The Dream of Ten Diamonds: A Vision to the Future

Don Rinaldi calls the august personage in the dream of Don Bosco on 10, September 1881 at San Benigno Canavese as “the Model of the True Salesian”. The dream which is popularly known the dream of ten diamonds can easily be understood in three parts.

In Scene I the august personage portrays the ideal Salesian. The front of his mantle is adorned with five diamonds, three on the breast representing Faith, Hope and Charity, and two at shoulder level for Work and Temperance. On the back of the garment are another five diamonds: they stand for Obedience, Poverty, Reward, Chastity and Fasting.

In Scene II the august personage depicts the model completely debased. The mantle “is faded, moth-eaten and torn. Where the diamonds, had been, the cloth was in tatters and eaten away by grubs”. This depressing scene portrays “the ruin, the antithesis of the true Salesian”.

In Scene III there is a handsome young man of imposing and charming mien, dressed in white garments delicately worked in gold and silver thread. His message to the Salesians is to “listen, take heed and be strong and courageous; to bear witness in their words and lives, to be prudent in accepting and training the new generation, and to see to the healthy growth of the Congregation”.

Significances of the Dream:

  • The dream presents a deft, personalized and dramatic exposition of Salesian spirituality.
  • The special characteristics presented in the dream must be seen as an authoritative identikit of a true Salesian,
  • Don Bosco tells us that as long as we cherish these characteristics the future of our vocation in the Church is assured; however, if we neglect them the Congregation will face total extinction.
  • It is a dream offered to every Salesian because he is a Salesian and there is no reference to the young.



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