Feast Day of Saint John Bosco
Today is the feast day of Saint John Bosco, an Italian priest who died in 1888. Unlike many of the saints in the Catholic Church, he lived in a time after cameras where invented, so there are many photographs of him on the Internet and elsewhere. As you can see, from the portrait above, he had a very gentle, kindly face.
Saint John Bosco is noted for a couple of things. He is the founder of the Salesian religious order, originally founded to catechize and help poor youths in Italy. It now has thousands of priests throughout the world, who work as missionaries to spread the Gospel message of Christ. Salesians, as these missionaries are known, are found in Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as North and South America.
This saint was known for his charity. If someone misbehaved, he did not believe in physical punishment, which was popular in those days. Instead, he advocated gentle correction.
Saint John Bosco was also a mystic, which means he had supernatural communications, through a series of dreams, which started when he was just a child. Later, these dreams led him to religious life and helped him persevere in the faith. The dream also helped him guide the students in his care to greater sanctity. He was particularly careful to instruct his students to always choose good companions. Otherwise, they could easily be led down the wrong path.
He is truly a saint for our times. Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Image Credit » http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Don_BoscoII.jpg