St John Bosco was known in the Italy of his day as Don Bosco. A well-heeled society lady asked him to visit and enquired of him as to the future of her four sons. Don Bosco said that the eldest tree would be extremely successful in their chosen fields. Then he looked at the youngest boy, only 9 years old, and said, "this one will become a priest."
So shocked and disappointed was the wealthy lady on hearing this that she exclaimed, “I would rather he died than become a priest!” This seems an inordinately rude thing for the boy's mother to say - after all she had invited Don Bosco who was a controversial priest - into her home so that he might tell her what would become of her sons.
Don Bosco gave her a deathly serious look and walked out. A few days later he was called to the deathbed of the 9 year old boy - who had been perfectly healthy when his mother introduced him to Don Bosco. The boy said to his mother, “I am dying because of what you said to Don Bosco.” The mum implored Don Bosco to pray that her son might be saved from imminent death. Don Bosco was frank with her, “God is not mocked. He has taken you at your word...”
|Pope Francis visiting the tomb of St John Bosco in Turin|