St. John Bosco: Saint of the Eucharist and Mary, Help of Christians

don bosco

Do you want our Lord to give you many graces? Visit him often.

Do you want him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom.

 Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil.

Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you.


two pillars

Fr. Tommy Lane at

explains this image of St. John Bosco's famous "TWO PILLARS" dream:  For sixty years St John Bosco received remarkable dreams which were almost visions. Probably his best-known dream vision was that of the Church like a ship taking refuge between two pillars in the sea.  In May 1862 he shared his experience of this dream.

 He could see a very big ship in the sea which he understood as the Church. There were many smaller ships drawn up to do battle against the big ship, they were the enemies of the Church and persecutions.  Two pillars or columns were protruding from the sea a little distant from each other. On the top of one was a statue of Our Lady with ‘Help of Christians’ written beneath. On top of the other pillar was a host beneath which was written ‘Salvation of the Faithful.’

The commander of the ship was the Pope. He was directing all his energies to steering the ship between those two columns or pillars. All the enemy ships moved to attack. Sometimes the large ship, the Church, got large, deep holes in its sides but no sooner was the harm done than a gentle breeze blew from the two columns and the cracks closed up and the gaps were stopped immediately. 

 In a battle the Pope fell gravely wounded.  Immediately those who were with him helped him up.  A second time the Pope was struck, this time he fell and died. The new Pope was so promptly elected that the enemies begin to lose courage.  The new Pope overcame all obstacles and enemies and guided the ship right between the two columns.  He fastened a chain from the bow of the ship to the column on which stands the host, and fastened a chain from the ship’s stern to the column on which stands a statue of Our Lady.  All the ships which had fought against the Pope’s ship were scattered and broken to pieces and other smaller ships which had fought for the Pope’s ship now bound themselves to the same two columns.


From the book "Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco" published by TAN books there is this explanation: 

At this point Don Bosco asked Don Rua: "What do you think of the story?"

Don Rua answered: "It seems to me that the Pope's ship might mean the Church, of which he is the head: the ships, men; the sea, this world. Those who defend the big ship are the good, lovingly attached to the Holy See; the others are her enemies, who try with every kind of weapon to annihi­late her. The two columns of salvation seem to be devotion to Mary Most Holy and to the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. "


 Don Rua did not speak of the Pope who fell and died, and Don Bosco also was silent about him. He simply added: "You are right! Only I ought to correct one expression. The enemy ships are persecutions. The most serious trials for the Church are near at hand. That which has been so far is almost noth­ing in the face of that which must befall. Her enemies are represented by the ships that tried to sink the principal ship if only they could. Only two means are left to save her amidst so much confusion: DEVOTION TO MARY MOST HOLY and FREQUENT COMMUNION, making use of every means and doing our best to practice them and having them practiced everywhere and by everybody."     (Don Bosco did not give any other explanations.) —————————————————-Fr. Lane continues in his homily given while he was in parish ministry in Ireland:

I ask you to think again about the importance of Jesus in the Eucharist in your life.  Make Jesus in the Eucharist the centre of your life once again. In (the Holy Mass) the bread and wine will become the Body and Blood of Jesus during the consecration of the Mass. The bread and wine will not be symbols but will be changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. Jesus will be really present although under the form of bread and wine.  That is why we talk about the “real presence” of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Because we love Jesus in the Eucharist so much, in the Catholic Church, we have the privilege of being able to adore Jesus in the Eucharist outside of Mass also.  So we have Perpetual Eucharist Adoration in most of the towns of this diocese and most parishes have a period of adoration of the Eucharist sometime each week or month.  We all know how popular healing Masses are.  Almost always during those healing Masses the healing occurs when people are blessed with Jesus in the monstrance.  So let us place Jesus in the Eucharist at the centre of our lives.

A most special moment of Eucharistic Adoration for all of us is when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion.  Then as Jesus said in our Gospel (Year A), “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.”  There are no words to describe that most precious moment when you return to your seat to spend quiet moments with Jesus.  You are one with Jesus and he is one with you. It is a moment of intimacy with Jesus, when you and Jesus are ‘all wrapped up in each other’, “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.” During healing Masses the healings have also occurred during this moment after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.  Treasure these personal intimate moments between yourself and Jesus, “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.”  One of the pillars to save the Church in St John Bosco’s dream was the Eucharist.  May Jesus in the Eucharist be the centre of the lives of each of us. 

used with permission from


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