Our Patron: St. John Bosco
“Run, jump, shout, but do not sin.”
This quote from our patron, St. John Bosco, is an apt description of his outlook on life. Born on August 16, 1815 in Becchi, Italy to a poor but devout Catholic family, he took a liking at an early age for magic tricks and showmanship. These talents enthralled his fellow classmates where he preached to them the homilies he had heard at church and encouraged them to pray. During these pursuits, he discerned a vocation to the Catholic priesthood. With the help of some mentors who provided financial and spiritual aid, he was ultimately ordained in 1841.
Early ministerial work
His first parochial assignment was in the city of Turin, which had large numbers of poor and imprisoned teenage boys. Don Bosco worked hard at all hours to minister to these young men just as he had done in his youth:
by entertaining them as a magician,
then preaching to them as a priest.
As his vocation progressed, he and his mother, Marguerite, began searching for housing for the boys living on the streets. In 1859, he founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales, known as the Salesians of Don Bosco, an organization whose purpose is to carry out his mission – to help and guide underprivileged young men – across a much larger area of the world. He also co-founded the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, also known as the Salesian Sisters, with St. Maria Mazzarello in 1872.
St. John Bosco died on January 31, 1888, and was canonized on Easter Sunday in 1934 by Pope Pius XI.
He is the patron of schoolchildren, apprentices, and magicians.
taking up the mantle
We, at the Associates of St. John Bosco, chose him as our patron because we believe that the work we set out to do parallels his in a number of ways. The teenage years represent an especially impressionable and vulnerable time for all young men and women. At a time when the voices of the world and the devil cloud the mind and conscience, we seek to speak the quiet voice of God’s truth and love in an attempt to lead all we reach to the Light. St. John Bosco was very passionate about helping the poor, having himself grown up in a very poor family; following this legacy, all of our events and resources (namely, our Bosco Bundles) are totally free of charge for attendees, and we are a nonprofit organization who must fund all of our efforts by the generosity of our patrons.
On the most fundamental level, our name says it all: by instructing young people in matters of faith and evangelization, and leading by the example St. John Bosco set of generosity and kindness, we seek to transform young men and women into compatriots of that great saint, who can carry out the mission he began wherever their lives may take them. In other words, our efforts are molding them into being Associates of St. John Bosco.
For more information on the life and works of St. John Bosco, visit www.catholic.org