At three o'clock a telegram came with the apostolic blessing sent by Cardinal Rampolla. Bishop Cagliero had already read the final prayers, "Proficiscere" [move on!]. At four-thirty the bells of Mary Help of Christians rang out for the Angelus, which everyone recited softly. Father Bonetti whispered his Viva Maria once again into Don Bosco's ear as he had done the day before. The death rattle, which was heard for about an hour and a half, stopped. His breath suddenly became free, calm, but it was a matter of only a few seconds. Then he stopped breathing. "Don Bosco is dying!" Father Dominic Belmonte exclaimed. The people, who in their weariness had been sitting down, leapt to their feet and got closer to his bed. He breathed then three times, with short intervals.


Don Bosco truly was dying. Staring at him, Bishop Cagliero said, "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may my soul breathe forth in peace with you." Standing in a circle around him, Father Rua and the others lived out their own painful anguish together with their Father. Don Bosco was dead! With a sigh, Bishop Cagliero then intoned: Subvenite, sancti dei; occurrite, angeli Domini... suscipientes animam ejus suscipiat te Christus, qui vocavit te [Come saints of God, angels of heaven, accompany his soul to paradise.


May Christ who called you, take you to himself]. He blessed the holy body and prayed to God for its eternal rest. Then Don Bosco's stole was put around the neck of the revered departed, and the Crucifix he had so often kissed was placed in his hand. It was now four forty-five a.m. Don Bosco was seventy-two years and five and a half months old.


Everyone knelt down; the De profundis was recited between groans and sobs. If there was anyone who had to speak in the presence of the lifeless remains of Don Bosco, that was Father Rua, and Father Rua spoke and said, "We are doubly orphaned. But let us be comforted. Though we have lost a father on earth, we have gained a protector in heaven. Let us prove ourselves worthy of him, by following his holy examples." (from the Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 18, pp. 458-459)

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Address: No.123, Sec. 3 Min Sheng East Rd., Taipei Taiwan

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