St. John Bosco
PATRON SAINT OF THE YOUNG
St. John Bosco was born in a small town in Italy on August 16, 1815. From a young age, John Bosco was filled with a strong desire to help the poor and the youth. In 1835 John Bosco entered the seminary in which he learned work as a tailor, blacksmith, shoemaker, carpenter, violinist, acrobat, and magician, all of which became useful in his future works.
In 1841 he was ordained and went to work in Turin. He followed Don Cafasso in his visits to prisons in which John Bosco witnessed abandoned youth with bad influences and no direction toward a positive and fulfilling future. The misfortune and agony of the youth inspired John Bosco to dedicate his life to young adolescents. He began youth clubs, hostels, and boarding schools and opened an oratory in which he taught them trades.
In 1859 John Bosco gathered several young men and suggested the idea of a religious society. He founded the Salesian Society with a mission to be a friend to poor kids, abandoned kids, at risk kids, and thus, be a friend to Christ. The Salesian Society was named after St. Francis de Sales because Don Bosco wanted his Salesians to follow St. Francis kind and gentle ways. His educational philosophy consisted of reason, religion, and kindness and the basic principle for the system was a deep understanding and love for young people and their problems.
In 1875 his first missionary group was sent to Argentina. His work then spread throughout the mission world and presently, more than half of the Salesian Society works in mission lands and there are presently over 17,278 members working in 134 countries.
John Bosco died on January 31, 1888.