|A Saint as Indestructible as the Shroud!|
|As the Hebrew saying goes, there are “no coincidences in God’s Universe!”
And as we have been discussing that the Shroud is Surrounded by Saints, there is no better Saint to discuss who surrounded this cloth than the one whose feast we celebrate this week.
We are talking, of course, about St. John Bosco.
The founder of the Salesians.
There are many stories and remembrances that can be discussed regarding Don Bosco, but we will leave them for a good encyclopedia of the Saints.
We want to discuss something these encyclopedias seem to neglect.
It is St. John’s devotion to the Shroud.
As a spiritual guide to the many homeless children he took under his wing, St. John Bosco ensured, as a citizen of Turin, Italy, that whenever the Shroud was out for veneration, his wards were given the opportunity to see it. And what a profound effect it had on those wayward youths who were so desperately in need of a spiritual boost!
Turin has been the home of the Shroud since it came to rest there in 1578. In the 1800s, St. John took a cue from his 17th-century patron, St. Francis de Sales — whose feast day is one week previous to Don Bosco — in regard to his veneration of this Holy Cloth.
St. Francis, along with St. Jane de Chantal, revered the Lord’s burial cloth when it was displayed in Turin in the 1600s.
In fact, after his father had venerated the cloth, St. Francis’ mother prayed before the Shroud in 1566 pleading with God to bless her with a son who will grow up to be a Saint. The very next year, St. Francis de Sales was born!
As he grew in his faith, St. Francis had a great devotion to the Lord’s burial cloth and, in 1613, he, as an official of the Church, designated the Shroud of Turin as “Our Standard of Salvation!”
How fascinating that St. Jane, with St. Francis, would view the very cloth that the Lord shed Blood and Water into. The very Blood and Water that can still be seen today on the cloth emanating from the Heart Wound.
The spiritual fascination in this is how the Lord never does anything by accident.
St. Francis de Sales will fulfill a lifelong ambition with St. Jane by founding the order of the Congregation of the Visitation nuns.
One particular person will join this order later on. Her name is St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Her revelations from the Lord Jesus will culminate in the Feast of the Sacred Heart (and, yes, as always, Church officials, at first, did not believe her and discounted her messages). It is a feast that honors the Heart that shed Blood and Water as a Fountain of Mercy for us!
What does all this have to do with St. John Bosco and his feast day?
As we said, there are no coincidences in God's Universe.
Can we not see Him working in history through the generations on His perfect plan? A plan to bring mankind to the realization that there is no salvation outside of Jesus and that His Shroud proves He is the Son of God!
For what is the message of the Shroud besides the obvious redemptive value of Jesus’ action on the Cross?
It is the PROOF OF THE RESURRECTION! And the hope we, in our mortality, have — if we adhere to the Lord’s salvific plan — of our own resurrection.
And that is what this has to do with St. John Bosco, for he is the proverbial modern-day proof of the Resurrection.
It is interesting how we cannot find this in any book about the Saint. But it is something we have seen with our own eyes.
It began with our tour of this patron Saint’s home. His living quarters. The place where he died in Turin, Italy.
It began with our guide explaining how, in the room outside John Bosco’s bedroom, the Saint spent his last days praying and performing Mass before his own private altar to God.
An altar where Salesians — the order he founded named for St. Frances de Sales — would find him levitating and illuminated as he prayed to God.
A room where, in his last days, he could barely get out of bed except to return to his private altar to again worship God.
A room where he died and was later placed in a wooden coffin for burial in the cemetery.
But that is not where St. John Bosco’s body is today.
An interesting thing happened to this Saint who devoted his life to promoting the Shroud and founding an order named after another Saint who also loved the cloth that wrapped our Savior’s Body.
When St. John Bosco was canonized, his body was exhumed to move his precious relics to a more sacred place. The Salesians of Turin expected to find nothing more than dust and bones.
They found St. John Bosco’s body intact. It was years after his death and his skin had not corrupted.
We saw the proof for ourselves.
Today, 115 years after his death, St. John Bosco’s body lies incorrupt for all to see in Turin, Italy, the home of the Shroud.
The cloth that wrapped the first incorruptible Body. The Body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
On this feast of the founder of the Salesians, it is a sign for all of us that not only is the Shroud real, but so is the hope of our own resurrection!
It is found in the incorruptible body of Don Bosco, not only a friend of the Shroud, but a Saint who knew the power of the cloth!
A Saint whose body is incorruptible — as indestructible as the Shroud!
© Agnus Dei Presents!
|The Holy Shroud as St. John Bosco would have seen it as no photograph had yet been taken of the cloth!
St. John would have taken great note of the fact that the patches and burn marks proved the Shroud survived an incredible fire and was, like Jesus, indestructible!
|The First Saint Who Touched the Cloth!|