20150706 Father Calosso guided John

In November 1929, 14-year-old St. John Bosco met the parish priest of Murialdo, the elderly Father Calosso. John Bosco wrote, “I came to know what it meant to have a constant spiritual guide and faithful friend, the kind of relationship I had sadly lacked till then.”
Father Calosso advocated frequent confession and Communion and taught John how to do a short spiritual reading. John would go and serve his Mass as often as possible.
Father Calosso had a special devotion to Our Lady under the title “Mary, Help of Christians.” He revived a Sodality of Mary, Help of Christians, in Bruino, and had an altar dedicated in the parish church under this title. It is possible that St. John Bosco heard this title of Our Lady for the first time from Father Calosso.
Father Calosso taught John Italian and Latin. He loved John as his own son, and often told him, “Don’t worry about your future. As long as I live, I’ll see to it that you will not lack anything, and after my death, you will also be provided for.”
One morning in November 1830, someone came running telling John that Father Calosso had suddenly fallen ill. John ran as fast as he could to Father Calosso, who had suffered a heart attack. Father Calosso recognized John but could not speak. He pointed to the key of a drawer, indicating that it was for John.
After two days of agony, Father Calosso died. In the drawer they found 6,000 lire. Some of those who assisted Father Calosso had no doubt that the money was intended for John, but others said that the signs of a dying man did not mean much. Only a regular will gave undisputed right to anything.
After listening to both sides, the nephews of Father Calosso told John, “It seems that uncle wanted you to have this money. Take whatever you want.”
John thought for a while and said, “I don’t want anything.”
John prayed a great deal for the soul of Father Calosso; he thought about him and dreamed of him.
In December 1830, John started to attend the public school at Castelnuovo. Margaret accompanied John there and said, “Be devoted to Our Lady. She will help you grow up well.”
At school, John, now 15, found himself studying with boys of 10 or 11. With the help of the teacher, Father Emmanuel Virano, he was able to make good progress in Latin, but in April Father Virano became the parish priest of Mondonio.
He had to leave the school in the hands of a 75-year-old teacher who had a strong prejudice against people from Becchi. John, a boy from Becchi, suffered great humiliation from the new teacher and could not make much progress in his studies.
John had come to know two wonderful priests, Father Calosso and Father Virano, but other priests were quite different. John wrote, “I saw several good priests practising the sacred ministry, but I could not establish a close relationship with any of them.
“Often I would meet our parish priest and his assistant on the road. I would greet them from a distance and bow to them as they passed. In their distant and courteous manner they would return my greeting and go on their way.
“I cried often, thinking as well as saying to others, ‘If I ever become a priest, I’ll do just the contrary; I’ll befriend the students, talk to them kindly, and help and advise them as needed. If I could only have a talk with my pastor, how happy I would be. I had this great comfort with Father Calosso; will I ever enjoy it again?'”?

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