Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31 -- St. John Bosco

In 1817, the father of St. John Bosco died when he was only two years old.  His mother, Mama Margarita, now had to support her three young children alone. Therefore, John had to work in the fields and take odd jobs to make ends meet, putting off his hopes of becoming a priest. 

Fortunately, in 1835, with the help of a kindly priest, he entered the seminary where his wit and good memory were sought after for various parish offices.

One day, St. John struck up a friendship with a young boy who was being treated poorly. His kindly way and interesting stories attracted other boys and soon an "oratory" was formed to educate young boys in the Faith. Parents would do well to follow the advice of St. John in raising children: Weakness of character is derived from misguided kindness.

Parents tend to give too much attention to precocious talents of their children. This is turn develops an intelligent child without forming his will or tempering his character. The entire edifice of education should stand on the pillars of frequent reception of the sacraments, praying the rosary, knowledge of the catechism and the good example of superiors.

Although St. John and his mother, Mama Margarita, worked untiringly for the good of souls, there were many who wanted to terminate their good and holy work. Several attempts were made to kill him including a near stabbing, a bludgeoning, and a shooting.

A factor in all of this could have come from circles in Italy that were following the evil ideas of Rousseau and Voltaire who wanted to end the primacy of the Papacy, which was a principle that St. John would have given his life to uphold.  Some biographers also include those who adhered to the Waldensian heresy to be enemies of our saint.

Notwithstanding all of this difficulty , danger and opposition, St. John founded the Salesian Order which, at the time of his death in 1888,  had 250 houses all over the world. Along with St. Maria Mazzarello, he also founded the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians for young girls.

St. John Bosco knew very well the importance of proper education of our youth and consequently the salvation of souls.  Let us ask Mary, Help of Christians to understand the importance of true Catholic education and to endeavor to study the methods of the saints in attaining it.

Go to see how the methods of St. John Bosco are applied in a real school setting go to:

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