The Seminary and Comollo

Bosco! Bosco! Bosco! I am safe!

In Chieri he settled in Lucia Matta’s house as a tenant. In order to pay for his studies he worked as a shop boy, a waiter, a worker in the stable, etc. Here he founded the Society of Cheerfulness, by which, together with some youngsters of good faith, he tried to take the peers closer to prayer thanks to his usual sleight of hands and his acrobatics. He himself told the story of when one day he beat a professional acrobat, gaining, in this way, the respect of everyone and their consideration.

During his years of study, Giovanni Bosco became very close to Luigi Comollo, the parish priest of Cinzano’s nephew. The youngster often was mishandled, insulted and beaten up by his mates, but he often accepted these pains with a smile and a word of forgiveness. The young Bosco, from his side, could not bear to see the youngster so mishandled and often defended him by fighting with his attackers.

Comollo’s words and his constant prayers deeply upset Giovanni’s soul, so much that one day he wrote in his Memoirs: “I can say that from him I began learning to live as a Christian”. Thanks to his behaviour, so gentle and innocent, the future saint understood how it was important for himself to gain the salvation of the soul and kept this in mind so strongly that, one day, having founded the Oratory in Valdocco, he wrote on a sign on his wall: Give me souls, take me all the rest”. In 1933, in the church of Buttigliera, the young Giovanni Bosco received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

In March 1834, at the end of the year of study, he submitted an application to the Franciscans to enter their order, but changed his mind before going to the cloister, following don Giuseppe Cafasso’s direct advice. So he decided to take the clerical habit, entering the Seminary. The young priest Giuseppe Cafasso suggested he finish the year of rhetoric and then to take the exam to enter the Seminary of Chieri, opened in 1829. Giovanni successfully passed the exam, which took place in Turin. On October 25th he took the priest habit and on October 30, 1835 he entered the Seminary.

In the seminary Giovanni Bosco met again his friend Comollo, with whom he re-established the old friendship. On 2nd April 1837, Luigi Comollo, already physically weak, got sick and died at the age of only 22 years old. During the night between 3th and 4th April, the night after his burial, following a direct evidence of Giovanni Bosco and his twenty roommates, pupils of the theology course, the deceased friend appeared as a light, who three consecutive times said: “Bosco! Bosco! Bosco! I am safe!”.

Il Cammino di Don Bosco è un progetto di
Città metropolitana di Torino e Strade di colori e sapori