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St. John Bosco: Who he is and how to Celebrate

St. John Bosco today is an inspiration for those in education and for young people. His beautiful story of serving the young and the poor are a beautiful reminder of the need to educate the whole person, mind, body and soul. 


St. John Bosco was ordained a priest in order to works with young boys. He taught orphans in Turin, Italy and prepared them for the sacraments. Later, he opened the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales for boys, and with the help of wealthy donors, he started a trade school for boys in shoemaking and tailoring clothes. Once the school had grown, they added a printing press for Catholic education materials. 


In 1859, he and 17 others gathered together to found the Salesians. They focused their efforts on education and mission work, later opening up a group of Salesian Sisters to serve the girls in the community. 


St. John Bosco believed that Christ’s love and faith should be in every facet of life, work, study and play. Extending the idea of being a Christian beyond simply Mass on Sunday. He realized the inherent dignity of work and self worth and pride and spent his time focusing on education of students, especially those in the trades.


Coming from an educational background and setting, St. John Bosco holds a special place in my heart. 


Here is how you can celebrate and bring faith into everyday life through John Bosco, especially on his feast day, January 31st. 


  1. Honor your child’s teacher today with a simple thank you note or spiritual bouquet
  2. Take the time getting to know your older children by planning an activity that you can work together, creating space for open conversation and community
  3. Talk about the gift of trade work in your family and encourage your child to explore the trades
  4. And of course, ask for St. John Bosco’s intercession!