Giovanni’s parents were farmers from the Piemont. When he was two years old his father died. At the age of twelve he was a stable boy. He actually wanted to become a priest.
In 1841 he was ordained a priest and began to work for poor and disadvantaged young people in Turin. After several moves of the oratory and a period of travel he was able to found the “Oratory of St. Francis de Sales“ in the Turin district of Valdocco in 1846.
In 1859 he founded a religious community, which was acknowledged by Pope Pius IX. as “Congregation of St. Francis de Sales” (known as the Salesians of Don Bosco).
Together with the Saint Maria Mazzarello he founded the religious community of the „Daughters of Mary Help of Christians” (Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco) in 1872. Purpose of both orders remained the education and care for poor and disadvantaged young people.
Until his death in 1888 the Salesians of Don Bosco had already established 250 houses in Europe and Latin America, where from 1846 on about 13.000 boys had been taken in and about 18.000 apprentices had been trained. Due to that about 6.000 of these young men decided to become priests until 1888.
Don Bosco’s burial place is in the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians in the Turin district of Valdocco. In 1929 he was beatified by Pope Pius XI., in 1934 he was canonized. He is the patron saint of the youth, of the youth pastors as well as of the Swiss youth organisation “Jungwacht”.
Translation from German Wikipedia
Don Bosco in plain language:
Inspire the youth with trust! Rally them round you. Attend to the life of these abandoned children. Do not wait for misconduct, but pre-empt it. A punishment must never humiliate! No anger! Even not a justified one. Give much room for freedom! Discipline is a means, not a target. Nothing works without fun, you need it at school and in church! Cheer them up to make them happy! There is no confidence without love, no education without confidence. This is the prime principle of education: If you want to be obeyed, care for that you are loved.
Can you imagine what it means to help young people, whom nobody trusts an inch anymore. Say – today somebody would “go to the gutter”, in order to declare his solidarity with all those, whose behavior is shocking; say – somebody would put up with suspicion, insults, personal discrimination, because he sticks to those who are not respected by anybody; say –somebody would be so unselfish to find his own well-being only in dedication to others. Say – somebody had the idea of even being happy in all this misery and all this trouble … firstly it wouldn’t bear thinking about and secondly we would shake our heads and thirdly we would call him crazy.
In his times Don Bosco was this “somebody”, if we think about it or not, if we shake our heads or not, if we call him crazy or not.
Would you like to know more about Don Bosco?
About the work with the abandoned children?
Would you be able to put up with insults and discrimination, just because you stick to them?
Would you be able to even be happy facing all that trouble?
Would you like to help children and young people, whom nobody trusts an inch anymore?
Could you imagine to find your own well-being only in dedication for others?
Then get in touch with
Father Don Demidoff, street priest
Casa Don Bosco
Foundation Casa Don Bosco
Home for streetchildren
The foundation neither is a member of the Roman-Catholic church nor of the Salesians, but is a Catholic free church. The foundation is independent of state, churches, organizations, parties or associatons. This independence often is impeded from outside, but serves the interests of the abandoned children of Romania.
Brotherly thanks to many Catholic priests, even Salesians, who have kept faith with the Casa Don Bosco for 15 years and have been supporting the foundation. Even in this edition we do not miss the opportunity to invite the representatives of the national conferences of bishops in order to see the miracle of Cincu with their very eyes. The Dutch paper of the Salesians “NU” wrote: “In Cincu Don Bosco is alive”.
Brotherly thanks even to the Christians of the Protestant churches, who have big-heartedly helped us during the last year once again and have not let us down. Thanks to all donators, especially to the permanent ones. Sincere thanks to all. Everything is written in the book of life.