Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Feast of Saint John Bosco!

Saint John Bosco
1815 - 1888

Today we are celebrating the life of Saint John Bosco, a saint who had a special love and ministry for children. He is often called "The Young People's Saint."

Our boys love participating in their monthly Bosco Boys Club meetings, named for this great saint. John Bosco was fun. He juggled, performed magic tricks, and told great stories. In these ways he drew the attention of the children and then he turned their minds and hearts toward God. That is what we try to do with the boys in Bosco Boys Club. We have fun. We direct our fun toward lessons in virtue and holiness. We make friends and we imitate the saints in following God.

See this website for a short summary of Saint John Bosco's life and ministry. Here's an excerpt:

"He asked the young boys to imitate Jesus in everything they did - whether it was work, study or play and told them that God wanted everyone to be saints as He had a great reward waiting for them. His advice to them was, 'Pray when it's time to pray. Study when it's time to study. Play when it's time to play. Show kindness to everyone you meet. But do it all for the love of Jesus.'"

Yes, the kids love Saint John Bosco. But this great saint has much to teach parents as well. His deep love for the children, his tireless work for their welfare, and his creative and brilliant educational strategies can enlighten and inspire us in many ways. I highly recommend this great article by Bert Ghezzi entitled, "Raising Kids for God - 'Don Bosco Style.'" It's a quick read and a good reminder of the heart of our vocation as parents --- loving, disciplining, and forming our children to be the best followers of Jesus that they can be.

We're going to be celebrating Saint John Bosco's feast day by reading  and writing about him. And we've invited some friends to join us for an Italian dinner!

Saint John Bosco, pray for us.

O glorious Saint John Bosco, who in order to lead young people to the feet of the divine Master and to mould them in the light of faith and Christian morality didst heroically sacrifice thyself to the very end of thy life and didst set up a proper religious Institute destined to endure and to bring to the farthest boundaries of the earth thy glorious work, obtain also for us from Our Lord a holy love for young people who are exposed to so many seductions in order that we may generously spend ourselves in supporting them against the snares of the devil, in keeping them safe from the dangers of the world, and in guiding them, pure and holy, in the path that leads to God. Amen.

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