Gubbio and Grigio

Here’s St Francis with the Wolf of Gubbio, but did you know that St John Bosco had a sort of familiar guardian angel type dog named Grigio, who hung about protecting the saint on his forays into the bad part of town in nineteenth century Italy? This huge gray dog appeared out of nowhere, and when the saint was in trouble would attack and chase off the bad guys. Sometimes he would whine and warn the saint not to go out, and then it would turn out that the baddies were planning to attack Bosco.

Don’t you love saints’ stories like that? Could Gubbio and Grigio have been related? Could Grigio have been the Wolf of Gubbio come back again?

The other delightful thing about these saints and their big dogs is that when you put them all together it sounds like one of those Italian circus acts…”Now ladies and gentlemen, appearing in the center ring…(fanfare of trumpets and roll of drums) all the way from Italy…the famous clowns Bosco and Francesco with their world famous performing dogs…Gubbio and Grigio.

In fact, its not too much of a stretch. Francesco was called ‘God’s juggler’ and Bosco acrobatics to attract people to hear him preach.

But don’t worry…I’m not advocating clown masses…

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  • I’d never heard of St. John Bosco (I was a fairly recent convert) until I worked in Nicaragua at an oratory established by Fr. Fabretto, a Salesian priest. What a wonderful vision of God’s joy St. John Bosco offers us.

  • A real saint is a person who is totally joyful in God’s service. The fake ones are pious and self righteous. St John Bosco pray for us!

  • As a dog lover, I loved this post. Also, this is the second blog I’ve visted today to have Don Bosco’s in it. My friend Denise posted on St. John Bosco’s dream of the ship carrying our Holy Father that is being attacked and the pillars it travels through. In case you’d like to see it.