This dream was told by Don Bosco to his youngsters on the evening of 1 January 1866.
This painting is a fantastic addition to any household or school looking to impart to its youth the importance of devotion to Mary and an unwavering commitment to Faith and purity in spite of the anti-Catholic world.
The abbreviation in the sky reads as follows:
"And behold, an iris more marvelous than an aurora borealis appeared in the sky, on which, as we passed, we saw the word MEDOUM written in large characters of light, without understanding its meaning. It seemed to me that each letter was the initial of these words: "Mater et Domina omnis universi Maria" (Mother and Lady of the whole universe Mary)."
*This dream was told by Don Bosco to his youngsters on the evening of 1 January 1866
In it Don Bosco presents to the enraptured and moved imagination of his children the vast panorama of the events of the life of the spirit, coloring, with powerfully dramatic touches, the fate to which Mary Help of Christians infallibly guides her, and the tragic disasters which those who inevitably encounter they foolishly turn their backs on Mary, that is, on all that complex of Christian life which is alive and active in her. It is an evocative and revealing dream, capable of invigorating the soul and recalling it to its true destinies. In it Don Bosco describes a journey made in the company of his young men during a sudden and furious storm and through the stormy waters of a terrible flood. We report it with some reduction, but with the usual fidelity. Don Bosco dreamed of finding himself among the young people of his Oratory, who happily recreated themselves in an immense prairie ; when, suddenly, they saw themselves surrounded on all sides by a flood, which increased as it advanced towards them. Overwhelmed by terror, they ran to take refuge in a large isolated mill, with walls as thick as those of a fortress. From the windows you could see the extent of the disaster: instead of meadows, cultivated fields, vegetable gardens, woods, farmhouses, you could no longer see anything but the surface of an immense lake . As the water rose, they rose from floor to floor. Having lost all human hope of being saved, Don Bosco began to encourage his dear young people, inviting them all to place themselves with full trust in God's hands and in the arms of their dear Mother Mary. When the water reached the level of the top floor, terror took possession of everyone, and they saw no other way out than to take refuge in a very large raft in the shape of a ship , which appeared at that instant and floated near them. . Everyone wanted to take refuge there first, but there was a wall that emerged a little higher than the water level. There was only one way: to use a long, narrow tree trunk; but the passage was made difficult by the fact that the trunk rested on the barge and moved following the pitching of the boat itself, agitated by the waves. Taking courage, Don Bosco passed through it first; and to facilitate the transshipment for the young, he established priests and clerics who, from the mill, supported those leaving and, from the barge, lent a hand to those arriving. In the meantime many impatient young people, having found a piece of plank long enough and a little wider than the trunk, made a second bridge and, without waiting for the help of the priests and clerics and not listening to Don Bosco's cries, they they leaped, but losing their balance, they fell and, swallowed up by those murky and putrid waters, they were never seen again. Even the flimsy bridge had collapsed with those on it. And so great was the number of those unhappy ones, that a quarter of the young men fell victim to their caprice. Those who had taken refuge on the raft found there a large quantity of loaves, kept in many baskets. "When everyone was on the boat -
Don Bosco continues - I took over as captain and said to the young people: Mary is the star of the sea. She does not abandon those who trust in her : let us all place ourselves under her mantle; She will save us from danger and guide us to a safe haven. Then we abandoned the ship to the waves, which floated excellently, while the impetus of the waves, agitated by the wind, pushed her with such speed, that we, embracing each other, made a single body so as not to fall. Having covered a great deal of space in a very short time, the boat suddenly stopped and began to revolve around itself with extraordinary rapidity, so that it seemed as if it would sink. But a very violent breath pushed her out of the vortex. She therefore took a more regular course and, every now and then repeating a few eddies and the gust of the saving wind, she came to a stop near a land that rose like a hill in the middle of that sea. Many young people fell in love with him and, saying that the Lord had placed man on earth and not on the water, without asking permission, they left the boat rejoicing. But their joy was brief because due to a sudden raging storm, the waters increased, the hill was inundated, and they disappeared overwhelmed by the waves. I exclaimed: It's really true that whoever does his own thing pays from his own purse. Meanwhile the raft, at the mercy of that whirlwind, threatened to sink again. I then saw my pale-faced and trembling young men: "Take courage," I shouted to them, " Mary will not abandon us ." And unanimously and wholeheartedly we began to pray on our knees, holding each other's hands. There were, however, quite a few sanes who, indifferent to that danger, got to their feet and wandered about giggling among themselves and making fun of the imploring attitudes of their companions. And suddenly the ship comes to a halt, spins rapidly around itself, and a furious wind slams those wretches into the waves. There were thirty of them, and the water being deep and muddy, as soon as they were in it, nothing more was seen of them. We intoned the Salve Regina and more than ever we heartily invoked the protection of the Star of the Sea. A calm ensued, but the ship continued to advance without our knowing where it would lead us. Meanwhile, the rescue work was in full swing on board. Everything was done to prevent the young people from falling into the waters and to save the fallen. For there were those who, leaning incautiously from the low sides of the raft, fell into the lake; and there were also others who, brazen and cruel, calling some companion near the banks, with a bump, threw him down. Therefore various priests prepared sturdy rods, large lines and hooks of various kinds. As soon as a young man fell, the rods were lowered and the castaway clung to the line, or with the remaining hook he was hooked to the belt or in his clothes, and so he was rescued. I stood at the foot of a high flagpole planted in the centre, surrounded by very many young people, by priests and clerics who followed my orders. As long as the young people were docile and obedient to my words, everything went well: they were calm, happy, secure. But not a few began to find that raft uncomfortable, to fear the journey would be too long, to complain of the dangers and hardships of that crossing, to argue over the place where we would land, to think of ways to find another refuge, and to refuse me obedience. I tried in vain to persuade them with reasons. And here were other rafts in sight, which seemed to be taking a different course from ours; and those imprudent ones decided to indulge their whims: they threw some boards that were in our raft into the water, jumped on them and went away towards the rafts that appeared. It was an indescribable and painful scene for me: I saw those unfortunates who were heading towards ruin. The wind was blowing, the waves were agitated, and some sank into the coils of the whirlpools, others managed to get on the rafts, which however were not slow to submerge. The night had grown dark: in the distance could be heard the heart-rending cries of those who perished. They were all shipwrecked. The number of my dear children had greatly decreased, nevertheless continuing to confide in Our Lady, after a dark night, the ship entered a strait, between two muddy banks, covered with bushes, pebbles and debris. All around the boat were tarantulas, toads, snakes, crocodiles, vipers and a thousand other disgusting animals. Upon weeping willows, whose branches hung over our boat, stood many apes who, dangling from the branches, endeavored to touch and curl the young men; but these, bending over in fear, avoided those snares. It was there, on that bed, that we saw our poor lost companions again with great surprise and horror. After the shipwreck they had been thrown by the waves on that beach, against the rocks. Others were buried in the swamp and only the hair and half of an arm could be seen. Here a back protruded from the mud, further on a head; elsewhere floated, entirely visible, a few corpses. But quite another show presented itself to our eyes. A short distance away rose a gigantic furnace, in which a large and very ardent fire blazed. Above that fire there was like a large lid, on which these words were written in large characters: "The sixth and the seventh lead here" (that is: theft and impurity). Nearby there was also a vast prominence of land, where another multitude of our young men moved, either who had fallen into the waves or who had strayed during the voyage. I went down to the ground, not minding the danger, I approached and saw that their eyes, ears, hair and even their hearts were full of disgusting insects and worms, which gnawed them and caused them great pain. I pointed out to everyone a source that poured out fresh and ferruginous water in large quantities: anyone who went to wash in that one was instantly cured and could return to the raft. Most of those unfortunates acceded to my invitation; but some refused. Then I, followed by those who had healed, returned to the raft, which left that strait on the opposite side to that by which it had entered, and darted again into an ocean without borders. We, mourning the mournful end of our companions abandoned in that place, began to sing: "Praise Mary, o faithful tongues", in thanksgiving to the great Heavenly Mother for having protected us until then; and instantly, almost at Maria's command, the raging wind ceased and the ship began to roll swiftly over the placid waves.
And behold, an iris more marvelous than an aurora borealis appeared in the sky, on which, as we passed, we saw the word MEDOUM written in large characters of light, without understanding its meaning. It seemed to me that each letter was the initial of these words: "Mater et Domina omnis universi Maria" (Mother and Lady of the whole universe Mary).
After a long stretch of travel, land appears at the end of the horizon. At that sight we felt an inexpressible joy. That land, very pleasant for groves with all kinds of trees, presented the most enchanting panorama, because it was illuminated by the rising sun, which spread an ineffably calm and restful light, similar to that of a splendid summer evening. Finally, bumping against the sand of the beach or crawling on it, the raft came to a dry stop at the foot of a beautiful vineyard. The young men looked at me as if to say: "Are we descending?" At my "Yes" there was a general cry of joy, and everyone entered that vineyard. From the vines hung bunches of grapes like those in the promised land, and on the trees were all kinds of fruit. In the middle of that vast vineyard stood a large castle surrounded by a delightful garden and strong walls. We were granted free entry. In a large room, all decorated with gold, a large table was set for us with all sorts of the most exquisite foods. Everyone could help themselves as they pleased. While we were finishing our refreshments, a noble young man of indescribable beauty entered the room, who greeted us with affectionate and familiar courtesy, calling us all by name. Seeing us marveled at the things we have already seen, he said to us: "This is nothing, come and you will see." We all followed him; from the parapets of the loggias he made us contemplate the gardens, telling us that they were at our disposal for recreation. And he led us from room to room, one more magnificent than the other in architecture, colonnades and ornaments of every kind. He then ushered us into a beautiful church. The floor, the walls, the vaults were rich in marble, silver, gold and precious stones. “But this beauty,” I exclaimed, “is a beauty of paradise. I sign to stay here forever! In the middle of this large temple, a large, magnificent statue of Mary Help of Christians rose above a rich base. A multitude of young people gathered around it to thank the Virgin for the many favors she had bestowed on us. While the young people were admiring its truly celestial beauty, suddenly the statue seemed to come alive and smile. A cry then arose in the crowd: - The Madonna moves her eyes! In fact Mary turned her maternal eyes with ineffable goodness on the young people who were around her. Shortly after, a second cry rang out: - Our Lady moves her hands! "Leave me alone; I suffer too much!" The Virgin, slowly opening her arms, raises her mantle with her hands in an act of protection. Our Lady moves her lips! —. others shouted in chorus. A profound silence followed, while everyone's eyes were fixed on Maria's face, who said in a very sweet voice: If you will be devoted children to me, I will be a loving mother to you. At these words we fell on our knees and sang the song: Praise Mary, o faithful tongues. The harmony of the voices was so strong, so soft that, overwhelmed by it, I woke up; and thus ended the vision. Don Bosco himself made some comments on this dream, and confided to the individuals who requested it the place they occupied in it. The immense plain is the world. The flood, the dangers of the world. The mill represents the Church. The tree trunk that acts as a bridge, the Cross. The big raft, the House of Mary, the Oratory. The baskets of bread, the SS. Eucharist. The impetuous whirlpools, the temptations. The hill that entices many, worldly desires. The priests who do their utmost to rescue with hooks and lines, the Confession. The disgusting animals and the apes, the allurements of guilt. The source of fresh, ferruginous water, Confession and Communion. The radiant iris, Maria. The castle, the vineyard and the banquet indicate the homeland. Finally, Mary Help of Christians herself crowns the inebriating joy of all with the assurance: "If you are devoted children to me, I will be a loving Mother to you". Today the world, i.e. the anti-Christian mentality, is even more rampant with its ever more overwhelming whirlwinds, through the progressive watering down of Christian beliefs and habits. Hence the ever-living relevance of Don Bosco: now that he has reached his homeland, he is more powerful and active than before in the work of rescuing the youth, the apple of his eye."