St. John Bosco
“You are surrounded by many young people who constantly watch you. Do your utmost to set them on the right path by good example, advice and exhortation.”
Missionary of the Young
Saint John “Don” Bosco truly lived his life for others—especially the poor, downtrodden young men living on the streets of Turin, Italy, near where he was born.
By the mid-19th century, thousands of these boys had traveled from the rural countryside, seeking better opportunities in a newly booming industrial city. But Turin wasn’t ready for them. Inadequate housing options, and a strained social support system, meant that almost as many landed in overcrowded slums—where crime, disease and despair ran rampant. Many youth roamed the streets and were a menace to society with their unruly behavior.
Fortunately, Don Bosco was ready for them! Since the age of nine, when he’d first discerned God’s call to the priesthood, he dreamt of serving youth—and this was his chance. When Turin’s young men lacked positive role models, he offered them loving guidance. When they could not afford to go to school, he provided an education. And when they faced few prospects for long-term employment, he taught them a trade.
In fact, during his remarkable lifetime—which spanned 73 faithful and devoted years—Don Bosco transformed the hopes of thousands of marginalized youth who otherwise would have had none. He gave them the knowledge, skills and confidence they needed to become productive members of society.
He also founded a global order of Catholic priests, brothers and sisters known as the Salesians of Don Bosco. We are thrilled to share our patron saint with Panama, and honored that he has been chosen as one of eight special intercessors for World Youth Day 2019!
Did you know?
Pope Francis enjoys a very special relationship with the Salesians of Don Bosco. Learn more here. You can even read the letter he wrote to our Rector Major, Father Angel Fernandez Artime, commemorating the bicentenary of Don Bosco’s birth.
Salesians of Don Bosco:
In Solidarity with Those on the Margins
Inspired by Don Bosco’s spiritual and pastoral legacy, Salesian religious and lay missionaries act as signs and bearers of God’s love around the world—working to improve the lives, livelihoods and futures of some of the most impoverished children and families.
We Are …
• Nearly 30,000 priests, brothers and sisters working in more than 130 countries worldwide.
• More than 5,500 schools and youth centers with more than 1 million students.
• More than 330 orphanages & shelters for homeless children.
• Nearly 1,000 vocational, pre-professional & training programs.
Learn more about our mission and types of work, here.
Youth Ministry Office
The Salesian Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry furthers the Salesian mission of evangelizing and educating young people, especially the poor and at risk, as modeled through St. John Bosco, by serving those who serve the young. We fulfill this mission by supporting local youth ministry in the St. Philip the Apostle Province; promoting the Salesian Youth Movement; maintaining unity with the Salesian family; and sharing in the beliefs of St. John Bosco.
Get Ready for World Youth Day 2019!
January 22 –27, 2019
To help you spiritually prepare for your pilgrimage to Panama, and ask Don Bosco’s intercession for all your intentions, we’d like to offer you a free, limited-edition prayer card. Be sure to request the card either by mail, or as a digital download, today.*
Request Free Card by MailWhile supplies last!
Download Free Digital Card
Download Free Digital Card
*No Canadian or international shipping available. One card per person – please call our Donor Services Dept at 914-633-8344 to request more cards.