On the 31st of January, we celebrate the memorial of Saint John Bosco, proclaimed the Father and Instructor of the Youth by Pope Saint John Paul II on January 24th, 1989.
Saint John Bosco founded the Society of Salesians. He dedicated all his energy to rescue the boys who had been reduced to the street, using an innovative method of teaching, called the Preventative System, based on love instead of punishment. This system “endeavors to establish in the heart of the youth a holy fear of God, which inspires a love of virtue and horror of vice, which guides and sustains them in the way of good. The youth, put under the protection of loving assistance, are encouraged and when they show signs of forgetting their duties are reminded in a kind way.” (Pedro Ricaldone, Don Bosco Educador, Ed. “Don Bosco”, Buenos Aires 1954, Vol. I. P. 110)
Pope Saint John Paul II said that the method of Don Bosco is focused on the prevention of evil by means of “positive education with valuable suggestions and examples of taking advantage of the inner freedom with which they are endowed, to establish in them relations of authentic familiarity, and to stimulate the native capacities, based on reason, religion and goodness”. (Carta de Juan Pablo II a Don Egidio Vigan Ó, Rector Mayor de la Sociedad Salesiana de San Juan Boscoa. Del 24 de enero de 1989.)
It is this method that is used in the oratories which we have, by the grace of God, in many of the missions entrusted to our Religious Family. Through it, we are striving to help the young people venture out onto the path of virtue, grace, and sanctity.
Don Bosco teaches us to correct always with amiability, as loving fathers. “For the youth we must be disposed to put up with whatever setbacks and weariness. The young people do not just have to be loved, but they must feel that they are loved.” (Saint John Bosco)
We give thanks to God for having given to the Church such a distinguished educator, and we pray for all of those who in one way or another work together for the good of the youth.
Here we share some pictures with you:
St. John Bosco Feast in the Oratory in Luxembourg
Feast St. Don Bosco – Oratory in The Hague