A friend and educator of youth
St. John Bosco, popularly known as "Don Bosco" - was born of a peasant family on August 16, 1815 at Becchi a small village on the outskirts of Turin, Italy. At the age of two his father died. John, who was to become the father of orphans, became an orphan himself at such a tender age.
Right from his boyhood days, he showed keen interest in poor boys, who for want of a decent home, lived on the streets, loafing around and quarreling. He became their juggier, gymnast and acrobat in order to win them over. Gradually he began to teach them to pray and to show them the way to love God.
Johnny was ordained a priest on June 6, 1841. As a priest he dedicated himself to the service of boys, especially the poor, by offening them food, lodging and education. Through the help of generous persons, he opened technical school, hostels and other institutions. In 1854 he founded a society of collaborators - officially known as the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) - and extended his work in Europe and to other continents. He also founded the institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians officially known as Salesian Sisters (FMA).
Don Bosco was one of the greatest educators of the nineteenth century. He died at the age of 73 on January 31, 1888. He was also declared as the patron saint of the Catholic Church on April 1,1934. He was also declared as the patron saint of artisans, magicians and youth.
The work of this simple priest has grown from a tiny seed into a large tree. The Salesian Society he founded now numbers over 17,000 members working in over 135 countries through 2500 institutions. In India alone, there are over 2000 Salesians serving the educational needs of our children through 400 institutions scattered all over the country.
In 1988, the Govt. of India, recognized Don Bosco as an eminent educator and released a stamp in his honour. The contribution the Salesians have rendered to the people of India is recognized in the 12th plan of the Govt. of India. Bosco tech has been recognized as the second largest (after the Govt. of India) to impart technical and nonformal education in the country. Bosco Tech is the technical educational wing of the organization.