Memorial of St. John Bosco at Mississippi Abbey

St. John Bosco dedicated his life to helping street kids and juvenile delinquents by loving rather than by punishing them.  Where did he receive his wisdom and love of others?

He learned to love and teach from the example of his saintly mother.  Her husband died when John was two years old.  She had to raise three sons and care for an ailing mother-in-law at a time when Italy was suffering famine and great poverty.  By many sacrifices and hard work she provided for their material needs, instructed them, and encouraged John to become a priest. 

After his ordination, when he opened a house for several homeless delinquents, she became their housekeeper and cook at age 65.  She continued taking care of them even when they increased to 150 needy boys!

Here’s a little bit of wisdom that St. John Bosco learned from his mother: “No matter how tasty food is, if poison is mixed in, it may cause the death of the one who eats it.  So it is with conversation.  A single bad word, an unbecoming joke, an inappropriate gesture, is enough to harm someone, and may even cause one to lose God’s grace.”   Here’s another word of wisdom from the life of St. John Bosco: “There are two things the devil is deathly afraid of: fervent Communions and frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament.”