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Saint John Bosco

Don BoscoGiovanni Bosco lived in Turin, Italy. He was mostly known as Don (“Father”) Bosco. Today (31 January) is his feast day. I am honoured to bear his name.

His feast day is celebrated at least by Roman Catholics and Anglicans (Church of England, The Episcopal Church, Celebrating Eucharist).

Don Bosco was a priest in nineteenth century northern Italy. He was imaginative in the way that he gathered people for God and worked to improve their lot. He had a special focus on young people. He was ahead of his time in focusing on love rather than punishment in formation and education of the young.

He gathered others around him who shared his vision. Central to that was the development of a religious order, the “Salesians”, one of the largest if not the largest religious order in the world. As well as education and formation of young people they work in publishing and communication.

I have been to Turin a couple of times. Don Bosco’s legacy there takes up about four city blocks. I have encountered his influence from India to central Africa where, again and again, I met people who were named Bosco.

A psychologist might have a field day that my primary ministry, for fifteen years now, has been with young people; I have a strong interest in laterally thinking about ways to draw people to God; and a passion for communication.

Compassionate God,
you called Juan Bosco to be a teacher and father to the young:
Fill us with love like his,
that we may give ourselves completely to your service and to the salvation of all;
through your Son Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

[Collect from Holy Women Holy Men, The Episcopal Church]

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18 Responses to Saint John Bosco

  1. Ignatz says:

    When I went to a Salesian camp, a daily feature was one of the brothers reading a passage from the Life of Don Bosco. I was awed by the stories. I still am.

  2. Good to see, Bosco, that you are walking in the footsteps of St.John Bosco in your chaplaincy and work at Christ’s College here in Aotearoa/N.Z.

    Congratulations on your name-day. Keep the Faith!

  3. Blessings and congratulations on your name day, Bosco. We read stories about the good St John Bosco in elementary school.

    June

  4. TheraP says:

    Psychologist checking in:

    You are in great mental health! You have positive reasons for connecting your interests to your name, including the fact that your parents gave it to you (along with your genes and your upbringing).

    We all have reasons why we do the work we do. And mostly those reasons are very positive ones!

    Happy Name Day! Blessings upon you and the work you do.

    • Bosco Peters says:

      Thanks, TheraP. And I feel so relieved :-) Blessings [To others reading this: as you know, I expect people to use your ordinary name here. There are one or two exceptions where I know the person and, for reasons I am aware of, it is appropriate they use a pseudonym here.]

  5. Regarding pseudonyms, here; I suppose there is a danger that ‘Thera P’ could cover the identity of a lisping Sarah Palin. But I guess not. She probably wouldn’t have accessed Bosco’s site. Agape, all.

  6. Marnie Barrell says:

    The Ignatius Press facebook page has links to a film about St John Bosco. They’ve got a pretty fair lookalike for the saint, but the one clip from it shows that it’s all dubbed in English and the script seems unimpressive.

  7. Silvia says:

    Rev. Peters, would you know if there are homeschooling curricula based on the works of St. John Bosco? I am homeschooling my 3 boys (we live in the Vicariate of Arabia) and I try to school them according to his principals, but curriculum materials would be a god-send!
    Thanks

    • Bosco Peters says:

      What a fascinating question, Silvia. I suspect the best way would be to find some quality Salesian websites and contact them with your question. If you do find out, you might consider adding it back here as a comment for others who come with the same interesting question. Blessings.

    • Melo says:

      Hello! Try sdb.org–the Salesians’ oficial website. Take care. God bless you!

  8. Melo says:

    Thanks for this article about Don Bosco.
    I am a Salesian working here in Pakistan.And I am glad to have come across your blog.
    Happy feast day to you! Blessings!

    SDB.org is our official site.

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Rev. Bosco Peters Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.