St. John Bosco was a great Italian saint beloved for his love and care for the youth and his love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
His life of service to the young began in Turin, Italy during the 1830s. He would gather local children in his father’s garden and play games with them, teaching them about religion, morals and values in fun ways.
This passion for helping young people soon moved to a religious vocation. Soon after becoming a priest, he opened an orphanage where he could care for homeless children, feed them and educate them according to his strong catholic faith. Then he established a school dedicated to providing education in science, mathematics and philosophy to boys of all ages with no distinction of social class or wealth.
A Deep Love and Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. John Bosco was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary in a profound and deeply personal way. He had a great love for her that inspired his work and ministry.
As a young man, John Bosco prayed to her daily and often spoke of how she provided him with countless graces in response to his prayers. On one occasion, while serving as chaplain at an all-girls school, the mother superior asked St. John Bosco if he would help provide the girls with spiritual guidance through teaching them about the love and devotion they should have for the Virgin Mary.
Without hesitation, he accepted this role and quickly formed a group of students who called themselves "The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians". Through different meetings and activities such as singing hymns to Mary and reciting her rosary prayer, St. John Bosco wanted his students to come closer to their heavenly mother and have a deep relationship with her.
John Bosco also had several private devotions that showed his extraordinary love for Our Lady. He would often ask special favors from Mary such as protection against devils or strength during difficult times, which he believed she never denied him.
On one occasion, when he was being threatened by bandits outside of Turin, John Bosco invoked Our Lady’s aid before being miraculously saved by some friendly drovers that appeared out of nowhere just in time! This story shows Saint John Bosco's unwavering trust in the power of our Lady's intercession which was so strong it could even protect him from real physical danger!
Searching for Homeless Youngsters
St John Bosco’s story is one filled with inspiring tales of his compassion towards children and teenagers in need. As a young priest he would often go out at night into Turin's poorer quarters to search for homeless youngsters who were sleeping on the streets or under bridges. He would give them food, clothing and even money if they needed it; but more importantly, he would also offer them comfort, care and advice.
Saving a Group of Boys in Prison
John Bosco's love for the youth extended beyond everyday care and education; it also included providing spiritual guidance through miracles that showed his devotion as a saint and his closeness to God. One story tells how St. John Bosco was able to save a group of boys who had been locked up in prison by simply praying over them; after this prayer they were released from their captors without any explanation from the authorities or anyone else involved in their capture! This miracle is just one example of how St. John Bosco looked out for the welfare of young people throughout his life.
An Indoor Park for Students
Another story involves a group of students whom St. John Bosco had invited on an excursion into the mountains but were unable to make it due to bad weather conditions: In order to help these students still experience some joy from their trip, St John Bosco created an indoor park inside the school's classrooms with decorations made from whatever resources he had available at hand - paper lanterns, chairs and tables - transforming what would have been an ordinary classroom into a beautiful play area full of laughter and joy!
Using Play to Attract Youth to the Faith
St. John Bosco had an unwavering commitment to helping those less fortunate than himself, and he often used play and education to reach out to them. One story tells of how he once convinced a gang of wild boys to come with him by playing a game of soccer with them – they thought he was so much fun that they decided to follow him! He also helped many orphaned children by providing shelter, food, clothing, education and spiritual guidance.
The Salesians of Don Bosco
In addition to his charitable works, St. John Bosco also promoted Christian values in the lives of young people through his writings and sermons about faith and morality. As part of this effort, he founded The Salesians – an order of priests dedicated to serving the needs of youth. This group has since become one of the most active religious organizations in the world today, spread across over 140 countries with thousands of members around the globe.
John Bosco's legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of millions across the world who look up to him as an example of charity and Christian virtue. His passion for helping young people challenged those around him not only to live moral lives but also show compassion towards those who are struggling or vulnerable. To remember his greatness, different activities have been held such as World Youth Day which brings together millions annually from all corners of our planet in celebration and prayer guided by St John Bosco’s vision: “Give me souls; take away what you wish”!