31 January 2021

Saint John Bosco

As some people are aware, a favorite saint of mine is Saint John Bosco (1815-1888), whose feast day is celebrated today. This is an enhanced re-post of of a item originally posted on 31 January 2011.

A priest in the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy, he had a special ministry to urban boys – initially teaching them their faith. This ministry expanded to teaching other academic subjects, including the skills needed in a few trades (initially shoemaking and tailoring, and then expanding to printing and other trades).

Father John Bosco worked to educate the whole person body and soul. He believed that one’s faith, rooted in Christ, should permeate everything one does, including work, learning, and recreation.

When I was teaching, I tried to follow his education philosophy, which (among other things)was a preventive system, placing students in surroundings removed from the likelihood of committing sin and encouraging frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist. He encouraged his teachers to follow the example of Jesus, teaching the boys with patience, kindness, and calmness.

John Bosco was noted for the ministry of reaching out through the printed word. He wrote a number of booklets and other printed pieces to teach aspects of the faith, to combat false teachings, and to encourage his readers in a number of areas. In his writings, he worked to communicate information so recipients could readily understand the information or concepts involved.

With the encouragement of Pope Pius IX, John Bosco founded a religious order to focus on education and missionary work, with a special focus on young people. This order was the Society of Saint Francis de Sales, better known as the Salesians.

Saint John Bosco is a patron saint of editors.

For more information about Saint John Bosco, please visit:

Catholic Forum: St. John Bosco

Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Giovanni Melchior Bosco (1907)

A reading from Saint John Bosco:

Lop Notes: Excerpt from a Letter by Saint John Bosco (31 JAN 12)

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