How St. John Bosco Handled an Epidemic, by Donal Anthony Foley

Fr. Edward Looney: Celebrating Holy Week With Your Family During Quarantine
April 2, 2020
Dr. Fauci: We Can Relax Social Distancing When We Have No New Cases, New Deaths, by Melanie Arter
April 2, 2020

St. John Bosco was canonized April 1, 1934

By Donal Anthony Foley, World Apostolate of Fatima U.S.A.

Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related web site at …


The COVID-19 coronavirus is a new threat to our society, but mankind has faced even more serious ones in the past, including the Black Death in the 14th century, when between 30-60 percent of Europe’s population fell victim to the Bubonic plague. Later, in the 19th century, a cholera epidemic ravaged Europe at the same time that St. John Bosco – popularly known as “Don Bosco” – was building up his Salesian Order, which would do so much for Catholic education around the world.

The cholera epidemic struck Italy hard in 1854, with a death rate of up to 60 percent. Turin, where Don Bosco’s Oratory was located, was badly affected. The saint had told his pupils in advance about the disease, but comforted them by saying that they would be safe if they followed his advice; this was to avoid sin, have recourse to prayer, and in particular, to wear a blessed Marian medal.

In fact, Don Bosco had a profound devotion to Our Lady under the title “Mary Help of Christians,” which was also the name he gave to the basilica that he had built in Turin between 1865 and 1868 as an act of great devotion to the Blessed Virgin. He was one of the towering spiritual figures of his era, and both a miracle worker and a trusted confidant of Pope Pius IX. As one of the greatest saints of the 19th century, he was ultimately responsible for as many as 6,000 priestly vocations and his Salesian Order grew to be one of the largest in the Church.  …

Read more here: