“One and not the last study by Don Bosco this year,” writes J. B. Lemoyne referring to 1863 “was the foundation of the college at Mirabello. He had written up its regulations, using the ones at the Oratory as a basis, specifying all the duties of individual superiors and of the pupils, changing what might not be appropriate for the nature of this Institute.” These “regulations,” that remained simply handwritten for many years, according to what we have from Lemoyne, “had to be the founding statute for all the other Houses that would be opened over time. This meant they were given much importance.”
Don Bosco planned them and after getting them printed he sent a copy to parish priests in the diocese of Casale and neighbouring dioceses.
In the Central Salesian Archives in Rome there are some examples of the handwritten copies and some of those Don Bosco had printed, even though not all are complete.
Here we have: the programme for the Archbishop’s junior seminary of St Charles, at Mirabello (1863) and the first part of the regulations for it, published by J. B. Lemoyne in volume VII of the Biographical Memoirs. The Draft Regulations for the College of St Philip Neri in Lanzo (1863-1864) are of special significance, handwritten version (by someone else), with many corrections and additions in Don Bosco’s hand.
A comparison between these documents, though not complete, with the ‘official’ regulations from 1877 can be quite enlightening.
Reference time period: 1863 – 1864
Salesian Historical Institute, Salesian Sources 1: Don Bosco and his work. Collected Works, LAS – Kristu Jyoti, Rome – Bangalore, 2017, 561-582.
Istituto Storico Salesiano