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About Don Bosco
The Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) founded by Don Bosco in 1864 are today contributing to educating youth in institutions across 173 nations. Numbering 17555, the members of the Salesian Family profess to be "signs and bearers of God's love to the young."

John Melchior Bosco was born into a family of poor farmers on August 16, 1815 at Becchi, a hamlet near Turin, Italy. He lost his father at the tender age of two and so his mother, Margaret, took on the task of bringing up her three children with love, discipline and great courage.

A dream at the age of nine, left an indelible stamp. A beautiful lady, Mary, the Mother of Jesus appeared to him and said. "Not with blows, but with loving kindness!" And as she spoke the wild beasts in his dream became gentle lambs. John interpreted this as a divine command to work for poor and abandoned urchins.

The long years that followed were filled with an amazing enthusiasm to make that dream come true. It began with studies for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest in 1841. Everywhere he looked he saw young people - unemployed, sad, roaming the streets... He made up his mind: "At all costs, I must stop boys from ending up here." One December day in 1841, Bartholomew Garelli, a migrant from a village called Asti, entered the church to seek warmth from the biting cold. Three days later he had around him nine urchins, a month later twenty-five, that grew to eighty. And by the summer of 1842 he had over 300 boys.

Meanwhile, the boys who frequented Don Bosco's club began to accept him as their father and guide. Some expressed their desire to become like him. And so, the Salesian Society, comprising priests and lay brothers, was born. (The word 'Salesian' is from the name of the patron, St. Francis de Sales, a saint much admired by Don Bosco for his kindness and gentleness).

In the early hours of January 31, 1888, Don Bosco breathed his last. The greatest gift he left posterity is his unique method of education. One that was inspired by his one magnificent obsession: "It is enough to know that you are young and abandoned for me to love you."

More than a century after his death, thousands of Salesians continue to spread learning combined with love, inspired and motivated by his life
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