Tuesday, January 31, 2006
St. John Bosco

Memorial (1969 Calendar): January 31
Double (1954 Calendar): January 31

Today the Church remembers and celebrates the sainthood of St. John Bosco (1815 - 1888). St. John Bosco was a man of God, he received visions of Mary and numerous dreams. One of these is a famous dream of a Pope dying with another pope rising up to steer the Church to safety. This famous dream, pictured above, is called the Two Pillars. See more in the book: The Forty Dreams of Saint John Bosco

St. John Bosco worked countless miracles. He had the gift of multiplication of the loaves, and St. John even raised a boy from the dead to give him the chance of a good confession. The boy confessed his sins and died, but this time he went straight to Heaven.

St. John Bosco was ordained as a priest in 1841, and he worked tirelessly with young boys in his neighborhood. His goal was to make saints out of them and at least one of his boys became a saint, St. Dominic Savio. St. John founded the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales and was the chaplain there. He opened up workshops there for tailoring and shoe-making to help the boys not only grow spiritually but also have enough money to live. He worked for many years in Turin, Italy.

St. John lived daily for Jesus Christ. He would rise early, hear Confessions, and write letters to those in need for hours into the night. He wrote over 130 works defending the faith, and for that, he was hated by anti-Catholics. There were numerous plots to kill him though none succeeded.

In 1854, St. John Bosco formally banded together under the patronage of St. Francis de Sales. With Pope Pius IX's encouragement, St. John Bosco founded the Salesians in 1859, whose charism focuses on missionary and educational work.

He was beatified on June 2, 1929, by Pope Pius XI, who later canonized him on Easter Sunday (April 1) 1934. He was given the title "Father and Teacher of Youth." And his feastday was assigned to January 31st, moving St. Peter Nolasco from that date up to January 28th.

Please say a prayer for St. John Bosco's intercession today.


O God, Who didst raise up Saint John Thy Confessor to be father and teacher of youth, and by him, with the help of the Virgin Mary, dist promote new families in Thy Church: grant, we beseech Thee, that inflamed by the same fire of love, we may win souls and serve Thee alone. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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