St. John Bosco

Friends in Christ, today is the feast of St. John Bosco. When John Bosco was nine years old, he had a dream: the Lord asked him to lead young children to become good – to be friends of Jesus Christ. He eventually became a priest, and as a priest, he started a school for boys; he soon had 900 boys there. He trained them in their lessons and in the Holy Faith, and also they were trained to become expert tailors, shoe repairers, cooks, printers, carpenters, locksmiths, and farmers.
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Children loved to speak to John Bosco, he was a fun teacher; he knew magic tricks and could do acrobatics. He was always telling jokes and laughing. Even when he was 53 years old, he could out-race the boys.
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St. John wrote some books that became best-sellers, one of them was called ‘The Smart Boy.’
His school could take the most rotten boys, and make them into virtuous young men. He said: there is no such boy, that cannot be loved. “trust a boy even if he does not merit it, then you make him trustworthy! he said. ‘And even if he is not lovable, love him; then he will become lovable.’
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The Prime Minister of England once visited his oratory and asked how he could be so successful with delinquents when civil institutions could not. “Your Excellency he said, the means that we have are not available to you: Frequent confession, Holy Communion, and the Sacrifice of the Mass.’
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Now an interesting thing about St. John Bosco, is that whenever he got into any danger, a huge, gray, dog named Grigio would show up to help him. He never knew where Grigio came from, he would just suddenly show up. Whenever he walked through a dangerous part of town, especially at night, the huge dog Grigio would appear, and walk alongside of him.
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Once, two suspicious men were following St. John; suddenly, they threw a cloak over his head and tied him; he called for help, and suddenly with a terrific howl, Grigio appeared and rushed upon the men. He forced them into the mud, and growling furiously; ‘Call off your dog!’ they yelled. ‘if you let me be’ – yes, anything! ‘Come Grigio, said Don Bosco, and the dog obeyed.
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Another time, a man came out of the woods with a stick, and then a whole group of men with clubs came out to attack him; suddenly appeared Grigio, running around and around his master, showing his teeth and growling, and he drove those bad men away.
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As powerful a protector this dog was, he also loved children. Once Grigio was in the playroom, and all the boys of the school gathered around him, pulling his ears, petting him, and the little ones rode around on his back. No one knows where Grigio came from, but he may have been sent by God to protect St. John Bosco.
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St. John Bosco wanted children to love God with all their heart, and to be very good. He is the patron saint of boys, of students, and of schoolchildren.

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