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Saint of January 31, salesian founder, don bosco

Feast Day - January 31

Lived (August 16, 1815 – January 31, 1888)

Patron Saint of Youths, Pupils, Editors, Christian Apprentices, Publishers and Juvenile delinquents

An Italian Catholic priest, dedicated to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth. He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method that became known as the Salesian Preventive System.

A follower of the life of Saint Francis de Sales, an ardent devotee of Our Lady, under the title of “Mary Help of Christians”. He later dedicated his works to Francis de Sales when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco, based in Turin. Together with Maria Domenica Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious congregation of nuns dedicated to the care and education of poor girls. He taught Dominic Savio, of whom he wrote a biography that helped the young boy be canonized.

John was ordained in 1841, when encouraged to become a priest so he could work with young boys. His service to young people started when he met a poor orphan and instructed him in preparation for receiving Holy Communion. He then gathered young apprentices and taught them catechism.

After serving as chaplain in a hospice for working girls, John opened the Oratory of Saint Francis de Sales for boys, being funded by wealthy and powerful patrons, enabling him to provide two workshops for the boys; shoe-making and tailoring. By 1856, the institution had grown to 150 boys and had added a printing press for publication of religious and catechetical pamphlets.

Bosco established a network of organizations and centers to continue his work. He was beatified in 1929, he was canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI.

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