternum.2

1 F. Morro (ed.), Memories from 1841 to 1884-5-6 pel sac. Gio. Bosco to his Salesian sons. (Spiritual Testament), Rome, LAS 1985, pp. 30-32.

2 May the name of the Lord be blessed now and forever. In you Lord I have hoped, I will not be confused forever (Ps 71, l).



I strongly advise all my children to watch, both in speaking and writing, to never tell or assert that Don Bosco has received graces from God or has worked miracles in any way. He would make a damaging mistake. Although the goodness of God has been generous to me, I have never claimed to know or work supernatural things. I did nothing but pray and ask the Lord to ask graces from good souls. I have always experienced the prayers and communions of our young people. Merciful God and His Most Holy Mother came to our aid in our needs. This occurred especially whenever we were in need of providing for our poor and abandoned youths and even more when they were in danger of their souls.

2nd The Holy Virgin Mary will certainly continue to protect our Congregation and Salesian works, if we continue our trust in her and we will continue to promote her cult. Her feasts and even more her solemnities, her novenas, her triduums, the month consecrated to her are always warmly inculcated in public and in private; with leaflets, with books, with medals, with images, with publishing or simply telling the graces and blessings that this heavenly benefactor of ours grants at every moment to suffering humanity.

3 ° Two sources of thanks for us are: to recommend in advance on all the occasions we can use to inculcate to our young students that in honor of Mary they approach the holy sacraments or exercise at least some works of piety. Listening with devotion to Holy Mass, a visit to Jesus in the sacrament, frequent sacramental communion, or at least spiritual communion, are of the greatest satisfaction to Mary and a powerful means of obtaining special graces.



For aspirants we here mean those youngsters who wish to form a Christian standard of life that makes them worthy at the time to embrace the Salesian Congregation or as clerics or lay brothers.

Special diligence is used for them. But those who have the intention of becoming Salesians or at least are not opposed to it should only be kept in this number, when such is the will of God.

Let them have a special conference at least twice a month.

3 F. Morro (ed.), Memoirs from 1841 to 1884-5-6, pp. 35-36.

4 Ibid., Pp. 39-40.

In these conferences it is a question of how a young person should practice or flee to become a good Christian. The Younger provided administers the main arguments on this subject.

However, they are not told about our Rules in particular, nor about votes or leaving home or relatives; they are things that will come into your heart without reasoning.

Keep the great principle firmly in mind: one must give oneself to God either sooner or later, and God calls blessed the one who begins to consecrate himself to the Lord in his youth. Beatus homo cum portaverit jugum ab adolescentia sua. ' The world then, with all its flattery, relatives, friends, home, or sooner or later or out of love or by force must abandon everything and leave it forever.



The director must be a model of patience, of charity with his brothers who depend on him and therefore:

1 ° Assist them, help them, instruct them on how to fulfill their duties, but never with harsh or offensive words.

2nd Show that he has great confidence in them; treat with affection the affairs that concern them. Never make reproaches, nor give severe warnings in the presence of others. But make sure you always do this in camera caritatis, that is gently, strictly in private.

3 ° If the reasons for such notices or reproaches were public, it will also be necessary to publicly notify, but both in the church and in special conferences never make personal allusions. The warnings, the reproaches, the allusions made manifestly offend and do not get the amendment.

4 ° Never forget the monthly statement as much as possible; and on that occasion each director became his friend, his brother, the father of his employees. Give everyone time and freedom to make their reflections, express their needs and their intentions. He then for his part opens his heart to all without ever making anyone known; not even remembering the past deficiencies except to give paternal warnings or charitably recall who was negligent to the duty.

5. Make sure that you never discuss things related to confession unless the confrere applies. In such cases, never take resolutions to be translated into an external forum without being well understood with the partner in question.

6th Mostly the director is the ordinary confessor of the confreres. But be careful to give ample freedom to those who need to confess to another. It remains however understood that these particular confessors must be known and approved by the superior according to our Rules.

5 Blessed is the man who brought the yoke since his youth (Lam 3, 27).

6 F. MOTTO (ed.), Memoirs from 1841 to 1884-5-6, pp. 47-49.

7th Since then those who go in search of exceptional confessors show little confidence with the director, so it, the director, must open his eyes and bring particular attention to the observance of the other rules and not entrust to that confrere certain tasks that seem superior to the moral or physical forces of him.

NB What I say here is quite foreign to the extraordinary confessors that the superior, director and inspector, will take care to fix at the right time.

8th In general, then, the director of a house often and with great familiarity deals with the confreres, insisting on the need for uniform observance of the Constitutions and, as far as is possible, also the textual words of the same.

9 ° In cases of illness, observe what the Rules prescribe and how much the Chapter resolutions establish.

10 ° Let it be easy to forget the sorrows and personal offenses and with benevolence and with regard to studies to win or better to correct the negligent, the suspicious and the suspicious. Wins in bono malum .7



Love poverty if you want to keep the finances of the Congregation in good condition.

Make sure that no one has to say: this furniture gives no sign of poverty, this table, this habit, this room is not like a poor one. Whoever offers reasonable reasons to make such speeches, he causes a disaster to our Congregation that must always boast of the vow of poverty. Woe to us if those from whom we await charity will be able to say that we have a more comfortable life than their own. This is always meant to be rigorously practiced when we are in the normal state of health, because in cases of illness all the concerns that our Rules allow must be used.

Remember that it will always be a good day for you when you can win an enemy with benefits or make a friend.

Never set the sun above your anger, nor ever recall forgiven offenses, never remember the damage, the forgotten wrong.

7 Winning evil with good (Rom. 12.21).

8 F. MOTTO (ed.), Memoirs from 11841 to 1884-5-6, pp. 56-57.

We always say from the heart: Dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.9 But with an absolute and definitive forgetfulness of all that in the past has caused us some outrage. We all love with brotherly love.

These things are exemplarily observed by those who exercise some authority over others.



Our Congregation has before it a happy future prepared by divine Providence and its glory will be lasting so long as our Rules are observed.

When the comforts or comforts begin between us, our pious Society has completed its course.

The world will always receive us with pleasure until such a time that our concerns will be directed to the savages, the poorest children, the most unsafe of society. This is for us the true comfort that no one will envy and no one will rapture us.

Don't go to found houses if you don't have the necessary personnel for the management of the same.

Not many neighboring houses. If one is distant from the other the dangers are much less.

Having started a mission abroad, continue with energy and sacrifice. The effort should always be to make and establish schools and raise some vocation for the ecclesiastical state or some nun among the girls.

At the time we will carry out our missions in China and precisely in Beijing. But let us not forget that we go to poor and abandoned children. There between unknown and ignorant peoples of the true God one will see the wonders so far not believed, but that powerful God will make manifest to the world.

We do not preserve stable properties outside the homes we need.

When in some religious enterprise we lose the financial means, we suspend, but the works started as soon as our economies continue, the sacrifices will allow it.

When it happens that a Salesian succumbs and ceases to live working for souls, then you will say that our Congregation has brought back a great triumph and the blessings of heaven will descend on it abundantly.

9 Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors (Mt 6: 9-12).

10 F. Motto (ed.), Memoirs from 1841 to 1884-5-6, pp. 58-59.



My good benefactors, and my good benefactors,

I feel that the end of my life is approaching, and the day is coming, when I will have to pay the common tribute to death and descend to the grave. Before leaving you forever in this land, I must dissolve a debt towards you and thus satisfy a great need of my heart.

The debt that I must pay is that of gratitude for all that you have done by helping me to educate so many poor young boys on the path of virtue and work, so that they may have the consolation of the family, useful to themselves and to civil society and above all to save their soul and thereby make themselves eternally happy.

Without your charity I could have done little or nothing; with your charity we have instead cooperated with the grace of God to dry many tears and save many souls. With your charity we have founded numerous colleges and hospices, where thousands of orphans were taken away from abandonment, torn from the danger of irreligion and immorality, and through good education, study and the learning of an art, good deeds Christians and wise citizens.

With your charity we established missions to the ends of the earth, in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, and sent hundreds of evangelical workers to extend and cultivate the vineyard of the Lord.

With your charity, we have set up printing presses in various cities and countries, published among the people with more than millions of copies of books and papers in defense of the truth, in favor of piety and in support of morality.

With your charity we have still raised many chapels and churches, in which for centuries and until the end of the world the praises of God and of the Blessed Virgin will be chanted every day and many souls will be saved.

Convinced that, after God, all this and much much more was done through the effective help of your charity, I feel the need to externalize it and therefore before closing the last days of my life I express to you the deepest gratitude and I thank you from more intimate than the heart.

But if you have helped me with so much kindness and perseverance, I now ask you to continue to help my successor after my death. The works that I have started with your support no longer need me, but continue to need you and all those who like you love to promote good on this earth. I therefore entrust them to everyone and recommend them.

11 Ibid., Pp. 60-62. Printed circular in the Salesian Bulletin of May 1888.

To your encouragement and comfort I leave it to my successor that in the communal and private prayers, which are made and will be done in Salesian houses, our benefactors and our benefactors are always included, and that he puts the intention every time that God grants the hundredfold of their charity also in the life present with health and harmony in the family, with prosperity in the countryside and in business and with liberation and estrangement from every misfortune.

To your encouragement and comfort I still notice that the most effective work to obtain forgiveness of sins and to secure eternal life is charity given to little children: Uni ex minimis, to an abandoned little one, as assured by the divine master Jesus.12 I would also like to point out that in these times, making one very much feel the lack of material means to educate and educate the poorest and most abandoned youngsters in faith and in good morals, the Blessed Virgin became herself their protector; and therefore he receives for their benefactors and their benefactors many graces and spiritual and also extraordinary storms.

I myself and with me all the Salesians are witnesses that many of our benefactors, who were previously of little luck, became very wealthy after they began to spread in charity towards our orphans.

In view of this, and trained from the experience, many of them, some in one way and some in another, told me several times these and other similar words: I do not want you to thank me when I give charity to your poor children; but I must thank you for asking me. Since I began to subsidize his orphans my substances have tripled. Another gentleman, the commendator Antonio Cotta, often came himself to bring alms, saying: The more I bring money for his works, the better my business is. I feel with the fact that the Lord also gives me in the present life the hundredfold of what I give for his love. He was our distinguished benefactor until the age of 86, when God called him to eternal life to enjoy the fruit of his beneficence there.

Although tired and exhausted with strength I would no longer leave you to speak to you and recommend my children to me, whom I am about to abandon; but I must point and put down the pen.

Goodbye, my dear benefactors, Salesian Cooperators and Cooperators, goodbye.

Many of you I have not been able to meet personally in this life, but it does not matter: in the other world we will all know each other and eternally we will rejoice together in the good that we have done in God's land with God's grace, especially for the benefit of the poor youth .

If after my death, divine mercy, for the merits of Jesus Christ, and for the protection of Mary Help of Christians, she will find me worthy to be received in heaven, I will always pray for you, I will pray for your families, I will pray for your loved ones, so that one day all may come to praise the majesty of the

12 Cf Mt 10, 42.

Creator, to become intoxicated by his divine delights, to sing his infinite miseries

cordie, Amen.

Always Your duty Servant

Sac. Gio. Bosco



224-225 Fraternal correction 60 Peaceful conscience 68, 71-72, 73 Constitutions 141, 151, 154-159, 160-167 Custody of the senses (cf mortification) To give oneself to God 19-22, 35, 186, 191-193, 221 Demon 19-21, 23-26, 77-78, 201-203 Devotion 47 Fasting 158, 210-213 Diligence 141-142, 148, 152, 160, 208, 220 God: loving 21, 23, 27, 29, 91 -93; creator 20, 27; merciful 26, 28, 91 92, 93-95 Director 33, 41-43, 73, 118-119, 142, 151 153, 181, 196, 221-222 Discernment (cf vocation) Bad discourses 49Displacement from the world (cf fuga mundi ) State Duties 24, 27-28, 32, 35-36, 41-42,47, 50, 120, 135, 169 Youth Education 122-128, 161,199-200 Examination of Conscience 26, 105, 130-131, 151.197-198 Accuracy 72-73, 174 Spiritual Exercises 31, 74-75, 115, 118, 120.151, 155, 159, 164 Exercise of the good death 35, 120, 134, 151, 159 Fedeltà (cf. perseverance; observance) Fervor spirituale 63-64, 72-73 Fortezza 137, 159 World Escape 129, 145, 147, 158, 168, 174, 221 Jesus Christ 23, 25-29, 49, 98-103, 150, 182, 219 Giaculatorie 34, 67, 106, 108, 130, 158 Gioia 19-20, 22, 129, 165 Gloria di Dio 169-172, 175-176, 178-179, 181 Throw 82 Imitation of Jesus Christ 99 -101, 165, 168 Incontinence 205 Lavoro (see duties of the state, occupation of time) Lavoro and temperance 135, 185, 205-206, 210-213, 223 Lesson 70-71 Spiritual writing 150, 164 Maria SS. (Auxilium Christianorum) 66 67, 111-114, 161, 177, 183, 207 Maria SS. (devotion) 24-25, 28-29, 41-44, 77-78, 80-81, 103, 113-114, 142, 162, 164, 220 Meditation (mental oration) 32, 101, 129, 131, 134 , 150-151, 158 Messa 26, 31-33, 35, 44-45, 106, 113, 120, 129, 158, 220 Messe (la) abbondante 57-63, 173, 203-204 Mercy 91-95, Spirit of Prayer 162 Virtues: Humility 84, 100, 102, 131, 165, 187, 200-202 Visit to the Blessed Sacrament Sacrament 130, 142, 150, 158, 220 Vocation 30-31, 48, 50, 51, 61-63, 75-76, 141-142, 153 Vocations (promotion of) 118, 125 126, 154-155, 173- 175, 184, 207-209, 220-221 Will of God, 102, 132, 134, 166 Votes: generally 142-143, 189-190, 191-193 Votes: Chastity 146-148, 157-158, 162, 210213 Votes: Obedience 143-144, 156, 162-163, 171-172, 210-213 Votes: Poverty 145-146, 155, 157, 163, 172, 210-213, 222 Zelo 190-191


INTRODUCTION (Aldo Giraudo) 5
1. Don Bosco spiritual guide of young people 8
2. Addresses of life for a coherent and active Christianity 9
3. Consecrated to God for his glory and for the salvation of young people 11
4. Final recommendations of a father and concerns of a founder 11
Criteria of issue 13
Sigle 13
Sources of this collection 14
Documents from the Salesian Central Archive (Rome) [—ASC] 14
Printed works of Saint John Bosco 14
Critical editions of writings of Saint John Bosco 15
Other sources 16
Part I
To youth 19
Things necessary for a young man to become virtuous 20
Devotion to the Most Holy Mary 24
Practical way to approach the sacrament of confession with dignity 26
Preparation for Holy Communion 28
The young person in choosing his state 30
From the Regulations of the 'Oratory of St. Francis de Sales for the Exteriors 32
From the Regulations for the Houses of the Salesian Society 34
Company of San Luigi Gonzaga (12 April 1847) 40
Company of the Immaculate Conception (9 June 1856) 41
Compagnia del SS. Sacramento (1857) 44
To Stefano Rossetti 46.
To Giovanni Garino 46
To Emanuele Fassati 47
To Annetta Pelazza 48
To Gregorio Cavalchini Garofoli 48
To the community of artisans of Valdocco 49
To the seminarian Antonio Massara 50
To the students of the 4th and 5 to the gymnasium of Borgo San Martino 50
5. PREDICES And speeches gOOD NIGHT 52
Education on the beautiful virtue 52
the storm in the heart of the sinner 56
"the harvest is plentiful, the laborers are few" 57
the spiritual fervor 63
Growing fast to be 64 apostles
beginning of the school year 65
Effectiveness of the appeal to Mary Help of Christians 66
The quiet conscience 68
Holidays, entertainment and leisure time 69
As long as there are books to read I will always tell you: read! 70
Cleaning clothes on the way back from a journey 71
"Accuracy and cleanliness" 72
How to do spiritual exercises 73
Discerning your vocation and deciding 75
The serpent and the Hail Mary 77
Faith, temperance and idleness 80
Dream of Lanzo or of the Salesian garden 83
Lambs, the storm and healing ointment 86
Part II
L infinite mercy of God 91
kindness towards the sinner 93 2. THE CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL RESOURCES 96 Faith, hope and charity 96
The means of salvation 97
Jesus Christ, model of every Christian 99
Prayer 101
The Sacrament of Penance 104
The Sacrament of the Eucharist 106
Charity towards the little ones and the poor 108
The title of "Help of Christians" 111
Association of devotees of Mary Help of Christians 112
Convenient prayers to the spirit of the Association 113
Members "external "of the Pious Salesian Society 115
Salesian Cooperators, or a practical way to benefit good
society and civil society 116
Circular Salesian Cooperators 121
"Do you want to do something divine? Educate the youth" 122
To a lay person desirous of perfection 129
To a religious person 130
To the Marquis Ignazio Pallavicini 130
To the surveyor Giovanni Turco 131
To a mother of a family 132
To a distressed widow 133
To a committed Catholic 134
To a friend a priest 134
To an attempted priest 135
To blessed Edoardo Rosaz, bishop of Susa 135
To a scrupulous lady 136
To a discouraged priest 137
To a mother worried about her son 137
Part III
To the Salesian Members 141
Means to guard the vocation 141
/ votes 142
Obedience 143
Poverty 145
Chastity 146
Fraternal charity 148
Practices of piety 150
Of the accounts and their importance 151
From the first Rules of the Society of St. Francis de Sales 154
From the first Rules of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (1878) 160
First purpose of our Society is the sanctification of its members 168
Unity of spirit and unity of administration 170
Means for cultivating vocations and preserving the spirit of piety 172
We have put our hand to the plow: we are still 175
Attitudes and virtues of the Daughter of Mary Help of Christians 177
To the Cleric Giovanni Bonetti 180
To the Cleric Costanzo Rinaudo 180
To Fr Domenico Belmonte 181
To Sister Maddalena Martini 182
To the First Missionaries 183
To the Salesian Brother Bartolomeo Scavini 184
To Don Taddeo Remotti 184
To the Salesian brother Charles Audisio 185
To the cleric Luigi Calcagno 185
To mother Caterina Daghero 186
To sister Eulalia Bosco 186
To don Domenico Tomatis 187
Speech after the first religious profession of the Salesians (May 14, 1862) 189
Always bear in mind the purpose of the Congregation 190
We are all and entirely consecrated to God by vows (17 September 1876) 191
Patience, hope, obedience: memories of spiritual exercises (18
September 1876) 193
Roses and thorns in the commitment to the salvation of the young 199
Humility, work and temperance 200
Future things for vocations 207
The ten diamonds 209
Part IV
4 221
Thematic index 227