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   home : Saint Medals - Men > St. John Bosco
St. John Bosco
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St. John Bosco

About Saint John Bosco

  •   Saint John Bosco, also known as Don Bosco, was born in a humble cottage at Becchi, near Piedmont, Italy on August 16, 1815.

  •   When Saint John Bosco was two years old, his father died, leaving his mother to raise three young boys.

  •   Saint John Bosco worked as a shepherd in his youth and was taught by the parish priest.  He was a bright boy and enjoyed his studies but out of need, he put his studies aside and worked in the fields.

  •   In 1835, Saint John Bosco entered the seminary in Chieri and studied for six years before being ordained a priest.
St John Bosco Patron Saint 
  •   After his ordination, Saint John Bosco went to Turin to begin his duties as a priest.  One of his duties was to visit the prison in the city.  It was here that he found his true calling, rescuing the children confined there.
  •   In December of 1841, Saint John Bosco befriended a boy named Bartolommeo Garelli.  This boy became the first student of the Oratory founded by Saint John Bosco. 
  •   By the time February of 1842 arrived, twenty boys were enrolled in the Oratory and the next month, thirty boys.  After four years, four hundred boys studied at Saint John Bosco’s Oratory.
  •   In 1845, Saint John Bosco started a night school and boys from all over the area would gather after working in the factories all day to study there.
  •   The success of his Oratory did not last.  Neighbors complained about the street urchins who gathered at the school but Saint John Bosco persisted.  He opened the first Salesian home for boys with the help of his mother, Mama Margaret.  Dormitories were built and boys were invited to live there.
  •   The authorities of the city realized what a positive effect the Salesian Home had on the boys and funding for the home became available.
  •   Saint John Bosco raised funds to build a church and on June 9, 1868 his church was built with the patronage of Our Lady, Help of Christians.  At the same time, over fifty teachers and priests helped Don Bosco found the Salesian Society.
  •   Saint John Bosco never punished his boys but instilled in them a sense of duty and virtue.  In his own words, "I do not remember to have used formal punishment; and with God's grace I have always obtained, and from apparently hopeless children, not alone what duty exacted, but what my wish simply expressed."
  •   Saint John Bosco died on January 31, 1888.  At the time of his death there were 250 Salesian homes throughout the world, assisting over 130,000 children.

Saint John Bosco Feast Day

The feast day of Saint John Bosco is January 31.  On this day, many Catholics wear a Saint John Bosco medal in honor of this merciful and loving saint.  A Saint John Bosco pendant or a Saint John Bosco charm is often given as a gift to school children to inspire them in their studies and their faith.

St John Bosco Medal Pendant
St. John Bosco


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