John Bosco (in Italian Giovanni Bosco) (born in I Becchi, August 16, 1815 - † Turin, January 31, 1888) was an Italian Catholic priest, educator and writer of the 19th century. He founded the Salesian Congregation, the Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the Association of Salesian Cooperators, the Salesian Bulletin and the Salesian Oratory. He promoted the Association of Salesian Past Pupils, the development of a modern system of education known as the Preventive System for the formation of children and young people and he founded educational works to the service of the poorest youth, especially in Europe and Latin America. He was the nearest priest to the pontificate of Pius IX. At the same time, he got to keep the unity of the Church during the difficult years of the unification of the Italian State, the lost of the Pontifical States and the formation of the Kingdom of Italy (1870 - 1946). He was the author of several books, all dedicated to the education of youth and the defense of the Catholic Faith and he is considered one of the main promoters of the press in his century.
His dedication to the young people, especially the poorest, gained him the respect of civil and religious authorities of his time inside his country and abroad. His works were required directly by chiefs of states and ecclesiastic authorities of the countries like Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, France, England, Poland, Palestine, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia, among many others. Even if he could not answer to the many request during his life, his legacy would reach most countries after his death.
He was a visionary of his time to the point to Don Bosco's Predictions to be happened during the 20th century in what they refer to the Church, his Salesians and the world. John Bosco, known widely as Don Bosco, was declared Saint by Pope Pious XI on April 1, 1934, just 46 years after his death in 1888. He was given the title "Father, Teacher and Friend of the Youth" by Pope John Paul II. Places, provinces, parks, streets, theaters, museums, universities and especially schools have his name. The Salesian Family is one of the largest Catholic group of the world with presence in 130 nations.
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