Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vision of deaths in the Sardinian Royal court

One friend of John Bosco was Justice Minister Urbano Rattazzi, who despite being anticlerical, nevertheless recognized the value of Don Bosco’s work.While Rattazzi was pushing a bill through the Sardinian legislature to suppress religious orders, he advised Don Bosco on how to get around the law and found a religious order to keep the oratory going after its founder’s death. Bosco had been thinking about that problem, too, and had been slowly organizing his helpers into a loose "Congregation of St. Francis de Sales." He was also training select older boys for the priesthood on the side. Another supporter of the religious order's idea was the reigning Pope, Blessed Pius IX.

In 1854, when the Kingdom of Sardinia was about to pass a law suppressing monastic orders and confiscating ecclesiastical properties, Bosco reported a series of dreams about "great funerals at court," referring to members of the Savoy court or of politicians.In November 1854, he sent a letter to King Victor Emmanuel II, admonishing him to oppose the confiscation of church property and suppression of the orders, but the King did nothing.[10] His activity, which had been described by Italian historian Erberto Petoia as having "manifest blackmailing intentions",[11] ended only after the intervention of Prime Minister Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour. Despite such criticisms, the King's family suffered a surprising number of deaths in a short period. From January to May 1855, the King's mother (age 55), wife (33), newborn son and his only brother (33) all died.

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