29 October - Michel Rua was born on 9 June 1837. He is the youngest of nine siblings. In 1852 he entered the Oratorio of Valdocco. One day, Don Bosco told him that they were complementary. He was one of the first to whom Don Bosco told of his plan to found the Salesian congregation.
Michel Rua worked closely with Don Bosco for thirty-six years. At every stage of the progress of the Salesian Congregation, they were always together. Michel Rua took his vows in 1855, and was the first spiritual director of the congregation at the age of twenty-two in 1859. In 1860, Michel Rua was ordained a priest. He was the first director of Mirabello College at the age of twenty-six from 1863 to 1865. He was vicar of Valdocco and of the congregation, with about seven hundred students. He was also administrator of "Catholic Readings". He was also in charge of formation and workers in 1869. He was also in charge of the Salesian Sisters, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in 1875. Don Rua accompanied Don Bosco in all his travels. At the request of the founder, he was named by Pope Leo XIII in 1884 as Don Bosco's successor, and the same Pope confirmed the status of Rector Major of Michael Rua in 1888.
As the number of members and the pastoral work of the Salesians increased, Don Rua sent members all over the world, paying particular attention to those sent on mission. When he visited the mission of the Salesians in Europe and the Middle East, he always encouraged all those he visited and also encouraged himself to follow the example of the founder, saying, "Don Bosco said..." or "Don Bosco did this. ", or "Don Bosco would like this...". ". When Don Michael Rua died on April 6, 1910, at the age of seventy-three, the Salesians numbered four thousand, compared to the original seven hundred and seventy-three. There were three hundred and seventy-five communities as opposed to fifty-seven at the beginning; and there were thirty-four provinces across thirty-three countries if there were only six at the beginning.
At the beatification ceremony of Michael Rua, Pope Paul VI declared: "The Salesian Family has its origins in Don Bosco, and its continuity in Don Rua. He gave his life as an example. His principles and holiness are the model. He transformed the source into a river". The relics of Don Michael Rua are now venerated in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians.