St. John Bosco (Italian: Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco; 16 August 1815 – 31 January 1888), known as Don Bosco, was an Italian Roman Catholic priest, educator and writer of the 19th century, who put into practice the convictions of his religion, dedicating his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth and employing teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method known as the Salesian Preventive System. A follower of the spirituality and philosophy of Saint Francis de Sales, Bosco dedicated his works to him when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco. Together with Maria Domenica Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious congregation of nuns dedicated to the care and education of poor girls. In 1876 Bosco founded a movement of laity, the Association of Salesian Cooperators, with the same educational mission to the poor. In 1875 he published the Salesian Bulletin. The Bulletin has remained in continuous publication, and is currently published in 50 different editions and 30 languages.
Bosco established a network of organizations and centres to carry on his work. Following his beatification in 1929, he was canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI in 1934.
A personal love of Christ developed in his own youth was the source of the deep zeal for the young which characterized St. John Bosco’s work. There is nothing as precious as soul. ” St. John Chrysostom asks: ” What is equal to that profession which is concerned with directing the soul and forming the mind and the character of the young?”
Lord, You called John Bosco to be a teacher and father to the young. Fill us with love like his: may we give ourselves completely to Your service and to the salvation of mankind. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.