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The Approval of the Salesian Society

A perfect example of the limitations imposed on the Popes by the Roman Curia


The purpose of this document is to give a very concrete example of the great limitations imposed on the Popes by the Administration of the Roman Catholic Church – very specifically by the Roman Curia. This will help the reader to understand why, with one hand we went out to defend H.H. John Paul II and with the other we ravaged, and will continue to ravage, the Administration of the Roman Catholic Church.


This excerpt from the official biography of St. John Bosco (1) illustrates several points that we wish to bring out for the benefit of the true Faithful.

(a) Don Bosco “had in his pocket” H.H. Pius IX, his predecessor and his successor, since they recognized his work as truly of God – not a counterfeit.

(b) H.H. Pius IX, with all the technical “power” of the Popes, could do nothing to approve the Salesian Society – a society already more than approved by God!

(c) The obstacles to such approval were overcome, not for the benefit of the Church as manifested in her faithful, but for the personal benefit of the affluent prelates of the Roman Curia.

As you will see, even the most “powerful” and popular Popes can be reduced to mere puppets of the Roman Curia and those who can bribe them as they see fit.


Let us now turn to the details of the trials and tribulations that were required to obtain the Salesian Society Approval.

Life of St. John Bosco

By Juan B. Lemoyne and Rodolfo Fierro Torres, Salesians (1)

Chapter 23

In pursuit of what interested him so much, on January 8, 1869, Don Bosco went to Rome, first asking superiors and students for special prayers.

The President of the Ministry, Monabrea, was waiting for him in Florence. The Government was uneasy because the democrats and republicans were seriously plotting against the monarchy, and it seems that they wanted some important service from him. He, for his part, took advantage of the occasion to revive the question of the bishops, so abruptly truncated in 1867, and was able to speak in favor of the seminarians, to whom military service was wanted to be subjected.

But the main object of the trip was the definitive approval of the Salesian Society, which he had been unable to obtain two years earlier. The same obstacles opposed him. The Roman Curia, in spite of the good wishes of Pius IX, continued to have serious reservations about the foundation, even though it already had several members and numerous works; it seemed to them so different from the traditional Congregations, and they did not notice that what was new about it was precisely what justified its existence: the nature of these new times demanded it.

Pius IX advised him to try to win over some determined Cardinals; and this Mary Help of Christians did. Let us say something else: the Diocesan Curia had been asked for a formula that would save at the same time the authority of the Ordinary and the existence of the new Society; but the Curia left the matter on hold. Several Bishops and other persons very pious and favorable to Don Bosco had tried to dissuade him from representing the request, telling him that it was not possible then to obtain the approval of the Constitutions nor of the Society. They had also written to him from Rome that it was useless for him to travel at that time, if it was for that purpose.

But Don Bosco, as he later said, thought to himself: “Everything is against me; but my heart tells me that if I go to Rome, the Lord, who holds the hearts of men in his hand, will help me. So I am going there!” And convinced that the Virgin would help him, he set out on his journey.

* * *

Upon his arrival, he was given a very honorable reception. Three carriages were waiting for him at the station and, exceptionally, within the station grounds. One belonged to Cardinal Berardi, who asked him to visit a seriously ill nephew of his as soon as possible. Don Bosco promised to go; in the meantime he went to San Bernardo delle Terme to celebrate [Mass] and then to the house of the gentleman Pedro Marietti, where he stayed.

The days passed and Don Bosco had forgotten about Cardinal Berardi’s invitation, when he received a new reminder to visit and bless his sick nephew. He was a boy of about eleven years of age, the delight of that rich and noble family and of other opulent families, heir to extraordinary riches. The poor child had been struggling for fifteen days with typhoid fever, so malignant and rebellious to any remedy that he was on the verge of the grave. When Don Bosco arrived, everyone in the house came out to meet him, saying to him in one voice:

— Don Bosco, heal him, heal him!

Don Bosco, turning to the Cardinal, said to him:

— I have come in order that Your Eminence may help me near the Holy Father to obtain the approval of the Society of St. Francis de Sales.

— You see to it —replied the Cardinal— that my nephew is healed, and I will speak in favor of your Society to the Holy Father.

And so saying, he introduced him into the sick boy’s room.

The Servant of God kept repeating:

— Have faith! Pray to Mary Help of Christians; begin a novena and Your Eminence, Mr. Cardinal, work for the Society of St. Francis de Sales.

And he added:

— Let us leave to Our Lady “the care”.

After saying a few prayers, he blessed the sick boy, who was immediately free of fever, and at the end of the novena was full of strength.

The Cardinal, stunned by the consolation he experienced, said to Don Bosco:

— I am ready to do whatever you want of me; you have only to command me.

— Your Eminence, you know what I want most: that you take an interest in the Salesian Society; that you speak about it to your colleagues and to the Holy Father!

The Cardinal went to see the Pope and highly recommended the Salesian Society. Pius IX considered this first triumph as if it were something very much his own.

* * *

But the prelates of the Sacred Congregation who were to give their consent in this matter were always opposed. In spite of the fact that, since July 26, 1864, the Holy See had given the decretum laudis [laudatory decree] praising its existence and spirit.

Cardinal Antonelli, Secretary of State, had a great power to influence. The Saint went to speak to him and found him as if nailed to a couch by gout, which made him suffer atrociously. He knew that, because he was unable to move, the Pope himself was coming to discuss Church affairs with him. Don Bosco promised him that if he was interested in the matter of the definitive approval of the Society, he himself could go to the papal room.

— When? —exclaimed the Cardinal, staring at him.

— Tomorrow!

— Is that possible?

— Yes, tomorrow!

— But how can it be?

— Have faith, living faith in Mary Help of Christians, because otherwise we will do nothing.

The next morning Cardinal Antonelli was well; the attacks had ceased and he went to see the Holy Father, to whom he reported the dialogue and the healing.

Don Bosco went to see His Holiness. Pius IX, moved by what the cardinals had told him, welcomed him with indescribable kindness. He entertained him for an hour and a half and showed himself favorable to his desire, promising him that he would do everything possible to please him and that the negotiations would soon be completed. On successive days, Pius IX granted him another audience of two hours and a third of about an hour.

As the time of one of these audiences drew near, the Pope called the waiter and said to him:

— Don Bosco has no carriage; go and fetch him with mine.

And Don Bosco went from where he was staying to the Vatican in the Pope’s carriage.

Difficulties still continued within the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars. It is true that the Pope is the supreme arbiter, but he usually lets things follow their regular procedure, and the procedure was the said Congregation. To someone Pius IX had said:

— “I would not want more difficulties; see how to overcome them and not promote them.”

The most opposed was Monsignor Svegliati, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation. The news of Don Bosco did not fit him.

Don Bosco, on the advice of Pius IX himself, hurried to visit him. Don Bosco found him in bed, troubled by the first attacks of a very serious pneumonia. Without further ado, he promised him a cure, if he would speak in favor of the Society’s approval, and ended by saying:

— Have faith, live faith in Mary Help of Christians, and tomorrow you will be able to go to the Vatican.

— Ah, Don Bosco —concluded Monsignor Svegliati vehemently— if tomorrow I can go to see the Pope, I assure you that I will speak in such a way that everything will go well for you.

The next morning the cough and fever had disappeared and the Secretary was perfectly cured. Very grateful for his recovery, he went to visit the Holy Father and the same day he went to see Don Bosco, assuring him that he would support him and that all the difficulties would disappear.

The graces granted by Mary Help of Christians reconciled Don Bosco with the favorable disposition of his adversaries, inflamed the lukewarm and won more and more the favor of the Supreme Pontiff.

The boys from the Oratory and the other houses continued to pray. Don Bosco invited them to take turns in small groups to adore the Sacramental Jesus continuously in the Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians during the whole day of February 19. And on that day the definitive approval of the Salesian Society was decreed. Don Bosco said to Pius IX:

— Today all the boys are praying before the Blessed Sacrament, so that the Lord may help me.

Pius IX, hearing these words, was visibly moved.

On March 1, the decree of approval was issued. He also granted for a decade the faculty of giving the Dimissories to all Bishops for Holy Orders.

End of chapter


Perhaps now the true Faithful, those who have Eyes To See and Ears To Hear (2), will understand:

(a) Why with one hand miguel of Portugal defends a Pope (3) and with the other ravages the Administration of the Roman Catholic Church (4).

(b) Why a little man, J.M. Escriva, who, unlike Don Bosco, was not even received in Audience by H.H. John XXIII and H.H. Paul VI, and who, with his love of self-glorification, could not even go beyond being a “Monsignor of the pile”, managed to get H.H. John Paul II to grant him the privilege of a Personal Prelature (5) —which, regardless of his protests to the contrary, established a Parallel Church— the False Church.

(c) Why a little man, J.M. Escriva, who, at the opposite extreme of Don Bosco’s humility, dared to usurp the Glory that belongs only to Jesus Christ by publishing a little book entitled “THE WAY”, pretending that this is the way to holiness, was supposedly elevated to the altars by John Paul II himself.

Let us close this document with a “Golden Clasp” mystically applying the “Rule of Three”:

St. John Bosco (6) is to Christ what Jose Maria Escriva (7) is to the False Christ.

(1) Vida de San Juan Bosco (Life of St. John Bosco) - By Juan B. Lemoyne and Rodolfo Fierro Torres, Salesians - Edited by Sociedad Editora Ibérica, Madrid, 1957 - No ISBN - Chapter XXXVIII, p.489 - Full chapter – Translated into English and highlighted in bold by The M+G+R Foundation.
(2) Eyes To See and Ears To Hear
(3) In Defense of John Paul II
(4) The Marian Apparitions at Fatima and the Administration of the Roman Catholic Church
(5) Index of Documents Regarding the Opus Dei Sect
(6) The Miracle of St. John Bosco's Life - Love in Action - A Living Example of True Christian Evangelization
(7) The path chosen by Jose María Escrivá

Related Documents

The Miracle of St. John Bosco's Life - Love in Action - A Living Example of True Christian Evangelization

The Famous Prophetic Vision of St. John Bosco

The best vaccine against any plague - The example of Don Bosco in the Plague of 1854

The Salesians of today are not what St. John Bosco intended

The Reality About the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei - A Table of Contents

En Español:  La aprobación de la Sociedad Salesiana - Un ejemplo de las limitaciones impuestas a los Papas por la Curia Romana

Published on December 1, 2005 – European Union • Translated into English on November 10, 2023

© Copyright 1957 by Sociedad Editora Ibérica, Madrid, 1957 for the excerpted chapter

The Seal of St. Michael the Archangel © Copyright 2023 by The M+G+R Foundation for the remainder of this document. All rights reserved. However, you may freely reproduce and distribute this document as long as: (1) Appropriate credit is given as to its source; (2) No changes are made in the text without prior written consent; and (3) No charge is made for it.

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