St. John Bosco is a modern saint who dedicated his life to the education of children and preparing young people to be good Christians and honest, active citizens in society.
St. John Bosco, father and teacher of youth,
you have laboured so much
for the salvation of souls.
Be our guide in seeking
the good of our souls
and the salvation of our neighbour.
Help us to conquer our passions
and human respect.
Teach us to love Jesus
in the Blessed Sacrament,
Mary Help of Christians,
And our Holy Father the Pope.
Obtain for us from God
the grace of a happy death,
so that we many all join you in heaven.
John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815
in a small town not too far from Turin, Italy.
His father died when he was two years old.
He was raised with love and discipline by his mother, Margaret.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1841 and went to work in Turin,
where the industrial revolution was attracting waves of young people to the city.
The misery and abandonment of these youngsters moved John Bosco deeply.
He dedicated his life to them and began youth clubs for them.
He then started boarding schools, where he taught them trades.
In 1859 he founded the Salesian Society,
and in 1872 the Salesian Sisters to work for girls.
Three years later, he sent the first missionary group to Argentina.
His work spread throughout the mission world.
Today the Salesian Family numbers 40,000 members
working in over 120 countries.
The educational philosophy of John Bosco can be expressed in three words:
reason, religion and kindness.
His system is centered on a deep understanding and love for young people.
John Bosco died on January 31, 1888.
He was declared a saint on April 1, 1934 by Pope Pius XI.