Arthur Lenti – “Politics of the “Our Father” and the holy father: Don Bosco’s mediation in Church-State affairs” in “Journal of Salesians studies”

Fr. Arthur J. Lenti tells the story of Don Bosco’ s efforts to mediate between the Holy See and the Italian government during the tense years of Italian unification. Of special importance was the appointment of bishops. After offering background on the historical events leading to the estrangement between the Church and state in Italy, the author goes to the sources in an effort to answer the question why someone so politically unimportant as Don Bosco, should become involved in a capacity of “negotiator.”


  • Introduction
  • I. Don Bosco’s Mediation in 1858
    • 1. The Case of Archbishop Luigi Fransoni of Turin
    • 2. Don Bosco Intermediary between Gustavo and Camillo Cavour and the Holy See in the Fransoni Case
  • II. Don Bosco’s Acting As Intermediary in 1859?
    • 1. Political Context
    • 2. Don Bosco Bearer of a Letter from the Pope to the King?
  • III. Don Bosco’s Involvement at the Time of the Vegezzi Negotiations for the Appointment of Bishops (MarchJune, 1865)
    • 1. Political Developments: The Unification of Italy
    • 2. Political Developments: the Roman Question
    • 3. Don Bosco and the Mission of Negotiator Saverio Vegezzi
  • IV. Don Bosco and the Tonello Negotiations for the Appointment of Bishops to Vacant Sees (December 1, 1866-June 1867)
    • 1. Political Developments: Italy’s Third War of Independence Against Austria and Garibaldi’s Military Exploit Against Rome
    • 2. The Mission of Negotiator Michelangelo Tonello in the Government of Prime Minister Ricasoli and Don Bosco’s Involvement (December, 1866 – March 1867).
  • V. A Mission Entrusted to Don Bosco by Prime Minister Luigi Federico Menabrea (January-March, 1869)?
    • 1. Political developments
    • 2. Don Bosco Invited to Florence by Prime Minister Luigi Federico Menabrea?
  • VI. Don Bosco and Bishops’ Nominations in 1871
    • 1. Political Developments
    • 2. Don Rosco’s Mediation for the Appointment of Bishops in 1871
  • VII. Don Bosco’s Continued Mediation to Obtain Exequatur and temporalities for Appointed Bishops in the Years 1872-1874
    • 1. Archbishop Gastaldi’s Uneasy “Entrance” and Don Bosco’s Illness (December 1871 – February 1872)
    • 2. Exequaturs and Temporalities: Terms of the Question and Don Rosco’s Involvement in 1872
    • 3. Don Bosco’s Involvement with the Question of the Exequaturs in Rome in Early 1873
    • 4. Don Bosco’s Fight for the Exequaturs at the Beginning of the Ministry of Prime Minister Marco Minghetti and of Justice Minister Onorato Vigliani (Latter Half of 1873)
    • 5. Don Bosco Involvement with Minister of Justice Vigliani for the Exequaturs in Rome in 1874
  • Conclusion

Reference time period: 1858 – 1878

A. Lenti, Politics of the “Our Father” and the holy father: Don Bosco’s mediation in Church-State affairs, in «Journal of Salesian studies», 10 (1999) 2, 181-245.

Reference institution:
Institute of Salesian Studies
Institute of Salesian Studies

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