St. John Bosco experienced an extraordinary event on a solemn feast day (most likely the Nativity of Our Lady in 1848). About six hundred boys had gone to confession and wanted to receive Holy Communion. Don Bosco started the Mass, thinking that the ciborium inside the tabernacle was full of consecrated Hosts. In fact there was only a small number of Hosts in it. The sacristan, Joseph Buzzetti, had forgotten to put a full ciborium on the altar before the Consecration. He realized the mistake only after the Consecration, and could do nothing about it.
At Communion time, when Don Bosco uncovered the ciborium and saw a small number of Hosts, his expression betrayed his disappointment that many boys would be unable to receive Holy Communion. He raised his eyes to heaven and prayed and then went to distributing Holy Communion. Without breaking the Hosts, Don Bosco was able to give Communion to all the boys.
After Mass, Buzzetti told his companions of the miracle and proved it by showing them the ciborium he had forgotten in the sacristy.
Fifteen years later, on October 18, 1863 as Don Bosco was talking with a few of his clerics, he was asked about the Buzzetti’s story. A grave expression came over his face, and after a long pause he said, “Yes, there was very few Hosts in the ciborium. Yet I was able to give Communion to all who came, and they were by no means few. By this miracle Our Lord wished to show us how pleased He is with frequent and devout Communions.”
The clerics asked Don Bosco how he felt as the miracle happened. He said, “I was deeply moved, but undisturbed. I was thinking to myself that the miracle of Consecration is even greater than that of multiplication. May the Lord be praised for everything.” Thereupon he changed the subject.
Bishop John Cagliero, who entered the Oratory in 1851, wrote, “Yes, Don Bosco possessed the gift of miracles. For those of us who lived at his side for so many years, it is a fact. Many of the older pupils have assured me that he performed miracles even before I entered the Oratory, and hat once the sacred Hosts were multiplied in his hands.”
Sometimes, Don Bosco preached and taught catechism informally in public squares. One day, he was in a group of people and he began to tell them of the need of listening to the word of God. Some young men deliberately made a lot of noise. Don Bosco asked them to keep quiet, but one of them shouted, “We don’t want to hear any sermons.” Don Bosco answered, “If you were to be struck blind at this moment, would you then listen to God’s word?” The young man said, “Him, that’s easier said than done!” Then he turned to one of his companions and angrily shouted, “You scoundrel, why are you hiding? Are you afraid? Come out!” His companion replied, “What’s the matter with you? Can’t you see? I’m right next to you.” The young man said, “But I can’t see you…Oh, my! I can’t see any more….”
Fear seized the bystanders, and all of them begged Don Bosco to restored his sight. The young man implored, “Don Bosco, pray for me. Please forgive me!” Don Bosco said, “Say an act of contrition. We shall pray too, but meanwhile promise you’ll go to confession, and then the Lord will give you back your sight.” Don Bosco and the others prayed for him. Toward evening, someone took the young man to confession and his sight was then restored to him.