Saturday, October 31, 2015

St. John Bosco's Ghost Story

This is a little reminder that tomorrow is All Saints' Day (formerly known as All Hallow's Day), without which we would not have Hallowe'en (formerly known as All Hallow's Eve).

Nothing like a saint telling a ghost story to both celebrate spookiness and also ... saintliness!
While a young man, St. John Bosco (1815-1888) and his friend, Comollo, agreed that whoever died first would return and give a sign about the state of their soul. Comollo died on April 2, 1839. The evening following the funeral, Bosco sat sleepless on his bed in the room he shared with twenty seminarians.

“Midnight struck and I then heard a dull rolling sound from the end of the passage, which grew ever more clear, loud and deep, the nearer it came. It sounded as though a heavy dray were being drawn by many horses, like a railway train, almost like the discharge of a cannon…While the noise came nearer the dormitory, the walls, ceiling and floor of the passage re-echoed and trembled behind it…

Then the door opened violently of its own accord without anybody seeing anything except a dim light of changing colour that seemed to control the sound…Then a voice was clearly heard, ‘Bosco, Bosco, Bosco, I am saved.’… The seminarists leapt out of bed and fled without knowing where to go. … for a long time there was no other subject of conversation in the seminary.”

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