Saint John Bosco


Saints Borned at Castelnuovo d'Asti on August 16th, 1815 and died in Turin on January 31st, 1888. Don Bosco was a holy priest after the heart of God. From childhood he felt called by the Lord through divine dreams to be an apostle of youth. In this century, decayed myth of Napoleon, it was the time of resurgence of revolutions, great disorders and industrialization, where the Church was considered an oppressive enemy.

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Biographical notes

He was only two years old when his father died and his mother supported the weight falls. She would fight with all her might against the high cost to keep the family together and provided a strong faith in her son. Faith to the inner voice he had heard ". Not with blows but with gentleness and charity must win these little friends. Instruct them about the ugliness of sin and the preciousness of virtue," the young John Bosco begins to instruct the partners in religion.

At 16 he began to frequent the village school to complete elementary education and a course in Latin, on continued studies to fitness classes. He had a great talent and prodigious memory. He exploited his capacities. He exceeded three courses in one year to complete this cycle at the age of 18 years old with honors.

Endowed with a good voice, he learned singing, violin and organ. He trained as a tailor, carpenter and blacksmith. He knew to recite by memory part of the classic Dante, Petrarch, Tasso, Parini, Monti and Latin classics like Cicero, Sallust, Quintus Curtius, Livy, Cornelius Tacitus, Ovid, Virgil and many more.

At age 25 John Bosco entered the seminary in Chieri and remained convent six years. The companions, knowing his erudition, became repeat lessons to become his friend, counselor, servant, nurse. At the seminar they call the "Father" for his holiness of life. In June 1841 he was ordained a priest.

Upon graduation he left the seminary to enter the Ecclesiastical Boarding located near the Church of San Francisco in Turin, to study moral practice, preaching, French, Spanish and some English. In this place he would remain two years. In this period he started with a simple catechism, the work of the Oratory, which eventually prospered beyond all pink expectations.

Finalized the preparation for the priesthood, grown in the draft privacy, he entered to religious life. He was Locked by the words of his Spiritual Director Don Caffasso: "My dear Don Bosco, abandoned any idea of religious vocation ... to continue your work on behalf of young people, and no other, is the will of God.". Don Caffasso, illuminated by God knew the mission that the Lord reserved for Don Bosco, called to become the apostle of youth.

He was sent to Valdocco sent to the work El Refugio, the headquarters moved to the Oratory. He spent two months and the Saint granted two rooms and a small chapel next to the Hospital, which he dedicated to St. Francis de Sales: this was the first Church of the Oratory.

The activity of Don Bosco was tireless: preaching, confessing, publishing pamphlets in defense of religion, including: "Crown of the Seven Sorrows of Mary", "the devotee Guardian Angel", "Historical signs on the lives of Luigi Comollo", his great friend, then raised to the honors of the altar; in the end, a compendium of "Ecclesiastical History and Sacred History".

In 1845, many Austrian soldiers militated under the banner of Piedmont and so that they could assist hospitals and confess, quickly learn German. Haunts prisons and work there many conversions you get with many prayers and personal sacrifices. It come the unexpected news of the closure of the Oratory, as local serve to house the priests.

Mary relieved the anguish of Don Bosco and guided him through a vision to a new temporary headquarters: requested and got the use of the Chapel of the Molini to give catechism to children. In the same year he prepared and published "Ecclesiastical History", which was a testimony of faith for the salvation of souls and his love for the Papacy.

He did not find another houses as well and rent a meadow and there he brought young people, meanwhile, grew to 400, confess, pray the rosary, provided small breakfasts and snacks, initiated into religious songs, lead Mass in parishes . This meeting attracted the attention of the police headquarters who began to watch Don Bosco, after the intervention of public authorities, he was evicted again, but despite this the ultimate goal was near.

As provided by a subsequent vision, he was offered a very small place of a single plant, a shed and a piece of land, all in poor condition, but he also accepted. He moved there in April, on the feast of Easter. Then he built a chapel where, among others, taught catechism classes.

In this new town Don Bosco's health, already fragile, was aggravated and doctors advised him to take complete rest for a while, but he found time to write and published "The Italian Winemaker", the "metric system" and "The seven Sundays and ninth to San Luis Gonzaga ". Resumed activity after a couple of months but in the month of July, suffering from bronchitis with severe inflammation and in a short time he was at the end of his life.

Human remedies left no hope, then his young turned to the heavenly. Divided into teams took turns from morning to night in the Sanctuary of the Consolata, to pray to the Virgin to keep alive his father and friend. Others watched in prayer all night. Such mobilization obtained from heaven the grace of healing.

After the period of convalescence he got back in the month of November 1846 to the Oratory with his mother Margarita, he set her in the house assigned in Valdocco. In extreme poverty he organized catechesis and night schools for boys. He taught music and choral singing. The city of Turin, was so surprised that awards a prize to Don Bosco for the promotion of music.

In 1847, he established the "Company of St. Louis". Young people who wished to join must observe the duties of a good Christian and often approached the Holy Sacraments. To combat heresy, the Holy wrote "Young provided" to promote the foundation of religion and keep the faith. In his bedroom, a continuous roar did not let him sleep, the phenomenon was eliminated when the holy turned off the wall of the attic and found a picture of the Blessed Virgin.

In the same year, in April, he offered to young orphans, deprived of everything, a place to eat and sleep. In this first bedroom he gave support to more than a thousand people. Don Bosco, with his mother, shared meals, makes domestic arrangements, chops wood, peeled potatoes and cooked.

He Suffered an attack: a criminal shouted him to kill him, but the bullet passed between his left arm and ribs: he was not hurt. He still suffered other attacks of their enemies who wanted to eliminate him, by poisoning, stabbing, assaults, but he was not hurt either.

The following year a violent political upheavals exploded. Pius IX fled Rome and took refuge in Gaeta. Don Bosco, to refute the mistakes of enemies, published the second edition of the "Ecclesiastical History". The seminar closes Turin hosts Don Bosco and some priests in his oratory. In 1849, to counter those who vilify religion, religious newspaper published "The friend of youth". In these difficult times many priests come to him for lessons of moral theology and prepared for the examination of confession.

Between 1848 and 1849 all seminaries were closed by the war and the seminarians found hospitality in the Oratory of Valdocco; the only seminar that was open in Piedmont for 20 years. All costs were asumed by Don Bosco. In the same year he founded the play "Peter's Pence" to alleviate poverty of Pius IX who was in exile in Gaeta.

In 1850 he founded the "mutual aid society", in which members paid a salary every Sunday and during his illness he received 50 cents a day to restore their health. The following year, relying on the Divine Mercy he began to build a church and with the maternal help of Mary, he went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Oropa.

In 1852 the gunpowder exploded but the church he buit, even it was near the tremendous explosion, was not damaged. The Virgin protected this important work, which would be completed and blessed two months later. After this activity, the work began to expand the Internship. Nearly completed the task, a part of the wall and a thick column collapse.

Don Bosco said: "The devil does not want to extend the school and pick up new young, but we would do to his annoyance." Despite the difficulties he finished the work the following year.

After a year he started a campaign against the Protestant propaganda which last a year and initiated a Protestant propaganda campaign against the "Catholic Readings" to be republished in 1882 under the name "Catholic in the century." He opened at boarding school where he was the master shoemakers, tailors, bookbinders and in the following years, plus printers and carpenters hatters.

In 1854 Turin a cholera epidemic occurred. Don Bosco agreed with their youth to attend infected. Despite the many dead, he and his colleagues were immune from the contagion.

While the government was preparing a law to confiscate the goods of the Church, Don Bosco had a prophetic dream that announces big funeral in court and through a written he advised to the King. Your Majesty, ill-advised, he avoided these tips and lost the Queen Maria Teresa, his wife Maria Adelaide, Prince Ferdinand of Savoy and his son Victor Manuel, but, despite the mourning, he approved the law. In the same year he proposed to his assistants to take a vow of charity and gave them the name "Salesians".

In 1885 Don Bosco published "History of Italy told to the youth," which quickly reached 31 editions. The text was so effective, that the Minister of Education adopted him as a textbook in public schools. Extended the Oratory and in these new premises, kicked off the first three exercise classes for young at Internship and external. Immediately he also opened a Catholic elementary school day.

In 1862, 22 new members of the "Pious Society" took a vow of poverty, charity and obedience, while the Oratory had a church, five kinds of gymnastics, school cobbler, bookbinder, typographer and vocal and instrumental music. He kept schools open until Sunday night. The boarders were approximately 600.

In 1863, Don Bosco wrote to Pius IX to be prepared to make the sacrifice of Rome, because it would be prey to the revolution. Opened the Institute in Mirabello Monferrato, called "Small Seminary of San Carlos". Before choosing staff he approached the Oropa Sanctuary for lighting of the Virgin Mary.

In 1864, Bosco was bad of health, bleeding from the mouth and achieved with little difficulty digesting food daily, but he still was happy and continued to work diligently. Manages two educational institutions, one with 700 students. In October he opened a third one in Lanzo Torinese called "Colegio de San Felipe Neri".

In 1865 laid the first stone to build a new sanctuary to devote to Mary Help of Christians "in Turin. Then begins a trip to Milan, Brescia, Padua, Venice, Florence, where he is welcomed solemnly.

In 1886 the epidemic of plague occured. After the war with Austria, began a tremendous persecution against the bishops. Don Bosco was called by Pius IX to resolve issues between the state and the Church. The Virgin continued to multiply the cures through Don Bosco, for the Holy get the money that allowed the construction of the Sanctuary.

He arrived to Rome in 1867 and was welcomed as a prince by the wealthy Roman families. Pietro Angelini said: … From morning to night he was followed by a number of people of all kinds, sex and condition, wishing him and talk, so he never had set to eat, sleep or rest time. The fame of his holiness was known for all households. His health began to suffer, I think you need to adopt some sort of arrangement to avoid falling ill...

During the audience Pius IX encourages him to carefully write any supernatural fact relevant to the work of the oratories. It required his help to settle the conflict between the state on the meeting of Bishops in Italy: he requested him to make a list of candidates for the office of Bishop and invited him to open a Salesian house in Rome.

Don Bosco often warns the Pope of secret conspiracies of Freemasonry who plot against him in Rome itself. He made him see that some conspirators were digging a gallery, to put a bomb under the Roman College ... then he did believe him, but after a thorough investigation it was actually underground.

In 1868, Don Bosco published a voluminous work entitled "Catholic provided". In last June he finished and consecrated the temple dedicated to "Maria Auxiliadora": a wonderful church built in just three years. It was a real miracle due to the extreme poverty.

The next year the Holy Father approved the "Pious Society". The literary work of Don Bosco did not stop: published and disseminated throughout Italy volumes "of the Italian Youth Library" that aimed to disseminate knowledge of ancient and modern Italian classics. To spread devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, founded a sanctuary in Valdocco: "The Association of devotees of Mary Help of Christians".

He Returned to Rome as the Vatican Council was inaugurated in 1870. Don Bosco confirmed to the Pope that the time wanted for the Lord had come to declare the dogma of faith on "Papal Infallibility. As Don Bosco predicted well in advance, it conquered Rome, and while everyone in the Papal Court, advised the Pope to leave the city and seek refuge in another city, Pius IX seek advice from Don Bosco and he replied: "The Sentinel, the Angel of Israel remained in place and is on duty in the rock of God and the Holy Ark.

In 1872, he founded "The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians", the female branch of the Salesians, with the goal of educating girls. That year and next, he returned to Rome to negotiate between the Kingdom of Italy and the Church, following the intervention of Bismarck, on behalf of the Emperor of Prussia, who had intervened to suspend them.

After various vicissitudes the "Salesians of Don Bosco" and their constitutions were finally approved in 1874. At the end of the year the Association spread over 59 Salesian foundations in Italy, Asia, Africa and America.

In 1876 the boys of the Oratory exceeded 800 new homes which were opened in France and America. Don Bosco founded: "The Work of Mary Help of Christians" a useful institution for adults who wished to embrace the ecclesiastical state; the "Pious Union of Salesian Cooperators," and the "Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco", which were expanding rapidly in 5 years and has 200 sisters and 12 houses in Italy and France.

In 1878 the king Victor Manuel in Turin laid the first stone in Corsican language, to build a splendid temple dedicated to "San Juan Evangelista".

In 1880, Leo XIII entrusted Don Bosco the construction of a temple in Rome dedicated to the "Sacred Heart of Jesus", but warned him that he had no money. Don Bosco answered: "I do not ask money but only his blessing ... built, beside the church, a festive oratory with a large Asylum, where both can be accommodated in boarding schools and directed at the arts and crafts and many poor youth. "Not only accepted to build the Church in Rome, but accepted to build another in La Spezia dedicated to "San Pablo", a Nursing in Marseilles a Novitiate House in Nizza Monferrato. Naturally all construction costs at his expense.

In 1882 he arrived in France, told Don Roncal ". It was impossible to discover the enthusiasm aroused by his presence from morning to night it was a movement of people who wanted to see him". French journalists wrote them: "Don Bosco is the caster of the nineteenth century, Paris is shocked by the commotion ... is the irresistible attraction waving to the crowd ... the churches are too narrow to contain the faithful who want to listen the Mass of Don Bosco, the enthusiasm for Don Bosco in Paris, was in the life of a few saints. "In that year he came to finish the Church "San Giovanni Evangelista" in Turin.

In 1882 he arrived in France, told Don Roncal". It was impossible to discover the enthusiasm aroused by his presence from morning to night it was a movement of people who wanted to see him". French journalists wrote them: "Don Bosco is the caster of the nineteenth century, Paris is shocked by the commotion ... is the irresistible attraction waving to the crowd ... the churches are too narrow to contain the faithful who want to listen the Mass of Don Bosco, the enthusiasm for Don Bosco in Paris, was in the life of a few saints. "In that year he came to finish the Church "San Giovanni Evangelista" in Turin.

The cholera epidemic returned and Don Bosco, with the Salesians opened their homes to receive and heal the sick. Write the journalists of the time: "The people pronounced the name of Don Bosco with veneration and kissing the edge of his clothes".

In 1886 he came to Spain and this country was enthusiastically welcomed. There he did great wonders. The following year, in Rome, he consecrated the church dedicated to the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" that was then over.

He died in 1888 sick and exhausted after having spent all their energies.