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Fr Rua's funeralHe was a saint! Everyone in the Oratory was moved to tears. It was natural. But soonsorrow was replaced by the certainty of having gained another protector in paradise, atrue saint, a great saint. The news went from mouth to mouth, inside and beyond thehouse. The people began to arrive to pay homage to the body, laid out in the church ofSt. Francis of Sales. His body, dressed in cassock, cotta and stole, was laid out on asmall catafalque holding a crucifix in his hands. The first to arrive were naturally thosefrom Turin.764Admiration and reverence was evident amongst everyone.765They wanted to see andtouch him as a sign of reverence. This pious pilgrimage assumed extraordinaryproportions the following day, 7 April, after the Press had published news of Fr Rua'sdeath. In Mary Help of Christian's Square there was a coming and going of gigs and764I draw from Ceria for Fr Rua's funeral, Vita,585-588, and the substantial description in the article"La Morte", in Bollettino Salesiano, May 1910, 150-161.765“La morte” in Bollettino Salesiano, May 1910, 151.335
"automobiles", while a sea of people moved towards the Oratory and the church of St.Francis of Sales. "Everyone wanted to press rosaries, medals, bracelets, books, holypictures, handkerchiefs to his body, and many women gave the clerics and priests theirrings, the men their watches and University students their signed certificates".766On 8April came the moment to place him in the casket. Then the casket was transferred tothe Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. The people continued filing past.On the morning of 9 April, the church all decked out in mourning, the funeral ritesbegan with Mass in plain chant (Gregorian), celebrated by Salesian Bishop JohnMarenco, accompanied by Archbishop Pasquale Morganti from Ravenna, a great friendof Fr Rua's, and the Dominican Bishop Angelo Francis Scapardini, bishop of Nusco. FrRua had always loved Gregorian chant. The catafalque was modest, without flowers,just six candles, but the ceremony was grandiose and most recollected. The variousAssociations tied to the Salesians wanted to be there with their respective standards. TheRoyal family was represented by Princess Leticia Bonaparte. "You have never seen sucha crowd and such recollection". When the ceremony finished, not only the Shrine, butalso the inner courtyards of the Oratory and the vast church square "presented an aspectof extraordinary festivity". In the afternoon an endless crowd followed or preceded theFr Rua's casket around the streets of Valdocco. It is calculated that a hundred thousandpeople stood along the footpaths for the final journey of Fr Rua's through the city wherehe was born and where he had spent himself without reserve, admired by all. Thenewspaper Il Momento, in its Saturday 9 April edition, wrote:Around the Casket of the humble priest were all the official representatives of thehighest civil authorities, but behind the military cordons trying their best to manage thepeople in the church, square, streets, was such a huge crowd of people that [Turin] hadnot seen the equal of for a long time. The most moving significance of the function was