St. John Bosco

St. John BoscoFeast Day – January 31

Patron saint of youth and boys

 

John Bosco was born in Italy in 1815 to devout parents.  From the age of 9, John received dreams that revealed God’s will for his life, telling him that he needed to work with neglected boys.  Some dreams involved John Bosco jumping into a crowd of children who were fighting and cursing to stop them – by fighting and cursing himself.  A man in white appeared in the dream putting John in charge of the boys and instructing them to teach them out of gentleness and kindness.  When John resisted, saying that he was only a boy, the man told him that what seems impossible will become possible if he is obedient.  For years, he had these dreams but did not heed their call because of ridicule he received when he told his dreams to his family and friends.  After he became a priest, Pope Pius IX learned of the dreams John had been having and requested that he write down all the dreams to inspire others.

When another dream gave him great hope and encouragement, he shared it with others.  In this dream, Mary led him into a beautiful guardian and down a path strewn with roses.  As he followed Mary, his bare feet became cut and bleeding from the thorns that were on the pathway.  Mary instructed him to put on sturdy shoes but as he continued, the walls of the arbor closed in on him and thorns closed in on all sides.  When he finally passed through to the other side, an even more beautiful garden awaited and all of his wounds were healed by simply a gentle breeze.

John felt that this dream gave his mission meaning, with the roses being charity to the boys and the thorns being distractions and obstacles along the way.  He worked almost exclusively with the boys throughout his priesthood and his dreams gave him hope for their lives.  He worked for those boys until he was 72 years old, upon his death.

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