JOHN BOSCO, PRIEST
John Bosco (1815–88) was the founder of the Society of St. Francis de Sales [ January 24], known as the Salesian order. He is the patron saint of Catholic publishers, editors, and young apprentices. Born near Turin, he was brought up in severe poverty. He was ordained a priest in 1841 and soon thereafter began a lifelong devotion to educating and caring for boys and young men, especially of the working class. He opened workshops to train shoemakers, tailors, printers, bookbinders, and ironworkers, thereby becoming a pioneer in vocational training.
As other priests came to help, the nucleus of a religious community emerged. The Salesians were formally approved in 1884. He died on January 31, 1888, and was canonized on Easter Sunday, 1934, by Pope Pius XI, who, as a young priest, had known Don Bosco. His feast day is on the General Roman Calendar and is also commemorated by the Church of England.