Monday, May 22, 2006

St. John Bosco's Dog... or Angel?

Saint John Bosco was a heroic man who cared deeply about the young boys he cared for. Through his perseverance he began a school for wayward boy's, to help them return to the Faith and to become men of strength. Though John Bosco loved his boys and saw through their hard facades, not everyone held the same opinion, and many wished that he would remove his school from their area.

John Bosco was also a strong man of great Faith and he fought courageously against those espousing heretical views, this incurred the wrath of some who disputed with the Church's Teachings.

Some of the townspeople felt so strongly that they even plotted to take his life and thereby destroy his schools, but what people plot and what God plans are two different things!

John Bosco had weathered some attacks against his person when out and about performing his Priestly duties. One night as John Bosco was returning home he felt that he was being followed and growing wary of the constant harassment, this brave man hastened his steps. It was not long before the footsteps he could hear were gaining ground, when suddenly out of the cold mist John Bosco saw a very large dog come towards him. The dog soon fell into step beside him, and after reaching his goal John Bosco also discovered that the man following him had been frightened off by the huge dog.

Many nights when John Bosco traveled around the town and most especially in the more dangerous districts, often times the dog would miraculously show up just when John Bosco most needed him. The dog became such a friend on his dangerous missions that John Bosco named him, Grigio.

One night when Father John Bosco was returning home an assassin tried to shoot him dead and upon failing this the man rushed forward to beat this wonderful Priest to death! When suddenly John Bosco cried out for his dog 'Grigioooo' the dog immediately came to John Bosco's aid and bit the attacker with all his might. The attacker after a cry of pain ran from the scene, Grigio had saved John Bosco's life!

This scene was repeated when on another occasion two men set forth to murder this annoying Priest and so they lay in wait upon him in the shadows. Upon seeing John Bosco the two men rushed forward and covered his head with a sack, they then began to beat him but not for long, for once again Grigio seemed to spring from out of no-where and grabbed one of the assailants by the neck. It was John Bosco who then had to save the life of his attacker as he commanded Grigio to set his assailant free.

The dog soon became John Bosco's closest companion even to the extent of preventing Father John from leaving his home, perhaps Grigio knew when this brave Priest needed to be kept safe and the safest place was home!

One night when Father John Bosco was eating a convivial dinner with friends, the family decided to feed this great protector of their friend Father John. So the husband prepared to give scraps to Grigio only to find that this huge dog had vanished, but where and how? Because of the dangers that faced Father John the family had bolted all the doors and windows. Where had Grigio disappeared to and more importantly, how?

Who was this courageous and fierce protector of Father John Bosco, an ordinary dog or an Angel sent to protect him?

I would encourage all to read more about the life of this great Saint John Bosco.

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