St. John Bosco

I must confess, up until 2015, I was unaware of the great Saint John Bosco.  I mean, of course I'd heard of him, but never really took the time to read up on him or his works.  I am a little ashamed of that fact simply because I have boys and St. Bosco was a terrific priest who especially loved boys, entertaining them, teaching them and loving them. 

I happened upon his story in a fantastically marvelous way:  reading about him with one of my dearest friends on a train in Italy rocketing us from Rome to Turin.  We were going to see the exposition of the Shroud in 2015 and that ended in an unexpected side trip to the Basilica of Our Lady of Help of Christians.  Not only were we excited to visit this Basilica, we happened upon Mass complete with a children's choir on the 200th anniversary of St. Bosco's birth!  The piece de resistance was praying at his incorrupt body (which I didn't know existed). 

I was in such awe that I didn't have the presence of mind to take a proper picture.

Down the stairs of this Basilica is an artists rendition of a dream St. Bosco had to build the church upon that very sight; there is a cornerstone inlaid with gold to mark the spot along with over 6,000 other saint relics.  It was simply incredible and a very holy place.

I lit a candle right there, as I did in many other churches along the way, for the intention of my sweet boys at home.  In my journal, I wrote "I know I didn't know what I was asking for, but I asked anyway, that I was open to God to use me to call anyone, my children, my family, EVERYONE! I felt it and know it that I am in for a world of trouble."

I find it not surprising that St. John Bosco imprinted in my heart that day.  He welcomed children, especially orphaned and troubled boys, street urchins as they were called.  He played with them, laughed with them, taught them, entertained them and through it all, helped them to see their true dignity, leading many of them to the Church. 

He is still calling souls to The Church, especially men to the priesthood.  I am confident that he called my boys that day through my prayers, of which I was brave enough to ask for even though I understood clearly that I was in for it (spiritually, of course). I am weak, but God fills any gaps I may have with His Grace and Mercy, Knowledge, Wisdom and Truth. 

I trust St. Bosco, one of my beloved Saints I have grown to know, and entrust my sons to his intercession right alongside St. Dominic Savio who was taught by St. Bosco. 

Happy feast day today.  I hope to one day thank you in person. 



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