Saint John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815, in Turin, Italy as Giovanni Bosco. Saint John Bosco’s feast day is January 31st.
His mother’s name was Margherita and his father was Francesco. His father, Francesco Bosco, died when John was only two years old (Wallace 68). He also had two brothers, but there is not much information on them. Though it is said that John’s oldest brother was angry with him for wanting to be a priest and whipped him as he said, he’s “a farmer like us!” (“St. John Bosco” Catholic Onine). Saint John Bosco was very poor and didn’t have much of an education as a child, but he was still very knowledgeable.
Instead of getting an education, he had to work on a farm to support his family. John Bosco was raised by his mother after his father passed away when he was only two (Wallace 68). He was raised as a believer of God and he went to Church on Sundays. Not many children at the time were raised this way because it was right after the Napoleonic Wars and many people had forgotten about God (“St. John Bosco” Catholic Online). Saint John Bosco studied the bible because even as a child, he knew he wanted to become a priest.
He wanted to become a priest as soon as he could. He left home when he was only twelve, but it took him until he was twenty-six to become ordained. After his dream where he saw Mary he was even more committed to becoming a priest (Heffernan 484). John was tested to see if he would still trust in God after all the things he went through, his father dying, his family being poor, and him unable to get an education. Saint John Bosco was called to follow God. From the time he was a child he knew he wanted to become a priest. This was his first call to follow God. He was called to God in a dream at the age of nine years old, and then through an experience where he was saved from robbers (Heffernan 483, 485).
In his dream, he saw a group of children arguing and swearing. He told them they had to stop. In the dream he did all he could to make them stop.
It was no use, he could not break up their fight. In his dream, John Bosco saw a man in white come towards him. The man told him calmly, “You will make them your friends with love, with meekness and charity. You will conquer them” (Heffernan 483). The man was Jesus, the son of Mary! He then saw Mary. She pointed out that the arguing boys had turned into beasts.
She then calmed the beasts and turned them into lambs. She said, “As I do with these wild beasts, so you will do with the children, make yourself humble, strong, and robust. At the right time, you will understand everything!” (Heffernan 483). After his dream, Saint John Bosco dedicated most of his free time to helping young boys. He established the order, St. Francis de Sales (“St. John Bosco” Britannica Academic).
Priests of the order of St. Francis de Sales worked to help boys who have been in trouble or are juvenile delinquents. St. Francis de Sales’ priests also help with education and religion. This is why he is the patron saint of schoolchildren and juvenile delinquents. Saint John Bosco didn’t just establish this order, but he also helped establish the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians with Mary Mazzarello. They did similar work, only with girls. Fr.
Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello turned many of these children’s lives around for the better (“St. John Bosco” Britannica Academic). One occurence that started the order of St. Francis de Sales was when Fr. Don Bosco was preparing to say Mass, and he saw the sacristan mistreating a young boy.
Fr. Don Bosco stepped in and asked the boy, “Would you like me to teach you how to serve?” (Heffernan 485). The boy was thankful for the offer and nodded his head. Don taught him. Fr. Bosco told him to bring his friends with him for the next lesson. Many of the boys brought to the next lesson were homeless. John now worked to find homes for them with the help of his mother, Margherita (Heffernan 485).
Saint John Bosco had another miracle in his life when he was almost robbed, but was saved just in time. One night, John was walking home when two men came from behind him looking as though they wanted to rob and hurt him. Not a second too late a huge gray dog came out of nowhere! The dog, that he later named ‘Grigio’, Italian for gray, saved his life.
The dog walked all the way home with Don, then disappeared into the shadows of the night. Some people threatened Fr. Bosco and attempted to murder him. Grigio came back at these times to protect him. Fr.
Don Bosco didn’t know where he came from, or who he belonged, but he didn’t care. He was just glad to have him by his side in times of danger (Heffernan 487).Saint John Bosco became a saint in part because Jesus and Mary came to him in a dream. The miraculous dog who saved him and helped him in times of danger also helped him to become a saint. These helped him become a saint.
Saint John Bosco died on January 31st, 1888. There is little to no explanation for the cause of his death (Wallace 69). Saint John Bosco is the patron saint of schoolchildren, apprentices, magicians, editors, publishers, and juvenile delinquents (“St. John Bosco” Catholic Online).
He established the order of St. Francis de Sales and helped establish Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians with Mary Mazzarello (“St. John Bosco” Britannica Academic). Saint John Bosco did “Gospel Magic.” This is when you gather a crowd for a show you are putting on and then, at the end of the show you recite the Gospel and spread the word of God (“St. John Bosco”, Catholic Online). I chose Saint John Bosco for this project because I have heard his name many times before, but I never knew who he was or what he did. I wanted to learn more about why he was a saint and of what he was the patron saint.
I admire that even though he was poor and wasn’t able to get much of an education, he is the patron saint of schoolchildren, editors, and publishers.