January 31, St. John Bosco
His approach to the education of young boys was revolutionary.As parents, we can all learn from his method: Reason, Religion, and Kindness.
Collect: O God, who raised up the Priest Saint John Bosco as a father and teacher of the young, grant we pray, that, aflame with the same fire of love, we may seek out souls and serve you alone. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Support a mission: The Salesians still help children around the world today.Look at their work and see if you’d be interested in supporting them.www.salesianmissions.org
Movie: We enjoyed watching the movie, St. John Bosco, Mission to Love. (2004) Maybe it could be borrowed from your parish, or it can be purchased at Ignatius.com.It is also available on Youtube pretty good quality in 20 parts.Just search for it
Juggle: Get some scarves or beanbags and learn how to juggle.(We got juggling balls from the dollar store.) Watch a video or 2 from the computer on Youtube to get you started.
Share his story. Short biography quoted from Catholic-forum.com:St. John Bosco was born in Piedmont, Italy in the year 1815. He was raised in a Catholic family but was too young ever to know his father who died when John was only two years old. John's mother raised four children and taught them the importance of their faith.
At the age of four, John began to do small jobs to earn money to support the household. As a child, John's favorite pastime was going to fairs and carnivals and watching the jugglers, tumblers and magicians. When he returned home, he practiced their tricks until he had mastered them, and then he would go on the street and perform asking only prayers as payment. From his childhood, St. John Bosco had a great desire to become a priest and help young boys who like him were not afforded all the pleasures in life. He worked hard so he could afford to leave his family and attend school. Eventually John entered the seminary. He excelled in his studies and served as a model to other seminarians on how to live a holy life of happiness. At the age of 26, John was ordained to the priesthood and set out to take his message to the world.
St. John began his ministry to the young by first forming catechism classes that met after Sunday Mass. At these classes he would offer schooling in the faith for free and he soon had a group of over 400 children to teach. St. John's enthusiasm and emphasis on teaching boys drew ridicule from some of his peers who did not see its value, but John saw the need to train the future of the Church and allow their youthful energy to be put to work for the greater glory of God. John's catechism school grew into a full-fledged school where boys could receive an education, learn a trade, and love Jesus. As much ridicule that John received, he also received assistance in the form of money and he also began to attract followers to his ideals. With the encouragement of Pope Pius IX, John gathered 17 men together into a community and founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales in 1859. This society is better known as the Salesians and concentrates on education and missionary work, especially aiming at the needs of the young. St. John Bosco died in 1888 after spending his whole life working for youth and is the patron of editors