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A fifteen-year-old boy in Turin, Italy was about to die. He called for Don Bosco, but the saint was not able to make it in time. Another priest heard the boy's confession and the boy died. 

St John BoscoWhen Don Bosco returned to Turin, he set out at once to see the boy. 

When told that the boy was dead, he insisted that it was "just a misunderstanding."

After a moment of prayer in the room of the dead child, Don Bosco suddenly cried out: "Charles! Rise!"

 

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To the utter amazement of all present, the boy stirred, opened his eyes, and sat up. Seeing Don Bosco, his eyes lit up.

"Father, I should now be in Hell!" gasped the boy. "Two weeks ago I was with a bad companion who led me into sin and at my last confession, I was afraid to tell everything… Oh, I've just come out of a horrible dream! I dreamt I was standing on the edge of a horrible pit of flames surrounded by a horde of devils.

They were about to throw me into the flames when a beautiful Lady appeared and stopped them. 'There's still hope for you, Charles,' she told me. 'You have not yet been judged!' 

St John Bosco at Charles' death bed

At that moment I heard you calling me. Oh, Don Bosco! What a joy to see you again! Will you please hear my confession?"

After hearing the boy's confession, Don Bosco said to the boy, "Charles, now that the gates of Heaven lie wide open for you, would you rather go there or stay here with us?"

The boy looked away for a moment and his eyes grew moist with tears. An expectant hush fell over the room. "Don Bosco," he said at last, "I'd rather go to Heaven."

The mourners watched in amazement as Charles leaned back on the pillows, closed his eyes, and settled once more into the stillness of death.

 


 From Saint John Bosco, Blessed Friend of Youth, p. 184-185

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for January 23, 2021

God does not wish to see us in affliction, but it is we who...

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January 23

 

God does not wish to see us in affliction, but
it is we who draw down sufferings upon ourselves, and
by our sins enkindle the flames in which we are to burn.
God punishes us,
because we oblige Him to do so.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Vincent of Zaragoza

In despair, the governor wept but, strangely enough, ordered...

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St. Vincent of Zaragoza

St. Vincent was a native of Huesca, Spain, but lived in Zaragoza.

He was ordained a deacon by his friend, Saint Valerius of Zaragoza.

In 303 the Roman emperor published edicts against the clergy and in 304 against the laity. Vincent and his bishop were imprisoned in Valencia, and though they were subjected to hunger and torture, they thrived.

Speaking for Valerius who had a speech impediment, Vincent angered Dacian, the governor, by his outspoken and fearless manner. Dacian exiled Valerius but subjected Vincent to the gridiron. Seeing the deacon unmoved, the governor had the torturers beaten.

Finally Dacian suggested a compromise. He suggested that Vincent at least give up the Sacred Scriptures to be burned according to the emperor’s edict. On the saint’s refusal, Dacian lost control and had him thrown in jail where the holy deacon converted the jailer.

In despair, the governor wept but, strangely enough, ordered the martyr to be given some rest. But Vincent had earned his eternal rest. As soon as he was laid on a bed, he gave up his faithful soul to God.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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