Tuesday, January 31, 2006
St. Giovanni Melchior Bosco
Today is the feast day of St John Bosco though his name in Italian is utterly cool. I mean really, having Melchior as a middle name. New advent gives a nice bio of this saint who devoted his life to the education of youth. Founder of the Oratory of St Francis de Sales, St. John Bosco's order includes Salesian fathers, brothers and sisters.
His advice to parents could be well heeded today as he warned them against a misdirected kindness that produced a well trained animal rather than a child whose will had been formed and character tempered. Opposed to harsh methods he was inspired that the way to reach his needy children was "not with blows, but with charity and gentleness must you draw these friends to the path of virtue." St. John Bosco encouraged daily Mass, and frequent Confession.
Tan has an excellent book from which excerpts can be read here. St.John Bosco is the patron of young apprentices and Catholic publishers. Above all he strove for the virtue of his students saying:
Da mihi animos; tolle ceteras or Give me souls, take away the rest.