Thursday, January 22, 2015

Don Bosco's Popes: Pius IX

The following comes from

Pius IX Giovanni Maria Ferretri was born in Senigallia (Ancona) on 13th May 1792. He was elected Pope on 16th June 1846. He died 7th February 1878 and was beatified on 3rd September 2000. St. John Bosco had his first audience with Pius IX on 7th March 1954. The Pontiff immediately understood the Saint and, persuaded that his work was willed by God and very needed in those times, encouraged him to set it up as a stable group. He gave him precious advice and Don Bosco overcame many difficulties through this direct advice. He suggested that Don Bosco call his congregation a ‘Society’, and said that vows were necessary but that they should be simple. He advised simplicity in manner of dress and in practices of piety and ordered Don Bosco to write his memoirs. He gave many signs of his affection and also offered material support. During his pontificate the Salesian Society and its Constitutions were approved, as also the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Pious Union of Salesian Cooperators. He reserved the role of protector of the Society to himself.

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