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Sep 01, 2023 477 Shalom Tidings
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Message in a Dream

Saint John Bosco, in addition to the many spiritual gifts he was graced with, often had dreams that revealed heavenly messages.

In one of those dreams, he was taken to a meadow alongside the playground and shown an enormous snake coiled in the grass. Frightened, he wanted to run off, but the person who accompanied him held him back, asking him to get closer and take a good look. John was afraid, but his companion encouraged him to keep going, handed him a rope, and asked him to slap the snake with it. Hesitantly, John snapped the rope across its back, but as it sprang up, the snake got ensnared in the rope that had taken the shape of a noose. It struggled for a bit and died quickly.

His companion took the rope and put it in a box; upon opening the box a few minutes later, John saw that the rope had shaped itself into the words “Ave Maria.” The snake, a symbol of the devil, was defeated, destroyed by the power of “Ave Maria” or “Hail Mary.” If a single Hail Mary can do that, imagine the power of the Rosary! John Bosco took the lesson to heart and even received further confirmation of his trust in Mary’s intercession.

After the death of his dear student Dominic Savio, the saint had a vision of him in heavenly garb; this humble teacher asked the child saint what was his greatest consolation at the time of death. And he answered: “What comforted me the most at the moment of death was the aid of the mighty and lovable Mother of the Savior, Mary Most Holy. Tell this to your young people that they should not forget to pray to her as long as they live!”

Saint John Bosco later wrote, “Let us devoutly say a Hail Mary whenever we are tempted, and we’ll be sure to win.”

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