Sunday, September 19, 2021

Saint John Bosco and the Dog Grigio

 The latest story for my book is about the beloved St. John Bosco, an Italian priest who lived from 1815 to 1888.  One of the big differences between this story and the others in this collection is that most of my information for this story came from neither hearsay nor legend nor hagiography.  It was from the pen of Don Bosco himself (Don is the Italian title for a priest).  He wrote extensively.  I haven't had time to read all his writings, but I did find out from him about the wonderful, possibly angelic, dog that protected him in the times when he needed protection.   

This picture is of  Don Bosco as a newly ordained priest, in the sacristy where a shivering, underdressed teenage boy is trying to escape from the cold on the one hand, and from the broom of an unhappy sacristan who doesn't want young ruffians in his holy domain.  Don John knows that his own ministry is going to be to boys, and he recognizes this scruffy lad as his first.  

This is before the dog comes into the priest's life, but I had to describe what kind of person he was.  He was a man who loved before anything else, and he knew to whom he was dedicated.  His boys were the reason for, and the center of his life.