John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815, to a poor
farming family in Becchi, a small suburb of Turin,
Italy. The child grew to be the "Beloved Apostle of
Youth". One of John Bosco's earliest recollections
occurred at age two. He remembers his mother telling
him upon his father's death , "You have no father
now". Although he stated that he could not remember
what his father was like , his death must have had a
profound effect on him and perhaps sparked his desire
to help troubled boys, many of whom were fatherless.
I cannot say that I have suffered the loss of a close
family member and can only imagine the effect it could
have on my life.
From the time he was a young child, John Bosco seemed
to have a clear understanding of God's ways; and what
he didn't understand was often made clear to him by
his mother "Mama Margaret". She seemed to know, even
at an early age, that her son was destined to do good
in the name of God. She taught him by example from an
early age and continued to support him and all his
good works throughout his life. She eventually joined
him at he Oratory and became "Mother" to hundreds of
boys. Her positive influence was felt by all of those
boys. It was almost as if the Blessed Mother worked
through her good example and words of wisdom.
Mama Margaret warned her son to "beware of bad boys
you may meet on your journey through life". and asked
him one day, "Why do you go with such bad boys?"
How many mothers have echoed similar words? How
confident John Bosco was in the power of his good
example when he replied, "If I am with them they are
better and do not say bad words". Wouldn't this world
be a better place if we all had such confidence and
faith in the power our own good example.
As a young child, John Bosco had the ability to
attract young boys. He went out of his way to study
"traveling show" folk to learn acrobatic and sleight
of hand tricks to entertain the boys who would...
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