Saint John Bosco: the Dream of the Two Columns

Will the Church always have difficult days?  

Newsroom (01/02/2022 10:04, Gaudium PressImagine that you are with me on the seashore, or rather on an isolated rock, from which not even a strip of land can be seen.

On that immense liquid surface, you see a countless multitude of warships arranged in order of battle, with bows terminating in a sharp iron spur in the shape of a spear, which wounds and pierces anything it hits. They are armed with cannons, loaded with rifles and other weapons of all kinds, incendiary material, and also books.

They all advance against a much larger and taller ship, trying to ram it, set it on fire, or at least cause it as much damage as possible.

Two sturdy columns over the waves

This majestic ship, fully equipped, is escorted by many small ships which, receiving its command signals, maneuver to defend themselves against the enemy fleet.

The wind is against them, and the rough sea favors the enemy. In the vast expanse of the sea, two sturdy, very tall columns rise above the waves, not far from each other.

On one of them is the image of the Immaculate Virgin, at whose feet a large banner with the inscription: Auxilium Christianorum (Help of Christians) extends.

On the other column, which is much more compact and taller, there is a Host of proportionate size, and at its base another poster with these words: Salus credentium (Salvation of those who believe).

The supreme commander summons the fleet pilots

In the great ship, the supreme commander, who is the Roman Pontiff, evaluating the fury of the enemies and the difficult situation in which his faithful find themselves, decides to summon the pilots of the secondary ships to deliberate and make a decision.

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They all gather around the Pope on the Captain Ship. They meet in council, but as the wind and storm become increasingly furious, they are sent back to govern their respective ships.

There is a bit of a lull, and the Pope gathers the pilots around himself for the second time, while the Captaincy continues its course. But the storm starts up again in a frightening way.

The Pope takes the helm and all his efforts are aimed at positioning the ship between those two columns, from the top of which hang numerous anchors and thick hooks fixed in chains.

A cry of victory resounds among the enemies

All the enemy ships are moving to assault her and do everything they can to surround her and sink her. Some with writings, with books, with incendiary materials, which they are full of and try to throw on board; others with their cannons, their rifles, their spurs.

The combat becomes increasingly fierce. The enemy bows crash violently against her, but their efforts and their momentum are useless.

In vain they resume the attack and expend their energies and ammunition: the great ship safely and nimbly pursues its course. It sometimes happens that, struck by formidable blows, a wide and deep fissure opens on its flanks, but soon after a gentle wind blows from the two columns, the fissures disappear and the water inlets are closed.

Meanwhile, the assailants fire their cannons, rifles, and other weapons, and attack with the spurs. Many ships are wrecked and sunk. The furious enemies then begin to fight with short arms; and with their hands, with their fists, with blasphemies and curses.

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At one point, badly wounded, the Pope falls. Soon his companions rush to his aid and lift him up. Hit a second time, he falls again and dies.

Among his enemies, a shout of victory and joy resounds; an indescribable jubilation is felt in their ships. But behold, when the Pontiff is dead, another takes his place. The assembled pilots elected him so quickly that the news of his death arrived together with that of the election of his successor. The enemies begin to lose heart.

A great calm reigns in the sea

The new Pope, overcoming and annihilating all obstacles, leads the Ship to the two columns and, in the middle of them, fastens it with a short chain hanging from the bow to an anchor of the column on which the Host is; and with another short chain hanging from the stern he fastens it, on the opposite side, to another anchor hanging from the column on which the Immaculate Virgin is.

A great commotion is produced. All the ships that had fought the Pope’s ship until then flee, scatter, collide, and destroy each other.

Some are shipwrecked and try to sink the others. Some small ships that had fought valiantly for the Pope are the first to tie themselves to those columns.

Many other ships, which had withdrawn for fear of the battle, are very far away, and observe the situation carefully until, seeing the wreckage of the destroyed ships disappear into the depths of the sea, they row vigorously towards the two columns, where they tie themselves to the hooks hanging from them, and there they remain calm and safe, together with the main ship in which the Pope is. A great calm reigns in the sea.

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Biographical Memoirs of St. John Bosco.

Text taken from the magazine Heralds of the Gospel n.121.


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