Some thoughts on “The Two Columns”

We’re given an assignment in our Youth Ministry class. We are to pick a good night talk  delivered by Don Bosco to the young people of his oratory and reflect on it.

I had in mind the one on The Two Columns, which  is found in the 7th volume of the Biographical Memoirs, pp 107-110. Googling that very topic (which was delivered by Don Bosco as a good night talk on the 30th of May in 1862)  made me realize that someone has uploaded this very dream of Don Bosco in the Internet.


Aspirants and prenovices of Don Bosco Seminary in canlubang listen to a good night talk by one of their formators. Photo by Fr. Lonxs Eleosida, SDB.

Aspirants and prenovices of Don Bosco Seminary in canlubang listen to a good night talk by one of their formators. Photo by Fr. Lonxs Eleosida, SDB.

You see, I lost count on how many times I encountered the topic  on The Two Columns from the talks of the Salesians, it’s even depicted in that painting which features prominently the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother being supported by the two columns.

But I realized that nothing beats the actual reading of how Don Bosco himself narrated it to the boys.

Here are my thoughts.

First, the scene described in the dream was a battle. A naval battle. And a battle is best described during the very encounter, which is not clearly manifested in  the painting itself since what it does is to just present the aftermath.

The actual battle in Don Bosco’s very dream, in my opinion, is more exciting and meatier. And we can only appreciate it if we do read the very narrative. For one, it’s interesting that it’s not just a mere showdown of armaments in as much as books (twice mentioned in the dream) and pamphlets figured in the actual battle.

Don Bosco must have been telling us that the battle is not just through force, but also in the realm of information.

Second, Id’ like to zero in on the reaction of the boys. Fr. Lemoyne notes that:

“this dream caused the boys no end of wonderment, especially regarding the two popes, but Don Bosco volunteered no further information.”

This was the effect of the dream to those who were there when he delivered it. But there are also speculations about the identity of the popes mentioned in the dream. One blogger goes beyond the traditional interpretation of the dream and sees the Two Pillars as a

Second Pentecost [that] would be secured by a pope who would succeed the assassination of his immediate predecessor

Third, my attention was drawn into the comments made about the good night talk. Again, Fr. Lemoyne observes that

“The clerics [John] Boggero, [Secundus] Merlone, and [Dominic] Ruffino, and a layman, Caesar Chiala, wrote down this dream. We still have their manuscripts; two were written on May 31 and two much later. All four narratives agree perfectly except for the omission of some details.”

I recall that when we were in Canlubang, after each goodnight, we would rush back to the study hall, pull out our journals from our drawers and record the insight we heard from our formators.

This recording of good nights, I’d like to believe, runs in our blood as children of Don Bosco. Then and now.

This is my SYM Journal Entry  #5-A


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