by BISMumbai Correspondent

The Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, appeared as cloven tongues as of fire over the heads of the fearfully huddled disciples of Christ in the Upper Room, a very long time ago, the 1st Pentecost. They found their voice, their speech and bolstered with fearlessness boldly appeared in public view and spiritedly proclaimed the 'Good News'. Just the evening before, perhaps, the disciples along with Mary were scared, frightened and praying in unison for a miracle. And, it happened.

Time travel to the latter half of the 19th century, to the year 1870 [ 06 years prior to Queen Victoria being recognized as the “Empress of India” by the Royal Titles Act 1876], where dozens of boys awaited their confessor Don Bosco. On 16 May 1870, at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco-Turin, Don Bosco worked a Pentecost miracle, as Patricia Treece writes in "The Many Miracles of Don Bosco," excerpted from a chapter in her book, Nothing Short of a Miracle and published as an article on 31 January 2014 in the Catholic Exchange. An excerpt from the original article:

"One well-authenticated cure by Fr. John Bosco took place the same year that six boys were healed of smallpox at Lanzo. It occurred about 5 p.m. on May 16, the evening of Pentecost, in the Church of Mary Help of Christians, which Don Bosco built next to his complex of homes and schools for boys in Turin. Maria Stardero, a blind girl of ten or twelve, was led by her aunt into the church, where dozens of boys were standing about or kneeling in prayer as they waited for Don Bosco to arrive for con­fessions. Fr. Francis Dalmazzo, one of the first Salesians, spoke to the woman. In his testimony he later recalled, “I was grieved to see that the young girl’s eyes had no corneas and resembled white marbles.”

When Don Bosco arrived, he questioned the girl about her condi­tion. She had not been born blind, but as a result of eye disease her sight had been completely lost two years earlier. When he asked about medi­cal treatment, the aunt began to sob that they had tried everything, but doctors could only say the eyes were “beyond hope.”

“Can you tell whether things are big or small?” the saint asked.

“I can’t see a thing.”

He led her to a window. Could she perceive light?

“Not at all.”

“Would you like to see?”

“Oh, yes! It’s the only thing I want,” and she began to sob about how miserable she was.

“Will you use your eyes for the good of your soul and not to offend God?”

“I promise I will, with all my heart!”

“Good. You will regain your sight,” the man whose own vision was in need of help assured her. With a few sentences he encouraged the visitors to have faith in the intercession of Mary. With them he re­cited a Hail Mary and another prayer to Mary, the Hail, Holy Queen. Then, urging them to have absolute trust in the prayers of the Mother of Christ, he blessed the girl. After that he held a medal of Mary Help of Christians, in front of her and asked, “For the glory of God and the Blessed Virgin, tell me what I’m holding in my hand.” “She can’t . . .” the elderly aunt began, but Don Bosco paid no heed, while the girl after a few seconds shouted, “I see!” Immediately she de­scribed the detailing on the medal. When she stretched out her hand to receive it, however, it rolled into a dim corner.

The aunt moved to retrieve it, but Don Bosco motioned her back. “Let her pick it up to see if the Blessed Virgin has thoroughly re­stored her sight,” he insisted. Unerringly the girl bent into the shadows and picked up the tiny object. As the many witnesses looked on, awed and profoundly moved, Maria, beside herself with joy, bolted for home, while her aunt thanked Don Bosco profusely with sobs now of joy.

If Maria Stardero was so wild with joy she forgot to even thank the one whose prayer obtained her cure, she returned soon afterward to make her small donation to his work and offer thanks. Forty-six years later, in 1916, when some Salesians checked on her, she still had perfect vision."

Don Bosco was a miracle worker and it was his staunch belief in the motherly intercession and accompaniment of Mary Help of Christians that moved him to do mighty things. The Spirit who guided Don Bosco and the mother who led him along his life journey of many accomplishments are yet with the Salesians and the Salesian Family all across the globe, leading the path to live each day introspecting "what type of Salesians for the young of today?"

This Pentecost Sunday 2020, when COVID-19 lockdown begins to ease, with Unlock 1.0, the Spirit reminds that God Still Loves the World! MumbaiSalesians' Father Peter Gonsalves, Dean of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences of the Salesian Pontifical University [UPS] Rome, and appointed by Pope Francis in 2017 as Consultant to the Vatican Secretariat for Communications, commemorated the silver jubilee of his priestly ordination (1987-2012) with a special release of 70 of his songs in MP3 format on the 20th anniversary of Tej-Prasarini (1992-2012), which he had initiated. This Pentecost, these 70 songs are now made available by Father Gonsalves in 06 videos, along with the Music Score linked below each video. To begin, listen to the first album: 'God Still loves the World': The Spirit who disturbs and stirs also helps one to find the voice to sing, provided one believes in the gifts of the Spirit, living and loving, witnessing to the fruits of the Spirit.