From a young age, St. John “Don” Bosco began to feel a desire to become a priest. When he was only 9 years old, Don Bosco had a dream which called him to dedicate his life to the education of poor and disadvantaged youth.

Don Bosco followed his calling and was ordained a priest in 1841.In 1859, Don Bosco established the Society of St. Francis of Sales – popularly known as the Salesians.

Don Bosco began to give a place to boys without a home. He taught them to work, and to love the Lord. He sang, played and prayed with them. Thus, Don Bosco developed his famous educational method called the Preventive System. “Be with the boys, prevent sin through reason, religion and loving kindness. Become saints and educators of saints. Our boys must know they are loved.”

St. John “Don” Bosco was canonized in 1934. 100 years after his death, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Don Bosco “The Father and Teacher of Youth.”


The Salesians carry on Don Bosco’s legacy of helping poor and suffering children to live better lives and build brighter futures through education.

Since its humble beginnings, the Salesians have inspired many others to follow the path of Don Bosco. Today, we are 34,000 Priests, Brothers and Sisters located in more than 130 countries around the world. The Salesians of Don Bosco has become the second largest order in the Catholic Church.

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