20150622 Mission foretold

In speaking of Saint John Bosco, Pope Pius XI said, “In his life the supernatural almost became the natural and the extraordinary ordinary.” Saint John Bosco worked miracles, read people’s hearts, and had prophetic dreams.
He had his first prophetic dream at the age of nine. John saw himself in a large playing field with a crowd of children. Some were laughing, others were playing and not a few were cursing. John Bosco was so shocked at their language that he jumped into their midst, swinging wildly and shouting at them to stop. Then a man in white appeared and told John to place himself as leader over those boys. He said, “You will have to win these friends of yours not with blows, but with gentleness and kindness. So begin right now to show them that sin is ugly and virtue beautiful.” John Bosco replied that he was only a boy and unable to talk to these youngsters about religion. At that moment the fighting, shouting and cursing stopped and the crowd of boys gathered about the man.
John asked, “But how can you order me to do something that looks so impossible?” The man replied, “What seems so impossible you must achieve by being obedient and by acquiring knowledge.”
The man promised that he would give John a teacher, and he said, ” ‘I am the Son of her whom your mother has taught you to greet three times a day.” John saw a beautiful lady beside the man. All the children had vanished. In their place there were many animals: goats, dogs, cats, bears and a variety of others.
The lady said, “This is your field, this is where you must work. Make yourself humble, steadfast, and strong. And what you will see happen to these animals you will have to do for my children.” The wild animals had turned into as many lambs, gently gamboling lambs, bleating a welcome for that Lady and her Son.
The next day, when John shared this dream with his family, everybody came up with a variety of interpretations of what the dream might have meant. His mother said, “Who knows if some day he may not become a priest?”
After the dream, the young John Bosco started working for young boys. He began to read aloud to his friends some of the books he had borrowed from a priest. Before and after the reading, all joined in making the sign of the cross and reciting the Hail Mary.
John realized that reading stories was good for youngsters during winter time, but he had to do something different during the warm season. He resolved to learn the secrets of tightrope walking and magic tricks by attending the shows. In order to raise money for the tickets of these shows, John caught little birds and sold them. He also wove little baskets and made bird cages and sold them to passing vendors. He collected herbs and seeds and took them to a chemist.
John would sit at the front row and observed everything carefully. He would spent months to practice. Later he wrote, “You may not believe me, but at the age of eleven I could juggle, turn somersaults, walk on my hands and dance on the tightrope.”
People enjoyed watching the performances of John Bosco. But he is a special performer. Before the final item, he would pull out the rosary and invite all to pray. At other times he would repeat the sermon the priest had preached in the morning at Mass.
John Bosco wrote, “After two or three hours of such entertainment, when I was quite exhausted, I would stop, make a short prayer, and all would go home happy.”

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