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Feast of Blessed Michael Rua



On 29th October, the anniversary of his beatification in 1972, we celebrate Blessed Michael Rua, the first successor to Don Bosco. This seems to have been a role the saint had in mind for him from the early days of their long association, when he puzzled the young Michael by telling him 'we two will go halves in everything'.


Blessed Michael first met Don Bosco when he was a pupil at the de la Salle school, and Don Bosco was their much-loved chaplain. When he was 15, he joined the growing group of boys at the Oratory in Turin, and went on to be come a close collaborator in the formation of the Salesians.

A gifted administrator, he worked closely with Don Bosco, accompanying him on his travels, and took on many his repsonsibilities as the saint became ill towards the end of his life. As Rector Major, he was able to manage the rapid growth of the Salesians while maintaining the vision of Don Bosco. He travelled widely, visiting Salesian commumities as they grew around the world.


Blessed Michael was closely involved in establishing the Salesians of Don Bosco and Salesian Sisters in Britain, where the work was still in its early stages at the time he became Rector Major, and he visited Battersea several times, and was present for the consecration of the church on 14th October 1893. He used a legacy from Blessed Augustus Czartoryski, the Polish prince who became a Salesian. to help build the Sacred Heart church, and took a personal interest in the growth of the parish and school.


By the time of his death on 29th October 1910, the Society had grown from 773 to 4,000 Salesians, from 57 to 345 communities and from 6 to 34 Provinces in 33 countries around the world.


Read more about his life

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 October 2019 08:38


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