Saint John Bosco Dreams about the Red Horse of the Apocalypse

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Saint John Bosco Dreams about the Red Horse of the Apocalypse
Saint John Bosco Dreams about the Red Horse of the Apocalypse

On July 6, Saint John Bosco told some people about his dream involving a red horse. He said:

“I had a strange dream where I was together with the Marchioness di Barolo, and we were walking on a little square that opened into a large plain. I could see the young men from the Oratory playing, jumping and having a good time.

“The Marchioness began to speak about a school for girls she wanted to start. I wanted to help her, but she said, ‘No, stay where you are.’

“We discussed the situation of my young boys, and she said, ‘It’s all very well for you to take care of them, but leave the care of young ladies to me. Then we’ll get along.’

“I responded: ‘But, did our Lord Jesus Christ come into the world to redeem not only boys but also girls?’

“She answered, ‘I know that Our Lord redeemed everyone, boys and girls.’

“I replied, ‘I must see to it that His blood is not shed in vain, either for young men or young girls.’

“While we were talking, my boys on the little square suddenly became quiet. They left their amusements and fled full of fright, some to one side, some to the other.

“The Marchioness and I stopped talking and stood still for a moment. I looked for the cause of this terror. The Marchioness and I then went to see what was happening. I raised my eyes a little, and I saw a large horse descending to the ground at the foot of the plain. It was an enormous horse! His presence filled me with blood-chilling fear.

“As I related the dream to others, Don Francesia asked: ‘Was the horse as big as this room?’

“‘Much bigger,’ I replied.

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“It must have been three or four times as tall and big as the Palazzo Madama building. In short, it was something extraordinary. I wanted to flee, fearing some catastrophe. Marchioness di Barolo fainted and fell to the ground. I could hardly stand up because my knees were shaking. I ran and hid behind a cottage, which was not far away. However, some boys that were hiding there chased me away, shouting: ‘Go, go away! Don’t come here!’

“Meanwhile, I said to myself: What is this horse? I did not want to run away anymore. Though trembling, I took courage and returned to the scene to observe him more closely.

“Oh! What a horrible monster! With those upturned ears and that snout! He seemed to have many people on his back, and he had wings. So, I exclaimed: ‘This is a devil!’

“While contemplating him, others also came to observe. I asked one: ‘What is this monster?’

“I was told. ‘This is the red horse from the Apocalypse.’

“I woke up and found myself in a cold sweat and completely frightened. While saying Mass and in the confessional this morning, that figure haunted me. Let us now have someone look up this red horse to see if he is referred to in the Holy Scriptures and then figure out its meaning.

“Father Rua found the reference to the red horse in Apocalypse 6:3-4 It said: ‘And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying: Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red. And to him that sat thereon, it was given that he should take peace from the earth: and that they should kill one another. And a great sword was given to him.’”

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This horse symbolizes the bloody persecution against the Holy Catholic Church.

Don Bosco understood that the red horse represented the sectarian democracies of the time, which, pouring out their fury against the Church, advanced to the detriment of the social order by destroying Christian civilization.

This secular regime imposed itself on governments, schools, municipalities and courts. It yearned to accomplish this devastating work begun by its accomplices, the established authorities, to the detriment of every religious society, every pious institution, and the common law of private property. Don Bosco said: “All good people must strive to halt this beast with zeal and courage, each in his own way.”

How might this be done? By warning the people through the exercise of charity and publications against this monster’s false doctrines that turn minds and hearts against the Chair of Peter. The Church is the unconquered foundation of all authority that comes from God, the master key that binds every social order and the unchanging code of men’s duties and rights.

She is the Divine light that shines through the errors of evil passions and illuminates the faithful. She is the mighty guardian of evangelical and natural morality. On earth, She constantly affirms eternal rewards for those who keep the Lord’s Law and equally announces eternal punishments for transgressors.

The Church, the Chair of Saint Peter, and the Pope are the same. To make such truths accepted, Don Bosco made every effort to dismiss the calumnies made against the Pope. He wanted his boys to understand the proofs of the immense benefits that the Pope brings to religious and social life. He sought to enkindle gratitude, loyalty and love for him in everyone.

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Don Bosco manifested his great love for the Supreme Pontiff in word and deed. He said he would kiss the pages of Salzano’s ecclesiastical history one by one precisely because this Italian historian was an admirer of the legitimate authority of the Pope, especially the early popes. When clerics asked Salzano how to evaluate books, he gave them this golden rule: “When an author writes poorly about the Pope, don’t read it.”

When Don Bosco spoke to young people about the Popes, he had trouble finishing his talk. He always had more to say in praise of them. It would be so beautiful and attractive that he impassioned all who listened. His book, The Lives of the Popes gives readers a good idea of his high esteem for the office. Two subjects especially touched him and caused great admiration: the virtue of modesty and the Papacy.

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