St. John Melchior Bosco

St. John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815, in the small Italian hamlet of Castelnuovo d'Asti, in northern Italy. John had two older brothers, Anthony and Joseph. Their father, Francis, died when John was still a toddler - just two years old. As a child, Johnny watched over his family's sheep.

Don Bosco recounts a dream he had. “When I was about nine years old I had a dream that left a profound impression on me for the rest of my life. I dreamed that I was near my home, in a very large playing field where a crowd of children were having fun. Some were laughing, others were playing and quite a few were cursing. I was so shocked at their language that I jumped into their midst, swinging wildly and shouting at them to stop.”

At that moment a Man appeared, and said 'You will have to win these friends of yours not with blows, but with gentleness and kindness.

A Lady of majestic appearance came upon the scene and said to me “This is your field, this is where you must work”. At that, the wild animals had turned into as many gentle, gamboling lambs." John finally became a priest and on December 8, 1841 met Bartholomew Garelli, a local homeless boy. Don Bosco ended up offering Garelli and his friends food, games, and catechism lessons. Don Bosco's work with the young grew and young men began to gather around and formed the followers of Don Bosco called Salesian Priests and Brothers.

In January 1888 Don Bosco took to bed with a fever. The doctors said that his body was completely exhausted. Don Bosco died on January 31, 1888hort. He was canonized on April 1, 1934 by Pope Pius XI.