LAS - ROMA
This second part consists of five sections:
1. Our God is loving and merciful (pp. 91-95).
2. The spiritual resources of the Christian (pp. 96-110).
3. Mary Help of Christians (pp. 111-114).
4. United we are stronger: "Vis united fortior" (pp. 115-128).
5. Spiritual councils to friends, Cooperators and benefactors (pp. 129-138).
At the heart of Don Bosco's spirituality is the thought of God, the merciful and provident Father, all striving for his saving action with a tender love for every creature. He incessantly invites man to respond to his love and enter into communion with him. It is not only an appeal to conversion, but an invitation to an unconditional delivery of self so that God can reign in our hearts and sanctify it. Through the religious assistance given in the Work of the Refuge for the misguided girls and the personal experience among the unsafe youths, Don Bosco discovered the wonders of divine grace in sincerely repentant hearts. At the invitation of the Marquise of Barolo, in 1847 he composed an Exercise of devotion to the mercy of God, from which we transcribed two heartfelt meditations.
The whole earth, says the Holy Scripture, is full of divine mercy, mercy Domini full east omnis earth.2 We can nowhere bring our eyes without us feeling the benefits of God. The air that gives us the breath, the the sun that shines on us, the elements that sustain us, the fire, the water that we need for so many uses, the animals that are purified for our convenience, how beautiful, precious or magnificent can be seen everywhere where everything shows goodness divine. How many accidents can man's life be subjected to by day, by night, in food, in drink, in the streets, in jobs and in every other action, yet God has kept us up to now.
This we see operating in temporal matters; What then shall we say about what God does about spiritual things? The intellect for which man knows the truth, the reason why good is distinguished from evil, the will with which man can follow virtue and merit before the Lord, memory, the faculty of speaking, reasoning, to know, in short, the thinking principle, or the soul, are gifts from the Lord who has given us and with his daily goodness or providence for us to preserve. The churches, the sacraments, all the other spiritual comforts make this divine mercy more and more obvious for the benefit of men.
Yet the Lord assures us that these benefits share without distinction with the just and with sinners. "He makes his sun shine on the good and on the wicked and makes the dew of the sky fall so much on the righteous, as on sinners" .3 Since then the sinner sinning loses many of these gifts, so it seems that the Lord goes looking for him to benefit him and return what he lost through sin. Let's see how a saint makes his prophet speak:
1 [G. Bosco,] Exercise of devotion to the mercy of God, Turin, Typography Eredi Botta 1847, pp. 29-38 (OE II, 99-108).
2 Ps 33, 5.
3 Cf Mt 5, 45.
"The sinful man leaves the road of evil and returns to his Lord, he will have compassion on him" .4 Come to me, he says in another place, and I will give you back what you have lost in time that you lived far from me, ' I will make you not only what you don't have, but what you don't even think about.
The same is shown by our Savior, who in the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation should have had particular regard to the just souls who had long awaited him; he himself assures us that he did not come to take human flesh and work what we read in the holy Gospel for the just, but for sinners, do not vote for justos sed peccatores, 6 and elsewhere: I have come to save what was lost: veni salvum facere quod perierat.7 As if to say: the sinner despises and rejects from himself all the favors of divine goodness and nothing else deserves more than eternal death; I have come to give him back the hope of life and make him what he has lost: veni salvum facere quod perierat. Moreover, after sin all creatures rebel against the sinner. St Thomas says that the fire, the earth, the water, the air for their natural instinct would tend to punish sin in order to avenge the injury done to their Creator. Omnis creature excandescit adversus iniustos.8 Only God for his piety, while all the elements would come to exterminate sinful man from the face of the earth, he not only restrains them, but makes them continue to serve man, almost, according to the expression of sacred Scripture, he dissimulates the sight he has of the sins of the men so that they repent. Dissimulans peccata hominum propter paenitentiam .9 He continues to spread his gifts to everyone without distinction; he looks with regret to the sinner away from him, favors him in a thousand ways, wants to use him mercy. air for their natural instinct would tend to punish sin to avenge the injury done to their Creator. Omnis creature excandescit adversus iniustos.8 Only God for his piety, while all the elements would come to exterminate sinful man from the face of the earth, he not only restrains them, but makes them continue to serve man, almost, according to the expression of sacred Scripture, he dissimulates the sight he has of the sins of the men so that they repent. Dissimulans peccata hominum propter paenitentiam .9 He continues to spread his gifts to everyone without distinction; he looks with regret to the sinner away from him, favors him in a thousand ways, wants to use him mercy. air for their natural instinct would tend to punish sin to avenge the injury done to their Creator. Omnis creature excandescit adversus iniustos.8 Only God for his piety, while all the elements would come to exterminate sinful man from the face of the earth, he not only restrains them, but makes them continue to serve man, almost, according to the expression of sacred Scripture, he dissimulates the sight he has of the sins of the men so that they repent. Dissimulans peccata hominum propter paenitentiam .9 He continues to spread his gifts to everyone without distinction; he looks with regret to the sinner away from him, favors him in a thousand ways, wants to use him mercy. 8 Only God for his piety, while all the elements would come to exterminate sinful man from the face of the earth, not only restrains them, but makes them continue to serve man, almost, according to the expression of the Holy Scripture, he dissimulates the sight that he has of the sins of the men so that they repent. Dissimulans peccata hominum propter paenitentiam .9 He continues to spread his gifts to everyone without distinction; he looks with regret to the sinner away from him, favors him in a thousand ways, wants to use him mercy. 8 Only God for his piety, while all the elements would come to exterminate sinful man from the face of the earth, not only restrains them, but makes them continue to serve man, almost, according to the expression of the Holy Scripture, he dissimulates the sight that he has of the sins of the men so that they repent. Dissimulans peccata hominum propter paenitentiam .9 He continues to spread his gifts to everyone without distinction; he looks with regret to the sinner away from him, favors him in a thousand ways, wants to use him mercy. he has the sins of the men to repent. Dissimulans peccata hominum propter paenitentiam .9 He continues to spread his gifts to everyone without distinction; he looks with regret to the sinner away from him, favors him in a thousand ways, wants to use him mercy. he has the sins of the men to repent. Dissimulans peccata hominum propter paenitentiam .9 He continues to spread his gifts to everyone without distinction; he looks with regret to the sinner away from him, favors him in a thousand ways, wants to use him mercy.
Even who would believe it? in spite of such moving traits of goodness of our God, many live almost insensitive in the disorders of their lives, without caring that the time of mercy may end for them and that his rigorous justice takes over them. This too happens, that the sinner far from his God no longer thinks of him, and while he seeks him to use mercy for him, it seems that he competes to irritate him and move him to punishment. Let us ponder these traits of the divine goodness well, and while we see them renewed every day to our advantage, please! we are no longer ungrateful; and if sin ever keeps us away from God, we detest him with a living heart and return to him as soon as possible.
4 Cf Is 55, 7.
5 Cf. Ez, 18, 32.
6 Lk 5, 32
7 The 19th, 10th.
8 All creatures are angry against the unjust; I refer to the Vulgate: "Creatura enim tibi Fattori deserviens, exardescit in tormentum adversus iniustos (Wis 16: 24): in fact, creation obeys you, its Creator, and stiffens to punish the unjust.
9 Do not look to the sins of men for repentance (Wis 11, 23).
And since the sinner mostly after the fall no longer thinks of returning to his Lord, on this day, in a special way illuminated by God, let us prostrate ourselves before the throne of divine mercy and invoke her to make her divine grace descend upon the obstinate sinner, enlighten him to return to him. Crying the unhappy state of all sinners, we detest our own sins; we say to God so: ah! my Lord, I mean that at this time I would have to stay in hell and for your mercy I am still given this day to throw myself at your feet and feel that you want to use mercy and forgive me as long as I repent of the injuries done to you .
Yes my God, I thank you for all the benefits you have given me and that you are doing every day; I was unaware of it for the past, but now I love you with all my heart, I regret having offended you, I regret it more than having offended you that whatever evil I might have incurred; deh illuminate me or infinite goodness, let me know my great ingratitude; ah I never offended you! O my Jesus, forgive me and do that from today onwards I love others only you, alive only for you who died for me. The grace that I ask for me, I also ask for all sinners so that all know your great goodness in benefiting them, once they leave the unhappy state in which they find themselves and return to taste the delights of a loving father like you. This grace I ask for the infinite merits of your divine son and our savior Jesus Christ. And you, O loving Mother of mercies, sweetness and comfort of sinners, let me be heard, since no grace has ever been asked of God for you which has not been granted.
Although the reasons that move us to thank God are innumerable, nevertheless it seems that he deserves special thanksgiving for the kindness with which he welcomes the sinner, and this will make him more confidently present himself to his offended Lord, who lovingly calls him .
The princes of the earth do not always decide to listen to the rebellious subjects who go to ask their forgiveness, and in spite of the most vivid signs of repentance, it is necessary to pay them with life: God does not do so with us. He assures us that he will never turn his face to us every time we return to him; no, because he himself invites us and promises us the most ready and loving welcome. Reverte to me and evoke to you: return to me, o sinner, and I will receive you (Jer 3: 1). "Turn me to me, convert to ad vos, ait Dominus: only that you want to return to me, I will run to meet you ( Zc 1, 3).
10 [G. Bosco,] Exercise of devotion to the mercy of God, pp. 76-84 (OE II, 146-154).
11 Meaningful quotation from the Vulgate: "Reverter ad me, dicit Dominus, et ego suscipiam you" (Jer 3, 1c): Come back to me, says the Lord, and I will welcome you.
Ah with what love, with what tenderness God embraces a sinner when he returns to him! Let us recall again the already mentioned parable of the lost sheep. The good shepherd finds her, holds her on his shoulders, takes her home and calls his friends to cheer up with him, shouting: rejoice with me because I found the sheep I had lost. Congratulamini mihi quia inversi ovem quae perierat.12 This most signified the Redeemer with the parable of the prodigal son, saying that he is that father who, seeing his lost son return, runs to him at the meeting; and before he speaks he embraces it, kisses it tenderly, and almost fails in tenderness for the consolation he experiences (Le 15, 11-32).
One thing that could drive away sinners from this return is the fear that God will reproach them with the offenses caused; something that takes place in men, who forget their offenses for some time and a little accident arouse them. Of the Lord it is not so: he comes to say that if the sinner repents, he also wants to forget his sins as if he had never offended him, he listened to his precise words: if the wicked will do penance he will have forgiveness and I I will forget all of his iniquities: si impius egerit paenitentiam vita vivet; omnium iniquitatum ejus non recordabor .13 It says even more (and it seems that it cannot go beyond divine mercy): come et argitate me, dicit Dominus: si fuerint peccata vestra ut coccinum, almost nix dealbabuntur (Is 1, 18). 14 And you mean, come, o sinners, and do the test; even if your soul were black for a thousand iniquities, if I do not forgive you, ask me, take me back and treat me as an infidel. But no, God does not know how to despise a contrite and humiliated heart, 15 rather the Lord is glorified when he uses mercy and forgives sinners: exaltabitur parcens vobis (Is 30, 18), 16 and what should console the sinner more is that he he will not have much to cry: at the first tear, at the first saying "I repent", the Lord will immediately move to pity, statim ut audierit, respondebit tibi; "as soon as you repent and ask for forgiveness, immediately he forgives you.
12 Rejoice with me because I have found the sheep that was lost (Lk 15: 6).
13 Se il malvagio farà penitenza, vivre; non saranno ricordati tutti i suoi misfatti. Quotation of the A sense out of the contratta dalla the Vulgate reads: "But if the wicked do penance for all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto city "(18, 21-22): Se il malvagio farà penitenza di tutti i suoi sin che tutti i miei precetti has commesso be kept out of agiras with rettitudine out giustizia, cgli vivrà not morirà. Tutte le colpe da lui commesse non saranno ricordate.
14 Come and discuss, says the Lord; even if your sins were as scarlet, they will become white as snow.
15 Cf Ps 51, 19.
16 He will arise having pity on you.
17 As soon as he hears, he will answer you (Isa. 30, 19).
Perhaps the timid souls will say, it is true the mercy of the Lord is great, but no one can deny that he is also a just judge, who will treat us as our faults deserve. There are too many sinners, who frightened by the idea of finding a severe judge in God, do not dare to return to him. Such are the judges of this world who treat offenders according to the gravity of the crime. But, we repeat, God does not treat sinners like this. He sometimes uses his justice, but this only to amend the sinner and return him to his fold; he is terrible, but for those who return to him it is all lovable, and all charity; Deus caritas est. "Perhaps the outrages made to the divine Savior will terrify us? Not even this should terrify us: Jesus Christ is our judge, but he is also our friend, vos amici mei estis, 19 are his words. Indeed, Jesus Christ came to save sinners. Veni salvum facere quod perierat. "For the sinner who came down from heaven to earth, he was born in poverty, lived among hardships, gave his life in sorrows and scattered all his precious blood to save the sinner. Therefore he cannot but feel satisfaction when he sees his sufferings bear fruit with the repentance of the sinner, and he himself showed this when he said that the repentance of a sinner all the blessed enjoy and celebrate for all of heaven.2 'So all fear for the rigor of divine justice rather we thank our good God for the many benefits he has given us in the course of our lives and especially by having waited for us in penance. Let us promise him with all my heart that for the future we will always be faithful and constant in serving him. And let us say to him with love that for the innumerable traits of goodness that has used us, any pain, tribulation, suffering, life and even death would not be enough to thank him according to our immense debt. Meanwhile, we, grateful to so many signs of divine goodness and animated by the loving welcome with which he receives us, let us approach with confidence the throne of grace, "and sure of obtaining the forgiveness of our sins, we promise God to employ every moment of our life in the thank him, bless him and praise him, so that every day he likes to leave us in this life are nothing but a continual thanksgiving for the goodness used by us,
18 God is love (1 Jn 4: 8).
19 You are my friends (Jn 15:14).
20 I have come to save what was lost (Lk 19:10).
21 Cf Le 15, 7.
22 Eb 4, 16,
23 I will sing the mercy of the Lord without end (Ps 89, 2).
All the means of salvation are found in the Church, holiness and charity flourish there. Don Bosco incessantly invites young people and adults to cooperate in the action of grace with faith, hope and charity, with the generous offering of their lives, with constant prayer, with attendance at the holy sacraments; above all making oneself imitators of Jesus Christ in a virtuous life and rich in works of charity.
The apostle Saint Paul says that without faith it is impossible to please God, sine fide impossible to please Deo. ' We therefore must always keep this torch of faith in our hearts. We need faith to enlighten us in all the steps of our lives. Faith must be the food that sustains us in the spiritual life, according to what the Holy Scripture says: justus ex fide vivit, the right man lives by faith. ' In order that this faith that we have received from God in holy baptism never fail in our hearts, we must often excite it. For this we must often carry out acts of faith; protest with the heart that we firmly believe in the principal truths of the Catholic religion and all that God through his Church wanted us to be taught.
But, dear Christian, faith is not enough for eternal health, because the virtue of hope is also necessary, which makes us abandon ourselves into the hands of God, like a son in the arms of the tender mother. We need to obtain many favors from God and these do not allow God to grant us if we do not hope for them. We have committed who knows how many sins; we therefore need God to use mercy and forgive us. We continually need the help of God's grace to live holily on this earth. Now this mercy, this forgiveness, this help of his grace God does not want to grant it except to those who hope for it. Furthermore, God keeps a sea of delights prepared in the other life; but no one can come to enjoy it without the virtue of hope. For which we must make frequent acts of this virtue; reviving in our hearts a great trust of all to obtain from the sum total goodness of God for the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 [G. Bosco,] The Catholic provided for the practices of piety with similar instructions according to the need of the times, Turin, Tip. of the Oratory of S. Frane. of Sales 1868, pp. 87-91 (OE XIX, 95-99). This small volume was compiled by Don Bosco with the collaboration of Don Giovanni Bonetti.
2 Eb 11, 6.
3 Gal 3, 11.
In order to reawaken and keep this virtue alive in us, we therefore recite with devotion the formula of the act of hope.
Among all the virtues then charity is the greatest and the most excellent. Without it all the others could not make us achieve eternal health. But what is this virtue of charity? It consists in loving God above all things and neighbor as ourselves for his sake. Love therefore towards God and towards one's neighbor must always be like a fire burning in our hearts. First of all we must love God with all our heart because he is a most perfect spirit, a being of infinite goodness, a supreme good. We must also love him because he has filled us with innumerable benefits; he got us out of nowhere by creating us; it gave us birth in the Catholic religion which is the only one that can lead us to the port of health. He, though often offended by us, he did not hit us with death as he could have done and as he did to many others to whom he gave no more time to repent after the first sin. For our love he came down from heaven to earth among hardships and pains; for us the hardest death suffered. Through an excess of love he left himself for our food in the Holy Eucharist. He finally holds a beautiful place in heaven for an eternity. And who is he, who, considering these traits of God's love towards us, does not feel his heart burning towards God? He finally holds a beautiful place in heaven for an eternity. And who is he, who, considering these traits of God's love towards us, does not feel his heart burning towards God? He finally holds a beautiful place in heaven for an eternity. And who is he, who, considering these traits of God's love towards us, does not feel his heart burning towards God?
But we must also love our neighbor as ourselves. All the men of the world are our brothers, because they are sons of the same father who is God. Everyone has the right that we love them. And Jesus Christ made an express command of this saying; hoc est praeceptum meum ut diligatis invicem: this I command you to love one another.4 And we must not only love friends, but also our enemies. Our divine Savior gave us the example of forgiving and praying for his own crucifiers.5 May this fire of charity be always burning in us. To this end we make frequent acts of this virtue by reciting the formula of the act of charity.
And oh what an invaluable benefit was the creation of us capable of taking advantage of his grace and going to heaven! what a benefit especially for us to have given birth to in Catholic countries where we have so much help to save us! As the supreme Lord he gave us existence; as a father he has preserved us; as a redeemer he has redeemed us.
4 Gen 15, 12.
5 Cf Lee 23, 34.
6 [G. Bosco,] Exercise of devotion to the mercy of God, pp. 103-110 (OE II, 173-180).
And what shall we say of such a great benefit as is the sacrament of penance, whose mercy we can regain the friendship of God lost with sin? But the divine favors did not end here; he wanted more to provide us with all the means necessary to strengthen our weakness, and keep us in his grace. He gave us the churches where we can intervene in the sacred functions; he assures us that this holy place is his home and that whoever asks for it there will be infallibly fulfilled: in ea omnis, qui petit, accipit.7 Furthermore, our merciful God knowing our inclination to evil, passions, bad clothes that lead us and stimulate new relapses, by effective remedy to our fragility he instituted the Eucharistic sacrament in which with his own body and with his precious blood he strengthens us against every assault of the enemy of our soul and makes us invincible to his efforts. Since for the miserable state in which we find ourselves we could be terrified by the greatness of this sacrament, so he invites us with those very amorose words: Come to me, or you all, who are tired and weak, I will strengthen your tiredness: come to me omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos .8 Then he commands his ministers to make us a sweet violence and almost force us to attend this great sacrament, compellite intrare.9
We do not know how to pray or what things one should ask of God; the divine Savior taught us the Pater, which is a prayer with which we can pray effectively to God without danger of asking for things that do not do for our salvation.
The time when we need divine mercy more than any other is undoubtedly the point of death, when, exhausted by forces, the devil will work with every art in order to gain. Oh how many remedies God gave us! The viaticum that strengthens us, the extreme unction, which cancels the sins if we still had the papal blessing in us, for which the plenary indulgence is shared among us; many other blessings and prayers that the Church requires to do for all those who are in those last moments; these are all traits of pure mercy and divine goodness to show us how dear our salvation is to him.
But to what do all these traits of divine mercy tend? Those who still live in the militant Church tend to fall in love with the heavenly joy that is enjoyed in the triumphant Church. Because our own Salvator Jesus Christ is the head of the Church in which we still live, which is nothing but a passage to the glory of the triumphant Church, of which Jesus Christ himself, the delight of all those blessed, is likewise head.
7 In it all those who ask, receive (Mt 7, 8).
8 Mt 11, 28,
9 Push them to enter (cf Le 14, 23).
He greatly desires to make of these two churches a single kingdom of saints, therefore he did not spare any thing that could be useful for the salvation of souls, so that whoever loses himself is of his own fault not wanting to use the means that God has given him. But when will that desired time come when we leave the exile of this world, we will unite perfectly with God in the Church of the blessed? Beloved my dear, it is certain that we have a place prepared for each of us up there; it is certain that the Lord wants us all saved with him; it is also certain that the time of the present life is short and from this time our heavenly bliss depends.
Eh courage then, the kingdom of glory was acquired to us by our Savior, he is the means, the guide and the crown, and there is nothing left but our cooperation. We will have to suffer something in the few days we are still alive; but if we compare these brief sufferings with the eternal reward that is prepared for us in heaven, ah no, they have no comparison whatsoever. Here he suffers for a while, there he will enjoy forever; here we will have to suffer hunger, thirst, tribulation and even death; it does not matter, this will be compensated with a joy, with a joy of perfect and complete happiness and with that glory that we can imagine but, but never understand, or ever express, except by saying that we will always be with the Lord: semper cum Domino erimus.1 °
God said to Moses one day: "Remember well to follow my orders, and do all things according to the pattern which I showed you above the mountain" "God himself says to Christians. The model that every Christian must copy is Jesus Christ. No one can boast of belonging to Jesus Christ if he does not work to imitate him. Therefore in the life and actions of a Christian one must find the life and actions of Jesus Christ himself.
The Christian must pray, as he prayed to Jesus Christ on the mountain with recollection, with humility, with confidence: 3
The Christian must be accessible, as was Jesus Christ, to the poor, to the ignorant, to children. "He must not be proud, not have preterition, not arrogance. He does everything to everyone to win everyone to Jesus Christ.
10 1 Ts 4, 17.
11 G. Bosco, The key to paradise in the hands of the Catholic who practices the duties of a good Christian, Turin, Tip. Paravia and Comp. 1856, pp. 20-23 (OE VIII, 20-23).
12 Cf Is 25, 40.
13 Cf Lc 6, 12.
14 Cf Le 18, 15-17.
The Christian must deal with his neighbor, as he treated Jesus Christ with his followers: therefore his entertainment must be uplifting, charitable, full of gravity, sweetness and simplicity.
The Christian must be humble, as it was Jesus Christ, who knelt and washed the feet of his apostles and washed them also to Judas, although he knew that that wicked man had to betray him "The true Christian considers himself as the younger of the others and as a servant of all . "
The Christian must obey as Jesus Christ obeyed, who was subjected to Mary and to Saint Joseph, "and obeyed his heavenly Father until his death and death on the cross." The true Christian obeys his parents, his masters, his superiors, because he does not recognize in them if not God himself, of whom those take the place.19
The true Christian in eating and drinking must be like Jesus Christ at the wedding in Cana of Galilee and Bethany, that is, sober, temperate, attentive to the needs of others and more occupied with spiritual nourishment than with the food that nourishes his body .21
The good Christian must be with his friends as he was Jesus Christ with St. John and St. Lazarus.22 He must love them in the Lord and for the love of God; he cordially confides the secrets of his heart; and if they fall into evil, he employs every solicitude to make them return to the state of grace.
The true Christian must suffer privation and poverty with resignation as Jesus Christ suffered, who did not even have a place to support his head.23 He knows how to tolerate contradictions and calumnies, as Jesus Christ tolerated those of the scribes and Pharisees, 24 leaving it to God to justify it. He knows how to tolerate insults and outrages, as Jesus Christ did when they slapped him, spat in his face and insulted him in a thousand guises in the Praetorium.25
The true Christian must be ready to tolerate the pains of spirit, since Jesus Christ was betrayed by one of his disciples, disowned by another and abandoned by all. 26
15 Cf Gv 13, 4-15.
Cf Mc 9, 35. '7 Cf Lc 2, 51. Cf Thread 2, 8.
19 Cf Eph 6, 1-7.
20 Cf Gv 2, 1-11; Lc 10, 38-42.
21 Cf Gv 4, 34.
22 Cf Gv 11, 5; 13, 23-25.
23 Cf Mt 8, 20.
24 Cf Mt 27, 12-14.
25 Cf Mt 27, 27-31.
26 Cf Mt 26, 45-50, 56. 69-75.
The good Christian must be willing to patiently welcome every persecution, every illness and even death, as Jesus Christ did, who with his head crowned with prickly thorns, his body torn by beatings, his feet and his hands pierced by nails, he restored his soul to peace in the hands of his heavenly Father.
So that the true Christian must say with the apostle St. Paul: It is not I who live, but it is Jesus Christ who lives in me. 27 Whoever follows Jesus Christ, according to the model described here, is certain that one day he will be glorified with Jesus Christ in heaven and reign with him forever.
To pray means to raise one's heart to God and to spend time with him through holy thoughts and devoted feelings. Therefore every thought of God and every look at him is prayer, when it is joined to a feeling of piety. Whoever thinks of the Lord or of his infinite perfections and in this thought feels an affection of joy, of veneration, of love, of admiration, he prays. Whoever considers the great benefits received from the Creator, Conservator and Father, and feels from gratitude included, he prays. Whoever in the dangers of his innocence and virtue, aware of his own weakness begs the Lord to help him, he prays. Who finally turns to God in contrition of the heart and remembers that he has outraged his own Father,
Praying is therefore very easy. Everyone can in every place, at any time, lift his heart to God through pious feelings. Precious and refined words are not necessary, but simple thoughts are enough accompanied by devoted internal devotees. A prayer that consists in thoughts only, for example in a quiet admiration of divine greatness and omnipotence, is an internal prayer or meditation or contemplation. If you use words, you call vocal prayer.
Both one and the other way of praying must be dear to the Christian, who loves God. A good son willingly thinks of his own father and vents with him the affections of his heart. Why then could a Christian not willingly think of God, his most loving Father and Jesus his merciful Redeemer and express feelings of reverence, gratitude, love and with sweet confidence pray him for help and grace? [...]
For the Christian's prayer to be fully accepted by God and infallibly obtain its effect, it must have certain conditions:
27 Gal 2, 20,
28 [G. Bosco,] The Catholic provided, pp. 1-3, 7-13 (OE XIX, 9-11. 15-21).
1. Whoever prays must be in the state of sanctifying grace, that is, not having any mortal sin on his conscience that has not been canceled with sacramental confession or contrition. Because, as the Scripture says, the Lord keeps himself away from the wicked, and he answers the prayer of the righteous (Pr 15, 29). Nevertheless, those who are in a state of mortal sin, if they have at least some desire to correct themselves and pray with the intention of honoring God, although he has no right to be heard, because he is not in friendship with God, yet his prayer is extremely useful and for the infinite divine goodness never fails to obtain graces.
2. He must pray inspired by living faith, because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11: 6) and where faith is lacking or no heart is prayed, honor is not returned to the goodness, wisdom and omnipotence of God which he demands from us.
3. He must humbly pray and feel for one part the need for grace, for the other the total lack of any merit or title in himself to obtain what is required. For God resists the proud and gives his humble grace (Jas 4, 6).
4. Furthermore, the Christian in prayer must observe an order concerning the things he asks for. Search first the kingdom of God and his justice and the rest will be given to you (Mt 6, 33), Jesus Christ tells us. Therefore we must first seek spiritual goods, as are the forgiveness of sins, the lights to know the divine will and our errors, strength, increase and perseverance in virtue. After this we can also ask for temporal goods, for health, for the media to live life, for the heavenly blessing on our occupations, on our shops, on our countryside and on our families, the removal of misfortunes, sorrows and afflictions in where we are. Thus the fourth question of the Pater noster and the example of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Olives teaches us. But this question must be asked with the condition if it is God's will, not harmful to our soul. Father, not as I want, but as you want (Mt 26:39).
5. We must pray in the name of Jesus Christ, because no grace can be obtained from God, except for the merits of our divine Redeemer.
6. We must pray with unlimited hope of being heard. Whoever prays doubting that he will be heard does injury to God, who assures that we will grant it as long as we pray to him with living faith, that is, with firm hope of being listened to and heard by him. Therefore when we ask him for a favor, let us abandon ourselves in him as a son would abandon himself in the hands of the dear mother sure of being helped by her. The prayer made in this way is omnipotent; and it has never been heard in the world nor will it ever be heard that anyone who has relied on God with trust has not been heard.
Our divine Redeemer thus assures us: Whatever you ask
in prayer have faith to attain it, and you will obtain it.29 The apostle s. Giacomo warns the Christian to pray without hesitating and without doubting if he wants to get what he asks. "
7. Join our prayer to the prayers and merits of Mary Most Holy, of the angels and saints who are in heaven, of the souls in purgatory and of all the just who live on earth.
8. Finally we must persevere in prayer according to what Jesus Christ recommends to us. He says: We must pray always and never cease.31 And if you ask until we have to endure it in prayer, we answer: until the end of life.
Many Christians think that their prayers are useless either because they do not immediately see the effect or they do not get the determined graces they demand. But it is necessary to know that God answers our prayers in that way and in that time that he sees most opportune and convenient for the sanctification of our souls and for the advancement of his kingdom, without letting us always know this way and this time. When we are in the other world, we will see clearly that not even a word of our prayers remained without effect. Besides, whenever our prayers lack fruit, the fault is ours because we do not pray with due dispositions.
For the accomplishment of this brief instruction we must observe that we cannot pray well without preparation. Prepare your soul before prayer, and do not be a man who tempts God (Sir 18, 23). Think about what an honor it is to present yourself to the Lord king of heaven and earth, also reflect on what you want to ask of God; choose a prayer formula that is adapted to your circumstances and needs; put yourself in the presence of God and let those words which you pronounce by heart or read about the book come from the heart. In this way you will pray in spirit and truth »
Although you can pray devoutly in any position, nevertheless it is good that you choose the one most apt to demonstrate outwardly your inner faith and devotion. Thus we see the divine Savior, the apostle Paul, the tax collector, Mary Magdalene, Moses, Solomon, Daniel, Micah praying with joined hands, kneeling, looking at the sky as a sign of faith or towards the earth as if by sentiment. 'humility. It is understood that in praying in church we must hold in a particular way a respectful and devoted attitude, both out of respect for the most holy sacrament of the altar, in which Jesus Christ is present, and in order not to set a bad example to others, to whom we must indeed be of building with our external attitude.
29 Cf Mt 21, 22.
30 Cf Gc 1, 6-8.
32 Cf Le 18, 1. 32
33 vv 4, 23.
1. A great trait of God's mercy towards sinners we have in the sacrament of confession. If God had said to forgive us our sins only with baptism and no longer those who unfortunately would have committed themselves after having received this sacrament, oh how many Christians certainly would go to perdition! But God, knowing our great misery, established another sacrament, with which the sins committed after baptism are forgiven. This is the sacrament of confession. Here is how the Gospel speaks: Eight days after his resurrection Jesus appeared to his disciples and he said: peace be with you. As the heavenly Father sent me, so I send you, that is the faculty given to me by the heavenly Father to do what is judged well for the salvation of souls, the same I give to you. Then the Savior, blowing on them, said: receive the Holy Spirit, those to whom you forgive sins, are forgiven; those to whom you will consider them, will be retained »Everyone understands that words believe or do not want to say, give or not give absolution. This is the great faculty given by God to his apostles and their successors in the administration of the holy sacraments. From these words of the Savior an obligation is born to the sacred ministers to hear confessions, and the obligation for the Christian to confess his faults, so that he may know himself when he must give or not to give absolution, what advice to suggest to repair the evil done, in short, to give all those paternal notices that he judges necessary to repair the evils of the past life and not commit them any more for the future.
2. Nor was confession practiced only in some time and place. As soon as the apostles began to preach the Gospel, the sacrament of penance soon began to be practiced. We read that when St. Paul preached in Ephesus, many of the faithful who had already embraced the faith came to the feet of the apostles and confessed their sins. Confitentes et annunciantes actus suos.35 From the time of the apostles until us the practice of this great sacrament was always observed. The Catholic Church condemned at any time as heretics those who had the courage to deny this truth. Neither does anyone initiate which could dispense it. Rich and poor, servants and masters, kings, monarchs, emperors, priests, bishops, the same high pontiffs,
33 G. Bosco, The month of May consecrated to Maria SS. Immaculate for the use of the people, Turin, Tip. GB Paravia and Company 1858, pp. 124-129 (OE X, 418-423).
34 Gv 20, 19-23.
35 They confessed and revealed their actions (Acts 19, 18).
But alas! how many Christians rarely take advantage or take advantage of this sacrament! Whoever approaches without making an examination, others confess with indifference, without pain or without resolution, others then remain silent about important things in confession or do not fulfill the obligations imposed by the confessor. They take the holiest and most useful thing to use as their ruin. In this regard, Saint Teresa had a tremendous vision. She saw that the souls fell down to hell as winter snow falls on the back of the mountains. Frightened by this revelation, she asked Jesus Christ for an explanation and had in answer that those who went to perdition for confessions poorly made in their life.
3. Courage, oh Christians, let us take advantage of this sacrament of mercy, but let us take advantage of these provisions. It precedes a diligent examination of our faults, let us confess them all, certain as certain, questionable as doubtful in that way that we know them, but with a great sorrow of having committed them; we promise not to commit them in the future. But above all we show the fruit of our confessions with an improvement in our lives. God says in the Gospel that the goodness of the tree is known from the fruit, so from the improvement of our life the goodness or the nothingness of our confessions will appear: ex fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos. "
Example - A young man from the city of Montmirail in France had lived Christianly until the age of fifteen, when he had the misfortune of frequenting bad companions. Bad speeches, reading bad books threw him into the abyss of unbelief and libertinism. His parents worked to lead him to good feelings, but being unable to succeed, they went to church on the evening of the Immaculate Conception (8 December 1839) and recommended him to the prayers of the aggregates to the sacred Heart of Mary. The same evening he was recommended, the young man comes home, and without saying anything, against his usual, he goes to rest. He did not think of Mary, but she thought of him. On December 10, almost beside himself, he calls his father and tells him: "My Father, I am unhappy and suffer a lot, it is thirty-six hours since I am no longer given either to eat or to sleep. I am an angry lion and I no longer know what to say or do; strength is that I go to the priest ". If he leaves, he goes to the curate and everything agitated by the remorse of his conscience begs him to confess it." I beg you, he said to the curate, to confess immediately. I can no longer live in this state ". The parish priest animated him, comforted him and shortly afterwards he heard his painful confession. Having received absolution, he soon felt the heart of such consolation that he could not contain it. home shows to the father the grace received and the tranquility of a paradise he was enjoying.What still mattered to him was the repentance of those he had with his scandals drawn to evil. I am an angry lion and I no longer know what to say or do; strength is that I go to the priest ". If he leaves, he goes to the curate and everything agitated by the remorse of his conscience begs him to confess it." I beg you, he said to the curate, to confess immediately. I can no longer live in this state ". The parish priest animated him, comforted him and shortly afterwards he heard his painful confession. Having received absolution, he soon felt the heart of such consolation that he could not contain it. home shows to the father the grace received and the tranquility of a paradise he was enjoying.What still mattered to him was the repentance of those he had with his scandals drawn to evil. I am an angry lion and I no longer know what to say or do; strength is that I go to the priest ". If he leaves, he goes to the curate and everything agitated by the remorse of his conscience begs him to confess it." I beg you, he said to the curate, to confess immediately. I can no longer live in this state ". The parish priest animated him, comforted him and shortly afterwards he heard his painful confession. Having received absolution, he soon felt the heart of such consolation that he could not contain it. home shows to the father the grace received and the tranquility of a paradise he was enjoying.What still mattered to him was the repentance of those he had with his scandals drawn to evil. he goes to the curate and everything agitated by the pangs of conscience begs him to confess it. "Please, he told the priest, to confess immediately. I can no longer live in this state". The pastor animated him, comforted him and shortly afterwards he heard his painful confession. Receiving absolution, he soon felt the heart of such consolation that he could not contain it. When he reached home he expressed to his father the grace received and the tranquility of paradise he enjoyed. What still mattered to him was the repentance of those he had with his scandals drawn to evil. he goes to the curate and everything agitated by the pangs of conscience begs him to confess it. "Please, he told the priest, to confess immediately. I can no longer live in this state". The pastor animated him, comforted him and shortly afterwards he heard his painful confession. Receiving absolution, he soon felt the heart of such consolation that he could not contain it. When he reached home he expressed to his father the grace received and the tranquility of paradise he enjoyed. What still mattered to him was the repentance of those he had with his scandals drawn to evil. he soon felt the heart of such consolation that he could not contain it. When he reached home he expressed to his father the grace received and the tranquility of paradise he enjoyed. What still mattered to him was the repentance of those he had with his scandals drawn to evil. he soon felt the heart of such consolation that he could not contain it. When he reached home he expressed to his father the grace received and the tranquility of paradise he enjoyed. What still mattered to him was the repentance of those he had with his scandals drawn to evil.
36 From their fruits you will be able to recognize them (Mt 7, 20).
Filled with Christian courage, paying no attention to what his ancient companions would have said, he showed them what had happened to him, the consolations he felt after confession, and urged them what he knew, to do the same. In short, this new prey of Mary's mercy acted like the penitent David when, to repair the scandal he gave, he tried to gain souls for God. Docebo iniquos vias tuas.37
Ejaculatory prayer: From God impetrami, Mother of love / of my faults, living pain
1. Do you understand, O Christian, what it means to do holy communion? It means approaching the table of angels to receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ who is given food to our soul under the species of bread and consecrated wine. At Mass, the moment the priest speaks about bread and wine the words of consecration, bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The words used by our divine Savior in instituting this sacrament are: This is my body, this is my blood: hoc est corpus meum, hic est calix sanguinis mei. "These same words are used by priests in the name of Jesus Christ in sacrifice of the holy Mass. Therefore when we go to make communion we receive the same Jesus Christ in body, blood, soul and divinity, that is true God and true man, alive as he is in heaven. It is not his image, not even his figure, as is a statue, a crucifix, but it is Jesus Christ himself as he was born of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and died for us on the cross. Jesus Christ himself assured us of his real presence in the Holy Eucharist when he said: This is my body which will be given for the salvation of men: corpus, quod pro vobis tradetur.4 ° This is that living bread which came down from heaven: hic est panis vivus, qui de cado descendit. The bread that I will give is my flesh. The drink I give is my real blood. Who does not eat of this body and does not drink of this blood, does not have life with him. '" but it is Jesus Christ himself as he was born of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and died for us on the cross. Jesus Christ himself assured us of his real presence in the Holy Eucharist when he said: This is my body which will be given for the salvation of men: corpus, quod pro vobis tradetur.4 ° This is that living bread which came down from heaven: hic est panis vivus, qui de cado descendit. The bread that I will give is my flesh. The drink I give is my real blood. Who does not eat of this body and does not drink of this blood, does not have life with him. '" but it is Jesus Christ himself as he was born of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and died for us on the cross. Jesus Christ himself assured us of his real presence in the Holy Eucharist when he said: This is my body which will be given for the salvation of men: corpus, quod pro vobis tradetur.4 ° This is that living bread which came down from heaven: hic est panis vivus, qui de cado descendit. The bread that I will give is my flesh. The drink I give is my real blood. Who does not eat of this body and does not drink of this blood, does not have life with him. '" 4 ° This is that living bread which came down from heaven: hic est panis vivus, qui de cado descendit. The bread that I will give is my flesh. The drink I give is my real blood. Who does not eat of this body and does not drink of this blood, does not have life with him. '" 4 ° This is that living bread which came down from heaven: hic est panis vivus, qui de cado descendit. The bread that I will give is my flesh. The drink I give is my real blood. Who does not eat of this body and does not drink of this blood, does not have life with him. '"
2. Jesus having instituted this sacrament for the good of our souls desires that we often approach it. Here are the words with which he invites us: Come to me all, or you who are tired and oppressed and I will raise you: come to me omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos.42
37 I will teach your ways to sinners (Ps 51, 15).
38 G. Bosco, The month of May, pp. 139-144 (OE X, 433-438).
39 i Col. 11, 24-25.
40 1 Cor 11, 24.
41 Gv 6, 48-58.
42 Mt 11, 28.
Elsewhere he said to the Hebrews: "Your fathers ate manna in the desert and died, but he who eats food figured in manna, that food that I give, that food that is my body and my blood, he will no longer die in eternal. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me and I in him, because my flesh is a real food and my blood a true drink. "43 Who could ever resist these loving invitations of the divine Savior? To correspond to these invitations the Christians of the early days went every day to listen to the word of God and every day they approached the holy communion. It is in this sacrament that the martyrs found their strength, the virgins their fervor, the saints their courage. And how often do we approach this heavenly food? If we examine the desires of Jesus Christ and our need we must communicate very often. As the manna every day served as bodily food for the Jews all the time they lived in the desert, until they were brought to the promised land, so holy communion should be our comfort, the daily food in the dangers of this world to guide us to the true earth promise of paradise. St. Augustine says this: If every day we ask God for the corporal bread, why will we not procure, also to feed ourselves daily with spiritual bread with holy communion? Saint Philip Neri encouraged Christians to go to confession every eight days and communicate even more often according to the confessor's notice. Long last, the Holy Church expresses her lively desire for frequent communion in the Council of Trent, where she says: "It would be a most desirable thing for every Christian faithful to maintain himself in such a state of conscience to be able to make Holy Communion whenever he intervenes at Holy Mass". Pope Clement XIII, in order to encourage Christians to approach the holy confession and communion with great frequency, granted the following favor: those faithful Christians who have the praiseworthy habit of going to confession every week can acquire a plenary indulgence whenever they make Holy Communion.
3. Some will say: I am too sinful. If you are a sinner, try to put yourself in grace with the sacrament of confession and then approach the Holy Communion and you will have great help. Another will say: I rarely communicate to have more fervor. This is a deception. Things that are rarely done are mostly hurt. Moreover, since your needs are frequent, frequent help must be given to your soul. Some add: I am full of spiritual infirmities and I dare not communicate often. Jesus Christ answers: those who are well do not need a doctor, 44 therefore those who are more prone to discomfort, it is their job to be often visited by the doctor.
43 Cf Gv 6, 49, 57-58.
44 Cf Mt 9, 12.
Courage then, oh Christian, if you want to do the most glorious action to God, the most pleasing to all the saints in heaven, the most effective to overcome temptations, the safest to make you persevere in good, she is certainly the holy communion.
Example - A young man by the name of Savio Domenico, for the lively desire to please Maria offered her a few prayers every day, but every Saturday he made the holy communion in honor of her, whom he used to call dear mother. The year 1856 made Mary's month with such fervor that her companions were all built up. Every day he asked Mary to remove him from the world rather than to lose the virtue of purity. On the day of the lock, he asked for a single grace: to be able to make a good communion before he died. The Holy Virgin heard him. Nine months later (March 9, 1857) he died at the age of fifteen after having received the holy message with the greatest transports of tenderness and devotion. In the moments that passed between the reception of the viaticum until his death, he was always saying: " O Mary, you heard me, I am rich enough. Other than you I do not ask except that you assist me in these last moments of life and you accompany me from this life to eternity ". Almost at the very moment that he ceased to utter these words, his soul certainly flew to heaven, accompanied by Mary of whom he had been fervently devoted in life.
Ejaculation: I adore you every moment / or live pan of heaven / great sacrament.
God is infinitely rich and of infinite generosity. As a rich man he can give us a wide guider for everything he did for his sake; as a Father of infinite generosity he pays every little thing we do for his love with good and abundant measure. You, the Gospel says, you will not give a glass of fresh water in my name to one of my least, or to a needy person, without you having his wages. "
The beggars, Dio says in the book of Tobia, releases death, purifies the soul from sins, finds mercy in God's confusion and leads us to eternal life. Elemosin that is released from death: bleeding sins, I make you merry and merry me vitam aeternam.47
45 G. Bosco, Inauguration of the Patronage of St. Peter in Nice a Mare. Purpose of the same with appendix on the preventive system of the education of the youth, Turin, Tipografia and Library Salesiana 1877, pp. 34-40 (OE XXVIII, 412-418).
46 Cf Mt 10, 42.
47 Almsgiving saves from death and cleanses from all sin, deserves mercy and eternal life (Tb 12, 9).
Among the great rewards, this too begins that the divine Savior considers himself made every charity made to the unfortunate. "If we saw the divine Savior walking begging for our squares, knocking at the door of our houses, there would be a Christian who would not Do you offer the Savior generously from the last penny of your purse? The Savior is also represented in the person of the poor, the most abandoned, all he says you will do to the most abject, you do it to me, so they are no longer poor children who ask charity, but it is Jesus in the person of his poor children.
What then shall we say of the exceptional reward that God keeps reserved in the most important and difficult moment in which our fate will be decided with a life either always blessed or always unhappy? When we, or gentlemen, present ourselves at the court of the supreme judge to account for the actions of life, the first thing they will lovingly remind us are not the manufactured houses, the savings made, the glory acquired or the riches procured; of this he will not make a word, but only will say: Come, blessed by my heavenly Father, come into the possession of the kingdom that is prepared for you. I was hungry, and you gave me bread in the person of the poor; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was naked, you dressed me; I was in the middle of a road, and you gave me shelter. "Tunc dicet rex his qui a dextris eius erunt: Come, benedicti patris mei, prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; naked and you gave me (Mt 25: 34-35). "
These and more other words the divine Judge will say as they are recorded in the Gospel: after which he will give them the blessing and lead them to the possession of eternal life.
But God, father of goodness, knowing that our spirit is ready and the flesh very infirm, "wants our charity to have a hundredfold in our present life." How many ways, gentlemen, on this earth does God give us the hundredfold of good works? A hundredfold are the special graces of well living and dying well; they are the fertility of the countryside, the peace and harmony of families, the success of temporal affairs, the health of relatives and friends; conservation, good education of the child. Rewarding Christian charity is the pleasure that everyone feels in his heart in doing a good work.
48 Cf Mt 25, 40.
49 Mt 25, 34-36.
50 Then the king will say to those on his right hand, Come, blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Because I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you dressed me.
51 Cf Mt 26, 41.
52 Cf Mt 19, 29.
Is it not a great consolation when it is reflected that with a small alms she contributes to removing beings harmful to the civil society to make them become profitable men to themselves, to their fellow man, to Religion? Beings that are about to become the scourge of the authorities, the infragers of public laws and go to consume the sweats of others in the prisons, and instead put them in a position to honor humanity, to work and to earn an honest sustenance from work and with decorum of the countries in which they live, with the honor of the families to which they belong?
In addition to all these rewards that God grants in the present life and in the future, there is still one that the beneficiaries must offer to their benefactors. Yes, gentlemen, we do not want to defraud you of that wage which is all in our power. Listen: all the priests, clerics, all the young people gathered and educated in the houses of the Salesian Congregation and especially those of the Patronage of St. Peter, will raise special prayers for their benefactors to the sky morning and evening. Morning and evening your beneficiaries with special prayers will invoke the divine blessings upon you, on your families, on your relatives, on your friends. They will plead with God that you keep peace and harmony in your families, grant you stable health and a happy life, from you keep misfortunes away in spiritual things as well, as in temporal things, and to all this add perseverance in goodness and, at the latest that God will please, your days be crowned with a holy death. If then in the course of mortal life, gentlemen, we will have the good fortune to meet you in the streets of the city or in any other place, oh yes then we will remember with joy the benefits received and respectful we will discover our heads as a sign of indelible gratitude on earth, while the compassionate God will keep you ensured the reward of the righteous in Heaven. Centuplum accipietis et vitam aeternam possidebitis.53 we will have the good fortune to meet you in the streets of the city or in any other place, oh yes then we will remember with joy the benefits received and respectful we will discover our heads as a sign of indelible gratitude on earth, while compassionate God will grant you the reward of the right in Heaven. Centuplum accipietis et vitam aeternam possidebitis.53 we will have the good fortune to meet you in the streets of the city or in any other place, oh yes then we will remember with joy the benefits received and respectful we will discover our heads as a sign of indelible gratitude on earth, while compassionate God will grant you the reward of the right in Heaven. Centuplum accipietis et vitam aeternam possidebitis.53
53 You will receive a hundredfold and possess eternal life (Mt 19:29).
Don Bosco, tireless apostle of Marian devotion, in the Provided Youth and in preaching emphasizes above all the role of the Holy Virgin in the journey of life in order to individual salvation: she is the mediator of graces, defended by the assaults of evil, support in the commitment of life Christian and on the path to sanctity) Over the years, the saint envisions devotion to Mary in a wider ecclesial scenario and in an apostolic perspective. The association of devotees of Mary Help of Christians responds to the religious sensibility of the second half of the nineteenth century, but flourishes in close connection with the worldwide spread of Salesian action for the salvation of youth and service to the universal Church.
The title of Help of Christians, attributed to the august mother of the Savior, is not new. In the same holy books Mary is called the queen who stands on the right hand of her divine Son, dressed in gold and surrounded by variety. Adstitit regina a dextris tuis in vestitu deaurato, circumdata varietate (Ps 45, 10) .3 This mantle, gilded and surrounded by variety, according to the spirit of the Church, are so many gems and diamonds, or titles, with which Mary is usually called. When therefore we call the holy Virgin Help of Christians, it is nothing other than to name a special title, which suits her, as a diamond above her gilded clothes. In this sense Mary was greeted Help of mankind_ from the earliest times of the world, when Adam fell into guilt, a liberator was promised, who was to be born of a woman, who with
In fact this great woman is symbolized in the tree of life, which existed in the earthly paradise; in the ark of Noah, who saves the worshipers of the true God from the universal flood; in the ladder of Jacob, which rises up to the sky; in the bush of Moses, which burns and is not consumed and which alludes to the virgin Mary after childbirth; in the ark of the covenant; in the tower of David, which defends from every assault; in the rose of Jericho; in the sealed fountain; in the well cultivated and guarded garden of Solomon; is figured in a blessing aqueduct: in the fleece of Gedeon. Elsewhere it is called the star of Jacob, beautiful as the moon, chosen as the sun, an iris of peace, a pupil of the eye of God, an aurora who brings consolation, a virgin and mother and the mother of her Lord. These symbols and expressions, which the
1 Cf sopra, pp. 24-25.
2 G. Bosco, Association of devotees of Mary Help of Christians canonically erected in the church dedicated to her in Turin. With historical information on this title, Turin, Tip. dell'Orat. of S. Franc. of Sales 1869, pp. 5-9 (OE XXI, 343-347).
3 On your right is the queen in golden clothing, surrounded by beauty.
Church applies to Mary, the providential designs of God are made manifest, who wanted to make it known before his birth as the firstborn among all creatures, the most excellent protector, help and support, indeed I repacked Lanicedei mali, to which mankind subdued.
In the New Testament it is not only with symbols and prophecies appealed to the help of men in general, but help, support and defense of Christians. No longer figu, kings, no longer symbolic expressions; in the Gospel everything is reality and a fulfillment of the past. Mary is greeted by the archangel Gabriel who calls her full of rcsic remembers God the great humility of Mary and raises her to the dignity of mother of the eternal Word. Jesus, the immense God, becomes the son of Mary. She is born, educated, assisted by her; and the eternal Word made flesh subjected in everything to the obedience of his august parent. At her request, Jesus works the first of his miracles in Cana of Galilee; on Calvary it is in fact constituted the common mother of Christians. The apostles are guiding and teaching virtues. With her they gather to pray in the Cenacle; they wait with her prayer and finally receive the Holy Spirit. He directs his last words to the apostles and gloriously flies to heaven.
From her highest seat of glory she turns her maternal glances and goes saying: Ego in altissimis habito, ut ditem diligentes me et thesauros eorum repleam.4 I live the highest throne of glory to enrich with blessings those who love me and to fill their treasures of heavenly favors. From his Assumption into Heaven began the constant and never interrupted concurrence of Christians to Mary, nor was it ever heard, says Saint Bernard, that anyone has relied on this most merciful Virgin, and has not been heard. Hence the reason why every century, every year, every day and, we can say, every moment is reported in history by some great favor granted to those who have invoked it with faith. Hence, even so, every kingdom, every city, every country,
each family has a church, a chapel, an altar, an image, a painting or some sign that recalls the universal veneration given to Mary and at the same time recalls any of the nyértegiTzTé — c-orieégéa who made recourse to her in the necessities of life.
1. In the church dedicated "in Turin to Mary Help of Christians with the permission of her most reverend excellence the Archbishop of Turin is canonically instituted an Association of his devotees who propose to promote the glories of the divine Mother of the Savior to deserve the protection of her in life and particularly at the point of death.
4 I live in the heavens to make those who love me rich and fill them with treasures (cf Pr 8, 21).
5 G. Bosco, Associazione di 'divoti di Maria Ausiliatrice ..., pp. 48-50 (OE XXI, 386-388).
2. Two special means are proposed: dila_tardaslirozione to the Blessed Virgin and the veneration of the sacrament Jesus.
3. To this end the words, council, works and authority to promote decorum and devotion in the novenas, feasts and solemnities that are fulfilled in the course of the year in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Blessed Sacrament will be used with words. .
The diffusion of good books, images, medals, report cards, intervening and recommending the intervention of processions in honor of Mary most holy and of the Blessed Sacrament, frequent communion, assistance at Holy Mass, accompaniment to Viaticum are the things that the aggregates propose to promote with all compatible means to their state.
4. The associates will take the utmost care for themselves and their dependent people to prevent blasphemy and any speech contrary to religion and as far as they are to remove any obstacle that may prevent the sanctification of holidays.
5. Every associate according to the advice of the catechisms and the masters of the spirit is strongly urged to approach the holy confession and communion every fortnight or once a month and to hear the holy mass every day as long as the obligations of one's state permit it.
In honor of the sacrament of Jesus the associates every day, after the ordinary morning and evening prayers, will recite the short prayer: May the most holy and divine sacrament be praised and thanked every moment. And in honor of the Blessed Virgin: Maria, Auxilium Christianorum, ora pro nobis. For priests it is enough that in the holy Mass they put the intention to pray for all the aggregates in this pious association. These prayers will serve as a bond to unite all the associates in one heart and one soul to render due honor to Jesus hidden in the Holy Eucharist and to his august parent, to participate in all the works of piety that will be fulfilled by each associate.
Virgin Mary, queen of heaven and earth, in whom after God I placed all my trust, I humbly cast you at your feet, as the last of your servants, to consecrate myself to your service in this pious association erected under your protection and I promise with all my heart to practice all the things that the Rules of it prescribe with the greatest possible devotion, so that by the merits of Jesus Christ your dear child and by your powerful intercession all the associates are preserved from every spiritual and corporal evil in their life; that they be blessed by the Lord in all their actions and that they finally get the grace to die of the death of the just.
6 Ibid., Pp. 56-59 (OE XXI, 395-397).
Since the sole desire to please you is what leads me to embrace this devoted association; so I humbly beseech you, O holy Virgin, to want to receive me in the ranks of your children and obtain for me the grace to correspond with the goodness of the customs and with the sanctity of the works to the exalted character of your servant.
O glorious Virgin Mary, from your high throne deign to look at me with that kindly eye that is always open for those who have consecrated themselves to your service; and since today I point out my name in the book of this pious Association, so deign to write it in your maternal heart; pray your divine Son to please me to be numbered among those who are written in the book of eternal life. So be it.
Act of filiation with which Mary is taken as Mother - My Lord Jesus Christ, true God, and true man, only child of God and of the holy Virgin, I recognize you and adore you as my first beginning and last end. I beg you to renew in my favor that mysterious loving testament you have made on the cross, giving the beloved apostle Saint John the quality and the title of son of your mother Mary. Say these words to me too: Woman, here is your son. Allow me to be able to belong to her as a son and to have her as a mother in all the time of my mortal life on this earth.
Blessed Virgin Mary, my principal advocate and mediator, I NN miserable sinner, the most unworthy and the least of your servants, humbly prostrated before you, entrusted to your goodness and mercy, and animated by a keen desire to imitate your beautiful virtues, I elect you today for my mother, begging you, to receive me in the lucky number of your dear children. I make a whole and irrevocable donation of myself. Receive my protest from grace; like the confidence with which I abandon myself in your arms. Grant me your maternal protection throughout the course of my life and particularly at the hour of death, so that my soul, released from the laces of the body, pass from this valley of tears to enjoy with you the eternal glory in the kingdom of heaven . So be it.
Prayer of His Holiness Pius IX - Lord, almighty God, who allow evil to obtain good from it, listen to our humble prayers, with which we ask you to remain faithful in the midst of so many assaults and persevere faithful until death. In the rest, give us strength with the mediation of Mary Most Holy, to always be able to conform to your most holy will.
The pontifical approval of the Society of St. Francis of Sales and of its Constitutions highlights the juridical separation between consecrated men and women in the Salesian mission. Don Bosco, after having tried the path of "external members", configures a more far-reaching organization and establishes the Association of Salesian Cooperators, with its own apostolic spirituality. In this "pious union" different profiles converge: the idea of the "tertiary" or of the Salesian religious in the century, striving for Christian perfection and for charitable and apostolic action; the idea of the collaborator in Salesian works, through catechisms, schools and other activities; the idea of the benefactor, supporter and sympathizer; THE' goddess of the lay person engaged in youthful works dependent on parish priests and bishops. The result is the birth of a vast network of cooperation, which spreads worldwide thanks to the personal commitment of Don Bosco and his successors. Each local group, entrusted to the care of the director, becomes a participant in the Salesian mission in the territory and a strategic element for the fruitfulness and development of the works.
1. Any person, even living in the century, in their own home, within their own family can belong to our society.
2. He makes no vow; but he will try to put into practice that part of the regulation, which is compatible with his age, status and condition, as it would be to do or promote catechisms in favor of the poor children, to procure the spread of good books; to give work so that triduums, novenas, spiritual exercises and other similar works of charity take place that are especially directed to the spiritual good of the youth or the low people.
3. To participate in the spiritual goods of society it is necessary for the member to make at least one promise to the rector to employ himself in those things which he will judge to return to greater glory of God.
4. This promise, however, does not oblige even venially under penalty of guilt.
5. Every member of the Company who left the company for any reasonable reason is considered an external member and can still participate in the spiritual goods of the entire Company, provided he practices that part of the regulation prescribed for outsiders.
1 G. Bosco, Constitutions of the Society of St. Francis de Sales  -1875. Critical texts by F. Motto, Rome, LAS 1982, p. 208; is a text placed at the end of the manuscript of the Salesian Constitutions presented in 1864 for the Decretum laudis. The Holy See established that it was not possible to admit the affiliation of outsiders to a society of consecrated persons. Don Bosco asked that he be allowed to insert this text at least as an appendix to the Constitutions, but it was not possible (cf ibid., Pp. 233234).
As soon as the work of the Oratorii began in 1841, some pious and zealous priests and lay people came to help cultivate the harvest, which since then had been plentiful in the class of precarious youths. These collaborators or cooperators were at all times the support of the pious works that divine Providence placed among us. Everyone was studying to work and conform to the discipline in force and to the proposed norms, but all of them used to claim a regulation that would serve as a basis and a link to preserve the uniformity and spirit of these popular institutions. We hope that this wish will now be satisfied with this booklet. It does not contain rules for festive Oratories or for houses of education, since these rules are described separately, although a constraint by which Catholics who wish to do so can associate with the Salesians and work with common and stable norms so that they remain stable and invariable if their purpose and traditional practice are preserved. [...]
Thus those who wish to exercise their charity in working for the salvation of souls besides the great reward proclaimed by Saint Augustine: animam salvasti, animam tuam praedestinasti, 3 also guarantee a great treasure for their souls through the holy indulgences.
The Lord God, rich in graces and blessings, spreads his heavenly favors abundantly over all those who lend their work to gain souls for Jesus the Savior, do good to the unsafe youth, prepare good Christians for the Church, honest citizens for the civil society, and so everyone can one day become lucky inhabitants of heaven. So be it.
Turin, 12 July, 1876.
Sac. Giovanni Bosco
At all times the union between the good was deemed necessary to benefit one another in doing good and keeping evil away. This is what the Christians of the early Church did, who at the sight of the dangers that they overcame every day, without a dismaying point, united with one heart and one soul, animated one another to stand firm in the faith and ready to overcome the incessant assaults from which they were threatened.
2 G. Bosco, Salesian Cooperators, that is, a practical way to promote good society and civil society, San Pier d'Arena, Tipografia and Libreria di S. Vincenzo de 'Paoli 1877, pp. 3-4, 27-36 (OE XXVIII, 341-342, 365-374).
3 You saved a soul, so you predestined your soul.
This is also the warning given to us by the Lord when he said: weak forces when they are united become strong and if a cord taken by itself easily breaks it is very difficult to break three of them together: Vis insieme fortior, funiculus triplex difficile rumpitur.4 So they do and the men of the century in their temporal affairs. Should the children of light be less prudent than the children of darkness? No of course. We Christians must unite in these difficult times, to promote the spirit of prayer, of charity by all means, that religion administers and thus remove or at least mitigate those evils that endanger the good morals of growing youth, in whose hands they are the destinies of civil society.
This Congregation, being definitively approved by the Church, can serve as a secure and stable bond for Salesian Cooperators. In fact, its primary purpose is to work for the benefit of the youth upon which the good or sad future of society is founded. With such a proposal we do not intend to say that this is the only way to provide for this need, since there are a thousand others that we highly recommend because they are put in place. We in turn propose one and it is the work of the Salesian Cooperators, praying that the good Catholics who live in the century come to the aid of the members of this Congregation. It is true that the members of it have grown notably, but their number is far from being able to correspond to the daily requests that are made in various countries of Italy, of Europe, of China, Australia, America and especially the Argentine Republic. In all these places, there are daily requests for sacred ministers, so that they may go to take care of the unsafe youth, who go to open houses or colleges, to start or at least support missions, which sigh the coming of evangelical workers. He is to come to the many needs that Cooperators are seeking.
The basic purpose of the Salesian Cooperators is to make good to themselves by a standard of living, as much as possible, similar to that which is held in common life. Because many would gladly go to a cloister, but those of age, who due to health or condition, very many for lack of opportunities are absolutely prevented. By becoming Salesian Cooperators, they can continue in the midst of their ordinary occupations, within their own families and live as if they were in fact in the Congregation. Thus from the Supreme Pontiff this Association is considered as a third order of the ancients, with the difference that in them Christian perfection was proposed in the exercise of piety; here the main purpose is active life in the
4 The combined forces are stronger; a rope with three ends is more difficult to break (cf. Qo 4, 12).
The same harvest is proposed to the Salesian Cooperators by the Congregation of Saint Francis of Sales, which they intend to associate with.
1. Promote novenas, triduums, spiritual exercises and catechisms, especially in those places where there is a lack of material and moral means.
2. Because in these times there is a serious shortage of vocations to the ecclesiastical state, so those who are able will take special care of those youngsters and even adults, who provided the necessary moral qualities and aptitude for study to give evidence of to be called upon to help them with their counsel, directing them to those schools, to those colleges or to those small seminaries, in which they can be cultivated and directed to this end. The Work of Mary Help of Christians tends precisely to this purpose.
3. Oppose the good press to the irreligious press, thanks to the spread of good books; of report cards, printed leaflets of any kind in those places and among those families, to which it seems prudent to do so.
4. In the end, charity towards unsafe children, gathering them, instructing them in faith, sending them to sacred functions, advising them in dangers, leading them where they can be taught in religion, are another harvest of Salesian Cooperators. Whoever is not able to do any of these works for himself, could do them through others, as it would be to animate a relative, a friend to want to lend them. All that is recommended for children who are in danger, is also proposed for girls who are in equal conditions.
5. One can cooperate with prayer or by administering material means where it was a profession, for example of the primitive faithful who brought their substances to the feet of the apostles, so that they could use them in favor of widows, orphans and other grave needs.
1. Anyone who has reached the age of sixteen can become a Cooperator, as long as he has a firm intention to comply with the rules proposed there.
2. The Association is humbly recommended for the benevolence and protection of the Supreme Pontiff, the bishops, parish priests, from whom it will have absolute dependence in all things that relate to religion.
3. The superior of the Salesian Congregation is also the superior of this Association.
4. The director of each house of the Congregation is authorized to ascribe the associates, then passing on the name, surname and residence to the superior, who will notice everything in the common register.
5. In the towns and cities, where none of these houses exists and where the associates reach ten, a leader will be established with the name of decurion, which will preferably be a priest or some secular specimen. It will correspond with the superior or with the director of the nearest house.
6. Every Cooperator, if necessary, can expose to the superior those things he judges having to take into consideration.
7. Every three months and even more often with a bulletin or printed leaflet the members will be given an account of the things proposed, done or which they propose to do. On the end of each year the members will be notified of the works that in the course of the following year seem to be preferably promoted, and at the same time will be announced of those, who in the past year had been called to eternal life, who will be recommended for common prayers. On the day of Saint Francis of Sales and on the feast of Mary Help of Christians, each director, each decurion will gather his Cooperators to animate each other to the devotion to these heavenly protectors, invoking their patronage in order to persevere in the works begun according to the purpose of the Association .
1. The members of the Salesian Congregation consider all the Cooperators as so many brothers in Jesus Christ and each time their work will be addressed to them, it can be useful to the greater glory of God and to the advantage of souls. With the same freedom, being the case, the Cooperators will turn to the members of the Salesian Congregation.
2. Therefore all the members, like all children of our heavenly Father, all brothers in Jesus Christ, with their own material means or with charities gathered from charitable persons, will do what they can to promote and support the works of the Association.
3. The Cooperators have no pecuniary obligation, but will make monthly or annually an oblation which will dictate the charity of their heart. These offers will be addressed to the superior in support of the works promoted by the Association.
4. Each year at least two conferences will be held: one on the feast of Mary Help of Christians, the other on that of St. Francis de Sales. In each of these conferences a collection will be made as in the previous number 3. In places where the Cooperators could not constitute decuria and when no one could intervene at the conference, they will send their offer to their destination with the easiest and safest means.
1. His Holiness the reigning Pius IX, by decree dated 30 July 1875, communicated to the benefactors of this Congregation and to the Salesian Cooperators all the favors, the spiritual graces and all the indulgences granted to the Salesian religious, except those which refer to life common.
2. They will participate in all the masses, prayers, novenas, triduums, spiritual exercises, sermons, catechisms and all the works of charity that the Salesian religious will carry out in the sacred ministry in any place and in every part of the world.
3. They will also be participants in the mass and prayers, which are held every day in the church of Mary Help of Christians in Turin in order to invoke the blessings of heaven on their benefactors, their families and especially on those who do some morally or materially benefit to the Salesian Congregation.
4. The day after the feast of St. Francis de Sales all the Salesian priests and their Cooperators will celebrate Mass for the deceased confreres. Those who are not priests will endeavor to make holy communion and to recite the third part of the rosary.
5. When a confrere becomes ill he immediately advises his superior. It will soon give orders for particular prayers to be raised to God for him. The same will be done in the case of the death of some Cooperator.
1. To the Salesian Cooperators no external work is prescribed, but so that their life can somehow be assimilated to that of those who live in a religious community, they are recommended modesty in clothes, frugality in the canteen, simplicity in household furnishings , the punishment in the speeches, the accuracy in the duties of one's state, making sure that the people dependent on them observe and sanctify the holiday.
2. They are advised to do at least a few days of spiritual exercises every year. The last [day] of each month or other day of greater comfort, they will do the exercise of a good death by confessing and communicating to each other how it really was the last of life. Both in spiritual exercises and in the day when the exercise of a good death is carried out, plenary indulgence is made.
3. Each person will recite a Pater, Ave a San Francesco di Sales every day according to the intention of the Supreme Pontiff. The priests and those who recite the canonical hours or the office of the Blessed Virgin are exempted from this prayer. For them it is sufficient that in the divine office they add their intention to this purpose.
4. Procure to approach with greater frequency the holy sacraments of confession and communion; because each one can earn Plenary indulgence each time.
5. These plenary and partial indulgences, by way of suffrage, can be applied to the souls in purgatory, except that in articulo mortis, which is exclusively personal and can only be acquired when the soul separates from the body for its eternity.
Turin, September 1877
In our Regulation, or meritorious Cooperators, the monthly Bulletin is prescribed which in its time would have been published to give you an account of the things done or to be done in order to obtain the end that we have proposed. Let us now follow the common desire, so that everyone can lend his work with unity of spirit and turn our concerns unanimously to a single point: the glory of God, the good of civil society.
For this purpose we judge to use the Bibliophile, a bulletin that this year will be printed in our Turin printing house and that for the future will be printed in the Hospice of Sampierdarena. This Bulletin of ours will present:
1 ° The things that the members or their directors consider proposing for the general and particular good of the associates, to which the practical norms for the Cooperators will follow.
2nd Exposure of the facts that succeeded to the members and that can serve others of example. Then the episodes that occurred, heard, read: provided they are connected with the good of humanity and religion; the news and the letters of the missionaries who work for the faith in Asia, in Australia and especially of the Salesians, who are scattered in South America in the vicinity of the savages, is a matter suitable for us.
3rd Communications, announcements of different things, proposed works; books and maxims to be propagated are the third part of our Bulletin.
Exposed in this way our thoughts we answer to the question that is made to us from all the parts of knowledge, that is, what the practical purpose of the Cooperators is.
The title of the diploma or booklet presented to the Cooperators explains what the purpose is. However, give a brief explanation. Salesian Cooperators are those who wish to deal with charitable works, not in general but in particular, in agreement and in the spirit of the Congregation of St. Francis de Sales.
A Cooperator by itself can do good; but the fruit remains very limited and mostly of little duration. On the contrary, united with others it finds support, advice, courage and often with a little effort it gets a lot, because even weak forces become strong if they are reunited. So the great saying that union is strength, vis united fortior.
5 E (m) V, pp. 441-443.
Therefore our Cooperators, following the purpose of the Salesian Congregation, will work according to their strength to collect children who are unsafe and abandoned in the streets and squares; start them at the catechism, hold them on holidays and place them at an honest master, direct them, advise them, help them as much as possible to make them good Christians and honest citizens.
The norms to be followed in the works, which will be proposed to the Cooperators for this purpose, will be the subject of the Salesian Bulletin.
The following words are added: Practical way, to note that a confraternity is not established here, not a religious, literary and scientific association, not even a newspaper; but a simple union of benefactors of humanity, ready to dedicate not promises, but facts, solicitations, disturbances and sacrifices to benefit our fellow man. The word has been put: a practical way, because we do not mean that this is the only way to do good in the midst of civil society; indeed we approve and highly praise all institutions, unions, public and private associations that tend to benefit humanity and we pray to God that we all send moral and material means to preserve ourselves, progress and achieve the proposed end.
We in our turn intend to propose a means of working and this means we propose it in the Association of Salesian Cooperators.
The words: good morality, give even more clearly to know what we want to do and what our common understanding is.
Strangers at all in politics, we will keep ourselves constantly away from anything that can come back to the charge of some person constituted in civil and ecclesiastical authority. Our program will be unalterably this: leave us the care of the poor and abandoned youths, and we will make all our efforts to do them the greatest good that we can, because we believe we can benefit good morals and civilization.
Sac. Gio. Bosco
May 16, 1878
I do not know, deserving Cooperators and Cooperators, I do not know if I should first thank you or invite you that together we thank the Lord, for having gathered us in a compact body and put in the position of being able to do great good and have gathered here tonight together to make the first conference to be held by the Salesian Cooperators in Turin.
6 ASC A0000205: Cronachetta, Quad. V (1877-1878), ms of Giulio Barberis, pp. 48-61 (cf MB XIII, 624-630). It is the first conference given by Don Bosco to the Salesian Cooperators of Turin; it was held on the afternoon of May 16, 1878, in Valdocco, in the church of St. Francis de Sales.
But before I come to something else, I want to tell you a bit of history, which will let us know what the Salesian Cooperators have done here in Turin and what their task is at this time. Listen.
Thirty-five years ago the area that is currently occupied by this church served as a meeting place for many young divers who came to make battles, fights, to say blasphemies. Nearby there were two houses in which the Lord was very offended: one was a tavern where drunkards and all kinds of bad people came; the other, placed here in the place where the pulpit is and stretching out towards my left, was a house of immorality and immorality. At that time a poor priest arrived at all and gave two rooms of this same house at a very high price. That priest was accompanied by his mother. Their purpose was to see how to do a little good to the poor people in the neighborhood. All their property consisted of a basket that was carried on the arm, in which there were various objects. Well, this priest saw the young people who gathered here because of malice, he was able to approach them and the Lord made his word heard and understood. We immediately saw the need to have a chapel to devote to the divine cult. Starting from the side of the epistle of this major altar going to the right of the beholder, there was a shed that served as a shed. He could have it and having nothing else he adapted himself into a church. Those young little boys gradually attracted each other and came to the church, and their numbers increased so much that it was full and in the little square itself, where this church is now, the catechism was being held since the church could not keep them all. We immediately saw the need to have a chapel to devote to the divine cult. Starting from the side of the epistle of this major altar going to the right of the beholder, there was a shed that served as a shed. He could have it and having nothing else he adapted himself into a church. Those young little boys gradually attracted each other and came to the church, and their numbers increased so much that it was full and in the little square itself, where this church is now, the catechism was being held since the church could not keep them all. We immediately saw the need to have a chapel to devote to the divine cult. Starting from the side of the epistle of this major altar going to the right of the beholder, there was a shed that served as a shed. He could have it and having nothing else he adapted himself into a church. Those young little boys gradually attracted each other and came to the church, and their numbers increased so much that it was full and in the little square itself, where this church is now, the catechism was being held since the church could not keep them all.
Now this priest was alone. He had in his aid the very zealous theologian Borel who did much good in Turin; but he, occupied as he was in the prisons, in assisting the condemned to death, in the works of Cottolengo, of the Marchesa Barolo, of the Refuge and others, could wait for little, having all his life elsewhere. The Lord provided what was lacking and little by little various worthy ecclesiastics joined with the poor priest and, who to confess, those to preach, those to do catechisms, lent their work. And here is that work of the Oratory to be supported by these worthy ecclesiastics. But this was not enough. As the needs of evening and Sunday schools increased, some priests were not enough. And then various gentlemen also brought their work. It was the divine Providence that sent them and with them the good multiplied. These first Salesian Cooperators, both ecclesiastical and secular, did not look to hardships or hardships, but seeing the good that was done and how many young children were reduced to the path of virtue, they sacrificed themselves. Many I saw them leave their comfortable and come not only every Sunday, but also every day of Lent, although in their now very uncomfortable, but that was the most comfortable for the boys, come to help the work of Oratory. they sacrificed themselves. Many I saw them leave their comfortable and come not only every Sunday, but also every day of Lent, although in their now very uncomfortable, but that was the most comfortable for the boys, come to help the work of Oratory. they sacrificed themselves. Many I saw them leave their comfortable and come not only every Sunday, but also every day of Lent, although in their now very uncomfortable, but that was the most comfortable for the boys, come to help the work of Oratory.
Meanwhile, there was a growing need to help these children materially. There were those whose trousers and jacket were in tatters and the pieces hung on every side, even at the expense of modesty; he was one of those who had never had to change the shred of shirt they were wearing. It was here that the goodness and utility that the Cooperators brought about began to camp. I would now like, to the glory of the ladies of Turin, to recount everywhere as many of them, although of very delicate families, yet they did not suck to take those jackets, those trousers patched them with their hands; take those shirts all tattered, but perhaps never even passed into the water, take them themselves, I say, wash them, patch them up and then hand them back to the poor boys, attracted by the smell of Christian charity, they persevered in the Oratory and in the practice of virtues. Several of these praiseworthy ladies then sent clothes, money, food and anything else they could. Some are presently here listening to me and many others were already called by the Lord to receive the reward of their labors and works of charity.
Here, then, as with the help of many people, Cooperators and Cooperators, things could be done, which each could never have done separately. With the powerful help of priests, lords and ladies, what happened? Thousands of young people came to take religious instruction in that same place where [before] they learned to swear; they came to learn virtue in that same place that was the center of immorality. Evening and Sunday schools could be opened and the poorest and most abandoned of the young people were withdrawn, and the small square in 1852 became this church and that house became the poor boys' hospice. All this [is] your work, or worthy Cooperators and Cooperators.
The same continuing their aid and others adding each other one day in two other points of this city it was possible to open two other Oratories, one in Vanchiglia called of the Guardian Angel, that then, erected the parochial church of Saint Julia, transported itself near said parish; the other saying of Saint Louis was opened at Porta Nuova. Next to this, the church of St. John the Evangelist is now being erected.
But the needs felt in Turin began to feel powerful even in other cities and countries, and by always continuing the help of the Cooperators, rules could be established and then extended beyond Turin. It was necessary that the great deficiency of clergy that made itself felt throughout the whole of Piedmont and beyond could be supplied by the Cooperators. How to do? The Catholic religion does not look at place, city, country; it is universal and wherever it wants good to be done and wherever you need it most there religion requires that greater efforts be made. And here begins to open a house in Mirabello, then another in Lanzo, then others and others. Now there are a hundred or more churches and open houses and over 25,000 internal and external [boys] who receive religious education
know in our homes. Who did all these things? A priest? No! two, ten, fifty? Nor could they have done so much. They were the many Cooperators and Cooperators who in every part, in every country and city, joined together to help these few priests. Yes, they are, but not only them. We must, oh! it is necessary to recognize the hand of God, who from nothing wanted to raise so much work. Yes, it is the divine Providence that sent so many means to be able to save so many souls. If it had not been that the Lord wanted this, I would consider it impossible that anyone could do so much. But the need was real and great and the Lord to great needs sends great help. These needs are made every day bigger and more heartfelt. Will the Lord forsake us?
What I tell you, that needs are felt every day more, is nothing but a very solid truth. Oh if you saw how many questions are being asked from all over the world because we open houses for poor abandoned youths. If you knew in how many places you now feel this need that in past times didn't seem necessary if not in the big city. It is astounding. And for the missions, how much does the need not grow now? And note that it is no longer a question of going to test one's life among savages with the danger of martyrdom or great suffering. Now it is the barbarians themselves who begin to know their miserable state and wish to educate themselves. They are themselves, I would say, who stretch their arms towards us, asking that we go to civilize them, to teach them that religion without which they realize that their life is unhappy. These questions of missions come from all sides. From India, from China, from Santo Domingo, Brazil, and the Argentine Republic, questions are asked, so that if I talk to you in this moment I had two thousand missionaries, I would know where to put them right away, sure of the fruit they would bring. Well even in the missions of the good it has already been done with the work of the Oratorios and we hope that with the support and help of the Cooperators and Cooperators this good can be increased to a thousand doubles to greater glory of God. so that if at this moment in which I speak to you I had two thousand missionaries, I would know where to place them instantly, sure of the fruit they would bring. Well even in the missions of the good it has already been done with the work of the Oratorios and we hope that with the support and help of the Cooperators and Cooperators this good can be increased to a thousand doubles to greater glory of God. so that if at this moment in which I speak to you I had two thousand missionaries, I would know where to place them instantly, sure of the fruit they would bring. Well even in the missions of the good it has already been done with the work of the Oratorios and we hope that with the support and help of the Cooperators and Cooperators this good can be increased to a thousand doubles to greater glory of God.
Then there is another work made and produced by these Oratorios, a work which I do not wish to be published, but which is well known to you. This is to look for young people of good will and to put the means in their hands to be able to become priests. You see, the number of ministers of the Lord decreases every day with a frightening proportion. Therefore they looked for each other where young men who held firm hopes, gathered, studied themselves and here, blessing the Lord this work, already hundreds and hundreds of priests left our homes. Do you want me to tell you in complete secrecy the number of clerics who did last year? Listen. Of all our homes scattered in Italy, France, Uruguay and the Argentine Republic, 300 clerics made themselves over the past year. These mostly go to their own dioceses and just to tell you about one, see the diocese of Casale, of 42 clerics who are in the seminary, 34 left our homes. Others then become religious, others go to missions or even stop with us to help us with all their might. Do you see where your alms come, your help, your charity?
Another work that is not small is to put an end to the heresy that threatens to invade so many cities and countries. It is a massacre in Catholic countries and is expanding more and more as freedom grows in the political world; for when, with the title of liberty, an open field is given to the evil of working, and meanwhile the work of the good is stumbling, there will always be dire consequences. An attempt was therefore made to oppose a barrier against heresy and impiety and with well-ordered books for this purpose, which were made and spread among the Catholic people with great effort and expense. But the books are not everything.
In S. Pier d'Arena heresy was also threatening and there was a hospice there. In Nizza Mare, right next to the Protestant church, the Patronage of St. Peter was raised. In Spice heresy already made extraordinary progress: here every effort was made and here are special schools open. But to avoid naming everything, I'll tell you what happened at Ventimiglia. There, in just a few years, as the number of inhabitants grew, a valley called Valle Crosia was filled with houses. The number of inhabitants grew to hundreds and even to thousands. Since they were all new houses, no church was thought or built. The Protestants, given the convenience, erected a large building in the beautiful center, to serve as a hospice and schools, and a church of their own. The inhabitants of this valley, having no other schools, they were attracted to go to these and then also from various they went to their church. The bishop didn't know how to do it; erecting a church, equipping it as a parish are things that today can no longer be done as a private person. Called we willingly loaned our work. There were no means, but the Providence helped us and not being able to do more, we rent a house, in the warehouse on the ground floor we adjust a little, we make an altar and here is the church made. In the rooms on the right and on the first floor there are two schools for boys; in the rooms to the left of this small church the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians are called and schools for girls are opened. Here is mutation! The festive oratory attracts children and adults and all the inhabitants of the surroundings have the comfort of hearing the holy mass; the children's schools are immediately attended; those of girls as well. Things are taken so hard, that now the schools of the Protestants are absolutely closed because there is no longer even one, neither among the children nor among the girls, who attend them. Even those who had begun to attend the Protestant church, which could attract the Easter sacraments in a beautiful way, left a site that was to become the center of heresy in Liguria abandoned.
All these various works it is impossible for them to be done by one. It is necessary to have Cooperators. Their subsidies help, for example, to be able to go there, and to make the first plants: when you are there, Cooperators join the same place and proceed forward. Without the work of the Cooperators, the Salesians would be well stricken and could not exercise their zeal. It is true that difficulties were always encountered to accomplish these works; but the Lord arranged that they could always be overcome.
This year the difficulties multiplied; nevertheless we see that the hand of the Lord always supports us. Our incomparable benefactor Pius IX died this year; that Pius IX who approved the association of the Cooperators and enriched it with such outstanding indulgences; that Pius IX who wanted to be enrolled for the first among the Salesian Cooperators; that Pius IX who never allowed an opportunity to pass before him to benefit us. He died, but the Lord ordered a Leo XIII to succeed him. I introduced myself to him, I spoke to him about the Salesian Cooperators. I prayed that he would allow his august name, like the name of his predecessor of happy memory, to appear among the Salesian Cooperators. He informed himself well of their spirit, he added: " Not only Salesian Cooperator I intend to be, but operator. Should not the Pope be the first to augment the works of charity? "Here is how, having lost a father, the Lord procured for us another no less benevolent than the first. In this same year several worthy gentlemen died so inclined to benefit the Oratory, but the Lord ordered that others surrogate them and the charity of the faithful does not let us miss what is necessary.
So now here is what the purpose of the Salesian Cooperators should be more directly; that's what they have to do. We must continue the works begun, of which I spoke; indeed these works must be multiplied by a hundredfold. For this there is a need for people and means. We sacrifice our people: the Lord sends us all day staff ready for any sacrifice, even giving his life for the health of souls. People are not enough: we need the means. The means are for you to procure them, or praiseworthy Cooperators. I entrust you with material means; make sure they are not missing. Notice how great is the grace of the Lord who puts the means to cooperate in the health of souls in your hands. Yes, in your hands is the health of many souls. We have seen, by our fact, so far narrated,
Now it would be the case that I thank you. But what thanks? I can't do it to you. It would be too small to thank you for your good deeds. I will leave it to the Lord to thank you then for it. Yes, he said it several times that it regards him as something done to his neighbor. On the other hand, it is certain that charity is not purely corporal, but that it has a spiritual purpose as well, has even greater merit. And I would like to say, not only does he have a greater merit, but he has the divine. The holy fathers agree in repeating that saying of St. Dionysius, who says: Divinorum divinissimum est cooperaci Deo in salutem animarum.7 And by explaining this passage with St. Augustine it is said that this divine work is an absolute pledge of one's predestination : Animam salvasti, animam tuam praedestinasti.8
Do you want to do a good thing? Educate the youth. Do you want to do a holy thing? Educate the youth. Do you want to do what is most holy? Educate the youth. Do you want to do divine thing? Educate the youth. Indeed [this] among the divine is most divine.
Oh! therefore, by contributing to making these great goods mentioned above, you can be sure of saving your soul. I therefore leave you to give you special thanks. Just know that in the church of Mary Help of Christians morning and evening, and I can say all day, special prayers are made for you, so that the Lord may thank you with those words he will tell you on the decisive day of the judgment. Euge, serve bone et fidelis ... 9 You make sacrifices, but keep in mind that Jesus Christ made a much greater sacrifice of himself and we will never get close enough to the sacrifice he made for us. But those who strive to imitate him [in] making sacrifices to save souls, can rest assured that you saved the soul,
7 Among the divine things the most divine is to cooperate with God for the salvation of souls.
8 You saved a soul, so you predestined your soul.
9 Come, good and faithful servant ... (Mt 25, 21).
10 Take part in the joy of your Lord (Mt 25:21).
Don Bosco's correspondence with the Cooperators and friends, lay and ecclesiastical, always contains some essential spiritual life orientation, but well aimed at proposing a journey of interior life that holds together devotion, spiritual fervor, the exercise of virtues , operative charity and the duties of one's state made through love and faithfulness.
Turin, 24 September 1862 Dearest Lord,
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be always with us.
I received in his time the two letters he had the kindness to address me, and I did not answer because I was unsure of the place of his stay.
I combine the red ticket [of the lottery], or rather two to earn two prizes. The tickets I sent her were not enough to be sold, but rather to be considered by her and so she helped poor Don Bosco to give bread to his poor young boys.
Picking up the things of his first letter, I greatly admire the momentum of his heart in wanting to blindly follow the advice of a poor priest like me. The thing is difficult for both, but let's try.
How do I go about undertaking a life, she said, that you detach from the world and bind me to this heart with the Lord so that you constantly love virtue?
R. Goodwill supported by God's grace will produce this wonderful effect. But to succeed she must strive to know and taste the beauty of virtue and the joy that those who tend to God feel in their hearts.
Then consider the nullity of the things of the world. They cannot give us the least consolation. Put all your travels together, how much you have seen, enjoyed, read and observed. Compare everything with the joy that a man feels after he has approached the holy sacraments, he will realize that the first are nothing, that the second has everything.
Once established a base we come to practice. She: 1st every morning Mass and meditation. 2nd In the mid-day a little spiritual reading. 3rd Every Sunday he preaches and blesses. 4th ... Adagio, she shouts at me, little by little. He is right; begin to put into practice what I write to you here in passing, and if you feel I keep pace, I hope, with the help of the Lord, to be able to lead you to the third heaven.
1 E (m) I, pp. 525-526; letter to Ugo Grimaldi.
When he comes to Turin we'll talk about projects a little bigger. Meanwhile, do not fail to pray to the Lord for me, who I heartily wish you well from the Lord and profess me of your dearest lordship
Affectionate servant friend Sac. Bosco Gio.
Turin, 22 July 1866
Tepidity, when it is not promoted by the will, should be totally free of guilt. Indeed I believe that such lukewarmness, which takes the name of aridity of spirit, is meritorious before the Lord. However if he wants some matches that excite sparks of fire, I find them in ejaculations towards the Blessed Sacrament, some visit to the same, to kiss the medal or the crucifix. But more than anything else, the thought that the tribulations, the pains and the dryness of time are so many fragrant roses for eternity. .
I will not fail to recommend you weakly to the Lord in the holy Mass and, in the act that I recommend to me and my poor young boys to the charity of his holy prayers, I have the honor of being able to profess myself with sincere gratitude to your most esteemed lordship
Blessed servant Sac. Bosco Gio.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ always be with us. Amen.
Here I am talking to your excellence as I would my brother. What I wrote to her in August is neither threatening nor of time; but it is all [thing] loving and preventive. Having said this, she must bring her thoughts to three things: herself - her - her things.
Self. Take a look at the intentions made in confession and not kept; on the advice he had to avoid evil and practice good, but forgotten.
2 E (m) II, p. 276; letter to the Dominican nun Margherita Stoli.
3 E (m) II, pp. 423-424.
Even a great flaw in the pain of sins. This can be remedied by meditation and an examination of conscience in the evening or at another time more adapted to her. To the present God wants more patience in his occupations, especially in the family; more confidence in the goodness of the Lord; more tranquility of spirit, nor ever afraid that death will surprise you at night or other unexpected time. Make an effort to practice the virtue of humility and trust in the Lord and fear nothing. For the future you attend confession and communion so as to serve as a model for those who know it.
His. To see that his employees fulfill and have time to perform their religious duties, to dispose of the things that concern them in such a way that in death and after death they have reasons to bless their master. In the family, charity and kindness with all; but never let any opportunity escape to give notices or advice that can serve as a rule of life and a good example.
His things. Here we should write a lot. Monday I have to go to Alexandria and from there I'll make a trip to Mombaruzzo, where I hope to write or talk to her with some peace of mind. The thing that God wants especially from her is to promote as much as possible the veneration of the sacrament of Jesus and the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
God help us to walk the way of heaven. So be it.
With gratitude I profess yours
Blessed servant Sac. Gio. Bosco
Turin, October 23, 1867
Your letter gave me great pleasure and was all the more welcome to me as you talk to me with our old confidence, which for Don Bosco is the dearest thing in the world.
After placing your letter under a single point of view, I thank the Lord who, in the midst of the most difficult years of your life, has helped you to preserve the sound principles of religion. It can be said that the calamitous age has passed; the more you progress over the years, the more the illusions that man becomes of the world will vanish and will be confirmed more in what you told me, that only religion is stable and can at any time and in all ages make man happy in time and in eternity.
4 E (m) II, p. 445.
With a little philosophy, I advise you to continue to work in the surveyor profession where you are; to practice religion especially with frequent confession which for you is a true balm; but to work with all possible means to assist and console your good father in his current old age which, thanks to God, can be said to be very prosperous.
For the past I have always recommended you to the Lord in the holy Mass and I will do it even more willingly for the future because you ask me. You will pray for me too, won't you?
I have some nice books to translate from French, would you translate some? They would be printed in the Catholic Readings.
I will always have a consolation every time you write to me. God bless you and your father and keep both of you ad multos annos with a happy life.
D. Francesia, D. Lazzero, Chiapale and many other friends of yours greet you and I will always be you in the Lord
Dear friend Sac. Gio. Bosco
11 September 1869
At the hands of the zealous sister Filomena I received the conspicuous sum of fr. 10,000 which in his charity offers the honor of Mary Help of Christians and to be employed for the various and serious needs of this new building. I could not stop talking to the religious one, if not the flight, and therefore I could not entrust her with my heartfelt thanks for which I wanted to pray to her. Now, as I am fulfilling my duty of gratitude, I assure you that I will continue to make special prayers every day at the altar of Mary Help of Christians and I hope that the grace that you will request will be granted without a fault.
She says that so far it has not yet been achieved; he tells me that it is a tribulation of the family, that I do not know what it is, but here is what I can say positive: continue to pray and be resigned to the divine will. The tribulation turns to its end. There are things that now look like thorns, which God will turn into flowers. A look at the crucifix and a fiat voluntas tua, is what God wants from her.
Meanwhile, take this advice: the wounds in the family must be medicated and not amputated. Dissimulating what is sorry, talking to everyone and counseling with all charity and firmness is the remedy with which she will heal everything. Forgive me this freedom: I teach Minerva lessons, pardon me.
Tomorrow (12) I will celebrate the holy mass and my boys will make their communion according to the pious of her intention.
5 E (m) 3, pp. 133-134.
God bless you and your whole family and grant everyone long years of happy life with the precious gift of final perseverance.
Please accept the profound acts of my gratitude with which I have the honor of being able to profess to you of your worthy lordship
Blessed servant Sac. Gio. Bosco
Turin, May 28, 1870
Very clear lady,
I received the honored letter from him and was really pleased.
From it I perceive that his heart is all exacerbated by the loss of his late husband, but he has somewhat calmed down to give rise to resignation to the divine will which, whether he wishes or not, must submit. Do not fear that the affection of the husband decreases for her in the other life, indeed, it will be far more perfect. Have faith; she will see him in a much better position than when he was among us. The most welcome thing she can do for him is to offer God every rest for the rest of his soul.
Now give me some freedom to talk. It is of faith that in heaven one enjoys an infinitely better life than the earthly one. So why complain if her husband went into possession? It is of faith that death among us Christians is not separation, but a delay to see ourselves. Therefore patience when someone precedes us; he does nothing but go and prepare the place.
It is also of faith that at any moment, with works of piety and charity, she can do good to the soul of the deceased: therefore must she not enjoy in her heart if God has allowed her to survive? Then the assistance of the children, the comfort to the bon père, the practice of religion, spreading good books, giving good advice to those in need are not all things that must, at every moment, make the Lord bless for the years that does he grant us?
Then there are still other reasons that I do not yet judge to manifest.
In short, we adore God in everything, in the consolations and in the afflictions and we are sure that he is a good father and that he does not allow afflictions beyond our strength and is omnipotent and therefore he can lift us whenever he wants.
Meanwhile, I have always recommended you and your family to the Lord in the holy mass and I will continue to do the same both in particular and in the common prayers that are made at the altar of Mary.
6 E (m) III, pp. 211-212; letter to the Marchesa Carmes Maria Gondi.
God bless you and your labors; pray for me that I profess myself with your most illustrious lordship with gratitude
Blessed servant Sac. G. Bosco
Turin, 13 July 1870
Dearest in the Lord,
God be blessed in everything. Don't worry because you can't do many things. Before God he does much who in a short time makes his holy will. Take therefore from the holy hand of the Lord the inconveniences to which he is subject, do as little as he can and remain for each quiet side.
In these times it is seriously felt the need to propagate the good press. It is a vast field, everyone doing what he can will achieve much.
I will not fail to pray for you and all your companions. Respect them to me in the Lord. You also pray for me that with true affection I professed my most affectionate friend Sac. Gio. Bosco
Rome, 8 May 1876
Car.mo D. Perino,
I really enjoy your promotion as parish priest of Piedicavallo.
You will have a wider field of gaining souls for God. The foundation of your parish success is to take care of children, assist the sick, love the old.
For you: frequent confession, every day a little meditation, once a month the exercise of a good death.
For D. Bosco: spread the Catholic Readings and come to the Oratory for lunch whenever you come to Turin. The rest by voice.
God bless you, your labors, your future parish and pray for me, that I will always be you in Jesus Christ
Dear friend Sac. Gio. Bosco
7 E (m) III, pp. 227-228; letter to commendator Luigi Corsanego Merli.
8 E (m) V, p. 142; letter to don Luigi Perino.
Rome, 12 [January] 1878
My dear Don ...
God allows you a great trial, but you will have great gain. Prayer will exceed everything. Work, temperance especially in the evening, not taking a rest during the day, never exceeding seven hours in bed, are very useful things.
Pricipiis obsta; therefore, as soon as you realize you are tempted, go to work, if by day; to pray, if at night; do not suspend prayer, if not overcome by sleep. Put these suggestions into practice; I will recommend you in the holy mass, God will do the rest. Come on, dear Don ...; close your heart, hope in the Lord and go ahead without worrying.
Pray for me that I will always be you in Jesus Christ
Dear friend Sac. Gio. Bosco
Rome, 7 February 1878
To his very dear from the most reverend Monsignore,
In his time I received from Turin and then from his dear letter how the great pontiff Pius IX carried his paternal thought above her and proclaimed him bishop of Susa. I was not a little surprised, because I know how low she feels about herself and how she will have to take a new verb and deed. "But I soon blessed the Lord, because he was and I am convinced that the Church purchased a bishop according to heart of God and that she would have done very well for the diocese of Susa.
I enjoy it very much and with all the affection of the heart, I offer all the houses of our Congregation for any service they can offer to the respectable person of her or to the diocese that divine Providence has entrusted to her.
I do not pretend to be a teacher, but I believe that she will soon have the hearts of all in her hands:
1 If he will take special care of the sick, the old and the poor children.
9 E (c) III, pp. 271-272.
10 E (c) III, pp. 293-294. Archbishop Edoardo Giuseppe Rosaz (1830-1903), founder of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters (1874) for the education of poor and orphan girls, had been appointed bishop of Susa in the consistory of 31 December 1877.
11 In the way of speaking and acting.
2 ° Go very slowly in making changes in the staff already established by your predecessor.
3rd To do what he can to earn the esteem and affection of some who held or hold high positions in the diocese; which judge to have been neglected and your lordship preferred.
4 ° In taking severe measures against any of the clergy, be careful and as much as you can listen to the accused. Moreover I hope that in March we will be able to talk to each other personally.
Today at about half past three the great and incomparable star of the Church, Pius IX, was extinguished. The newspapers will give you the details. Rome is all in dismay and I believe the same all over the world. Within a very short time it will certainly be on the altars.
I believe that your lordship will always allow me to write with the confidence of the past; and praying to God to enlighten and keep him in good health, I commend myself to the charity of his holy prayers and profess myself with the utmost veneration
Of your most reverend and dear lordship
Dear friend Sac. Gio. Bosco
Turin, 26 September 1878
Highly esteemed in Jesus Christ,
Regarding your conscience, you believe:
1 ° Never try to redo past confessions.
2 ° Thoughts, desires and everything internal is never a matter of confession.
3 Confess only the works, the speeches that the confessor will judge as guilty and nothing else.
4th Blind obedience to the confessor.
Be calm of conscience and pray for me that I will always be you in Jesus Christ
Sac. Gio. Bosco
12 E (c) III, pp. 388-389; letter A Giuseppina Armelonghi.
Turin, 25 October 1878
Dearest in the Lord,
I received your good letter and the francs 18 within it. Thank you: God, you will return. It is manna that falls in relief of our straits. She is quiet then. Do not talk about exempting yourself from the parish.
Is there work to do? I will die in the labor camp, sicut bonus miles Christi "I am good for little? Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat."
Are there thorns? With the thorns turned into flowers the angels will weave a crown for her in heaven.
Are the times difficult? They were always like this, but God never missed his help. Christus Neri et hodie. the
Do you need advice? Here it is: take special care of the children, the old and the sick and will become the master of everyone's heart. After all, when you come to pay me a visit, we'll talk about it longer.
Sac. Gio. Bosco
Turin, 11 November 1878 Respectable lady,
His son's position is certainly a bad one. Age, science, substances are terrible snares that the devil uses to lead many unwary youngsters to spiritual and bodily ruin. A Christian mother in these cases must:
1 ° To take it in the good, accompany it everywhere, if he suffers. Reason it, advise it to the holy sacraments, to sermons, to good readings. If he does not give up, have patience, but continue.
2nd If he wants he can say with certainty that if he does not adjust better, his life will be much shorter and perhaps ...
3 ° Work to associate it with relatives or other honest people and to remove it from bad companions.
4th Prayer to God and to Saint Monica.
In my smallness I will also make special prayers to Mary Help of Christians.
13 E (c) 3, p. 399.
14 As a good soldier of Christ (2 Tim 2: 3).
15 All I can do in him who strengthens me (Phil. 4, 13).
16 Christ is the same yesterday and today (Heb 13: 8).
17 E (c) III, pp. 411-412.
I really need his spiritual and corporal charity. I have a copious harvest at hand; many souls could be gained, but material means are lacking.
God bless her, her whole family and pray also for me that I will always be her in Jesus Christ
Humble servant Sac. Gio. Bosco