December 11, 2013

St. John Bosco

It was September 8, 1848, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother. St. John Bosco was about to say Mass. “The boys who gathered in the church numbered almost 600. The sacristan had prepared a ciborium with enough hosts to be consecrated for the congregation, but a last-moment distraction prevented him from placing it on the altar. The ciborium reserved in the tabernacle contained only about 20 consecrated Hosts. After the Consecration, at the moment of the elevation of the Host, the sacristan realized his mistake, but could do nothing but await the saint’s confusion, and later a well-deserved reprimand for his oversight. At Communion time, when St. John Bosco uncovered the ciborium that he had removed from the tabernacle and saw the small number of Hosts in it, his expression betrayed his disappointment over the fact that he would be unable to give Holy Communion to all the boys. Nevertheless, gazing heavenward, he quietly prayed for a moment and then walked toward the railing, where the communicants devoutly awaited him. “

“After he had distributed Communion to the first row of boys, another group took their places. One row succeeded another, and then another, yet the supply in the ciborium was not exhausted. When Don Bosco returned to the altar, all the boys had communicated and there remained within the ciborium a goodly quantity of Hosts. It is said that the sacristan was thoroughly bewildered.”

(Quoted parts taken from Eucharistic Miracles, by Joan Carroll Cruz (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 228.)


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