His "terrible twos" were terrible indeed
John would have to work to help support his family while still a boy. The family’s parish priest, however, made sure that John received an education.
It was no surprise, then, that John eventually entered the seminary and still kept working even during his years of study.
During his first assignment, John visited the local prisons and was heartbroken to see so many boys incarcerated, seemingly written off by society. Sometime later, he overheard a sacristan beating a boy off the street who wasn’t capable of serving Mass. He rebuked the sacristan and let the boy go free. The boy came back, bringing other homeless boys with him who needed education, prayer, and kindness. Soon, there were hundreds of them.
Some people thought John was crazy (literally!) but eventually both church and civic leaders saw the value of the work he was doing and supported it. Nearly fifty years after rescuing that first young man, approximately 130,000 children were being cared for by John and his coworkers, in houses dedicated to Mary Help of Christians and St. Francis de Sales.
St. John Bosco, founder of Society of Saint Francis de Sales (who later renamed themselves the Salesians of Don Bosco), died on this very day one hundred and eighteen years ago. He was canonized in 1934.
(adapted from an earlier post)