Don Bosco: father, teacher, friend of youth.
St. John Bosco set up the first festive oratory on 8 December 1844, gathering together poor and abandoned boys,
he met in the streets, on building sites and in the prisons of Turin. Soon afterwards he founded the Salesian Congregation, with the pastoral and social mission of “forming good Christians and upright citizens” through his “Preventive” system of education.
He was beatified in 1929 and canonised in 1934.
John Melchiorre Bosco was born in Castelnuovo d'Asti on 16 August 1815 into a family of farmers. Fatherless, he was brought up by his mother Margaret who made his family a domestic Church. He tells of having had a dream when he was nine years old which revealed his mission to him. At the age of twenty he entered the seminary in Chieri and was ordained priest on 5 June 1841. He began his apostolate in Turin among poor young people from the countryside, disorientated by the industrialisation process of the period. These encounters marked his priestly vocation.