Main article: Don Bosco

John was the last son of Francesco Bosco (1780 - 1817) and Margarita Occhiena (1788 - 1856). They were farmers at Castelnuovo de Asti (Piedmont. Their house was in I Becchi, a county 32 kilometers from Turin.

Francesco was a widower of another Margarita with whom he had a son: Antonio Bosco. He married again with Margarita Occhiena. They had two boys: Giuseppe (1813 - 1862) and Giovanni (John Bosco) (1815 - 1888). At home there was living the mother of Francesco (her name was also Margarita). The Bosco family were servers of the Biglione in I Becchi.

The death of Francesco Edit

On May 11, 1817 Francesco died due to a pneumonia. John was only 21 months age. The responsibility of the family falt on the hands of Margarita.

The fatherless family was going to suffer the poverty and hardships of the time, but little John demonstrated a great will to study and many abilities that made him loved by children, young people and adults.

Difficulties with his brother Antonio Edit

Several sources have shown Antonio Bosco as an opponent to the dream of his youngest brother John. It is usually said that the boy was rude and violent in his confrontation. However, a more modern review is having more considerations:

  1. Antonio lost his mother and his father, therefore, he was an orphan of both parents, less fortunate than John.
  2. When Francesco Bosco, his father, died, he was a teenager, the older and the man of the house.
  3. He was welcome by Margarita, but she was his step mother.
  4. He felt a great responsibility over the family.

These reasons made that Antonio was rather close and hard worker. It is obvious that the intentions of his youngest brother to study found a big opposition from Antonio.

The relations with Antonio became especially difficult when John was 7 years old. The man insisted in study and began to do works by himself in order to get the required money. This would make him to learn new skills that would be useful in his future apostolate with young people from poverty: carpentry, tailoring and cobbling.

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