- Also known as Jhon Bosco.
- I Becchi, 16 de agosto de 1815-Turín, 31 de enero de 1888.
- Priest, educator and Italian writer from the XIX Century.
- Founded The Salesian Congregation.
- Main promotor of the print.
- Canonized by Pope Pius XI.
- John Paul II conferred on him the title of “Father, Teacher and Friend of the Young”.
St. John Bosco also known as Don Bosco, was born on August 16th, 1815 in a farm located in the hills of Becchi, at the bottom of the Italian Alps, The young Don Bosco was born into a poor humble family that depended on farming, his parents were Francis Bosco and Margaret Occhiena and his 2 brothers Joseph and Anthony.
Just two years after his birth the tragic death of his father left Margaret in charge of raising the three boys by herself. Since a very young age him and his brothers experienced the hardships of poverty after losing their father. Margaret a woman of courage and faith taught the boys that work was a privilege and so they had to take responsibility and carry out chores such as firewood to cut and collect, fields to work on, sacrifices that had to be made in order to keep their home and farm.
At a very young age the future saint knew he was called by God to serve youth. When he was just 9 years old, he was inspired by a dream that would change his life forever. He would often tell his mother “I’m going to be a priest, and I’ll talk to children all the time, and I’ll do everything for them!”. Ever since that dream he knew it was his destiny to become a priest and would dedicate himself to assist the poor youth but in order to fulfill his dream, he had to leave home and assist the city school where he would walk for hours to receive an education. One of john’s favorite hobbies was to watch traveling performers that juggled or walked the tightrope over time he saw this as an opportunity and learned all these tricks as well and caught the attention of the kids. Soon after he started his own shows, kids and neighbors would gather around to enjoy performance. By the end of the show the young Bosco didn’t want to receive money, but instead would recite a homily and ask everyone to join him in prayer.
Don Bosco was 26 years old when he was ordained to the priesthood in Turin. He would now be called Don Bosco and would come to celebrate his first mass the day right after in the church of St. Francis of Assisi. Following his dream, he immediately went out into the streets and came to the rescue of the youth; he began by working with orphan boys that would roam the streets of Turin or would come to him for shelter. With the growing number of boys shortly after he opened a hospice where his mother would help him and would become known as Mama Margaret for her tenderness and love for the children. He not only fed the homeless orphans whom he took in but also provided them with educational skills like teaching them how to read, write and helping them find stable jobs.
His work began in Turin and then he moved around the world, with the help of his brothers from Congregation, a Society that will be founded in 1854 and which would in the beginning be called The Society of San Francisco de Sales. St. John Bosco would dedicate his life to young people, writing many books, promoting the creation of workshops, schools, oratorios and proposing a new educational system: the Preventive System. This system sums up John Bosco’s educational philosophy in three words: Reason, Religion and Love. It was impossible for him to educate a young man by reason, if he is not loved, his problems are understood and he is supported to solve them, with the help and enlightenment of God. In 1872, he co-founded, together with Maria Mazzarello, the Community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Congregation that would do a job similar to that of St. John Bosco, but with women. By 1875, three years later, he sent the first group of missionaries to Argentina and the following years, the missionaries were still sent to various parts of the world, to work for their preferential recipients: the poor and young freer, more equitable and Christian society
Don Bosco last year’s weren’t easy, as years passed he became old and weary but yet he still kept up with all the Salesian activities and passed on his Mission and teachings in schools, technical schools, youth hostels and oratories. Don Bosco’s soul passed to his God on January 31, 1888 along with his Salesians praying beside him.
The three great principles that Don Bosco used to ensure the dedication to his mission were; Reason, Religion and loving kindness. This unique system sculpts a person in body, heart, mind and spirit. He emphasized strongly that the youth should be taught through love patience and empathy and not with intimidation or punishment. This system is now globally known as the Preventive System and is practiced by many institutes, colleges and Institutes of Higher Education.
On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, Pope Pius XI declared Don Bosco a saint, and was to be recognized as “Father and Teacher of Youth.” Till this day his ideals, his spirit and teachings still live and are practiced by priests, brothers and sisters who continue live and practice his principles on this earth. Don Bosco funded “The Salesians of Don Bosco” which is an international society that is dedicated to Society work for the development and Education of the young specially those who are at risk or in need. The Salesians of Don Bosco serve the youth worldwide irrespective of religious differences or social inequality. His values and teachings are present in 4.000 schools, Colleges, technical schools and youth centers in 133 countries
One of Don Bosco’s most remembering teachings as he often used to say “Education is a Matter of the Heart”.