Our Lady Queen Mary’s Advice to Saint John Bosco in a Vision

One day in the year 1847 the Queen of Heaven appeared to me and led me to a lovely garden. A gorgeous porch opened onto a beautiful avenue which prolonged, with a broad perspective, an alley worth seeing, flanked by and covered with marvelous roses in full bloom. The ground was completely covered with roses. The Blessed Virgin told me: “Take off your shoes.” After I had done it, she added: “Go ahead down that alley; that is the way you should go.”
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I started walking but suddenly realized that these flowers concealed extremely sharp thorns, to the point that my feet began to bleed. After taking a few steps, I had to turn back. “At this point I need shoes,” I told my guide. “Of course,” she replied.
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I put my shoes on and kept walking down that way with a number of friends who appeared at that very moment, asking to walk with me.
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Meanwhile, all those friends – they were very many – watched me walk on the rose bushes and said: “Wow! Look how Don Bosco walks always well over the roses! And how tranquil he remains! For him, everything is easy.” They did not see the thorns tearing up my poor feet.
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Many clerics, priests and laity, whom I had invited, were pleased to follow me, attracted by the beauty of those flowers. But as soon as they realized they would be walking on thorns, they retreated and left me alone. However, I took comfort in the arrival of a new group of excited followers who, having traveled with me all the way down the alley finally arrived at another extremely pleasant garden.
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Then the Blessed Virgin Mary — my guide — asked me: “Do you know the meaning of what you have just seen?” I answered. “I beg you to explain it to me.” “You should know that the path you have walked among roses and thorns symbolizes the care you must take of the youth; you must walk in the shoes of mortification.
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The thorns on the ground represent the sensitive human affections, sympathies and antipathies that divert a teacher from his true goal, hurt him, hinder his mission and prevent him from forming and reaping wreathes for eternal life. Roses are the symbol of the ardent charity by which you and your associates must distinguish yourselves. The thorns symbolize the obstacles, sufferings and sorrows that await you. But do not lose heart. With charity and mortification you will overcome everything and will have roses without thorns!”
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As soon as the Mother of God finished speaking, I came to and found myself in my room.

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