SUMMARY OF DONBOSCO BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR VOLUME IV/4


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In the middle of 19th century, the leaders of piedmontese, a secret societies were planning to create a godless state, but instead of acting according to God’s laws, they would skillfully manipulate the people in order to change their will. Their idea was to overthrow them until they held up to public admiration and for this reason ; they advocated freedom of thought, conscience, religion and press which had already been described by St. Peter in his quote which stated, “Live as free men, yet not using your freedom as a cover for malice”.

The godless legislators are always a claiming words like “we are the law, and there is no one above us-neither God nor church”. to themselves and this has made them regard the catholic church as purely private society. However; Don Bosco grieved at the general disregard of divine law and at the blasphemies uttered against God, Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother. His heart bled at the outrages committed against the Pope and at the disregard of the church’s rights.

Don Bosco directly looked after the religious and moral welfare of the seven hundred and more boys attending the festive oratory of St. Francis de Sales; he looked on them as the apple of his eye. A young boy and his mother visited Don Bosco at valdocco and they told him, how the boy saw him in a dream, how he came to rescue the boy while he was been dragged forcefully to the protestant church. The boy cried to Don Bosco appealing to him, to save him! by permitting him to stay with Him. Don Bosco accepted the little savoyard to remain at oratory for several years. The responsibility for feeding, housing, and as well clothing the boys is being handled by Don Bosco.

Putting all his trust in God and our Lady’s promises and sure of his mission,encourages him to go out during the week to solicit donations for his boys with the greatest humility and amiability. Don Bosco never doubted divine providence, always cheerful and always serene, he would tell the boys, “Eat and don’t worry, God will provide for tomorrow”. These had always being his belive to his boys and so, he never keep a penny for himself.

From the very beginning of his hospice he had started the custom of giving the boys a little talk after night prayers and this he has been doing mainly on feast days or occasions. But in the year 1850 changes the story, therefore ;he takes it frequently, almost nightly. His untiring effort concerning the oratory became the talk of the people all over Turin, They realized that Don Bosco’s festive oratory prevented Juvenile delinquency by turning under privilege youths into good catholics and upright citizens. And these led the government to take an interest in Don Bosco’s oratory.

A relative of the Gastaldi family named Volpotto who held a post in government, proposed to Don Bosco to place his festive oratory informally under government auspices. But Don Bosco couldn’t heed to his proposal and so; Mr. Volpotto had the senate pass a resolution that the government should grant a subsidy to the oratory of St. Francis de sales. The senate appointed a three man fact finding committee. The committee members involve ; count Frederick Sclolis, Marquis Ignatius Pallavicini, and count Louis Collegno. When the actual day came for Don Bosco to be interrogated, count Sclopis, asked Don Bosco. What is the

purpose of this oratory? And Don Bosco answered ; The purpose of this oratory is to gather boys and turn them into upright citizens and good catholics. Count Collegno also questioned Him; How do you go about keeping order and discipline among so many boys? Don Bosco responded; Reason, Charity and Kindness which reigns supreme. And where do you obtain the means to feed and shelter so many boys? And Don Bosco replied. Divine providence has never failed me. Count Sclopis feels sorry for Don Bosco and before him and his team departed, He gave Don Bosco a donation for the boys most in need and from that day onward, they became Don Bosco’s benefactors.

Earlier in the month of February 1850. He began the Lenten catechism class in the three oratories as a way of taking his boys on exercise which prepares one for a happy death. This equally introduced in the boys practices of piety. Many people comes to valdocco following the lead of Bishop Cucchi who invites them to come and see what Don Bosco is like! They were very impressed with what they saw and they brought to conclusion “If all priests could act like Don Bosco in teaching catechism, the whole world would be converted in no time at all.” A month passed, on the visit of the three senators to the oratory of St. Francis de sales. It occurred that the oratory had been tabled down at senate session.

In the month of March 1850, while preparing for Easter, an highly disturbing incidents happened, All the boys schools of the city had reserved places, but the oratory of St. Francis de sales did not make an appearance. Don Bosco was determined to keep his boys away from any ceremony that had political overtones, because of the potential disastrous consequences involved. On this particular day, the anticlerical fury of the mobs roaming the streets, priest were insulted and jeers were shouted under the window of the Papa nuncio, Archbishop, Landlords and Tenants were forced to display flags.

Debate over proposed legislation to abolish the ecclesiastical court  drawing to a close. Lenten preachers were threatened and physically attacked, the clergy was forbidden to present petitions against the passing of law,while those in favor of it were openly encouraged. The real aim of the anticlericals was to destroy episcopal authority and foment among the clergy.

They hoped that priests and rural pastors would throw off church discipline and forming a civil clergy salaried by and subject to the state.

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