Wednesday and Thursday,
January 31 and February 1

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

      First Reading: Hebrews 12: 4-7, 11-15
      Psalm: Psalm 103: 1-2, 13-14, 17-18
      Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 1-6

Feast of Saint John Bosco, Mystical and Charismatic Priest, Religious Educator and Founder

        Born on the feast of the Assumption just outside Turin, Italy in 1815, Saint John Bosco or Dom Bosco grew to become the "Apostle of the youth." By showing love and care for the young, he was able to shape thousands of lives. Raised by a very pious mother, John, in his own youth, had a dream vision of boys cursing, fighting, punching and cajoling others to do the same. In this dream he was told to show these youths the evils of sin and the beauty of virtue. Our Blessed Mother appeared to him, placing her hands on John. This was a sign he was to be a priest. He paid his own way through school and the seminary, working as a baker, a tailor, a farmer, shoemaker and carpenter. Ordained in 1841, his grandiose dreams to help the young seemed to take a detour when he was assigned to the ghettos of Turin. Undaunted, he worked tirelessly using the talents he had acquired moonlighting throughout his seminary training. Those talents paid off in recruiting a number of priests which led to forming the Religious Society of Salesians, thus named for their patron Saint Francis de Sales whose feast we celebrated a week ago. It was not easy for John. His life was threatened often, but his faith in God pulled his new Order and this dedicated saint through the rough times. In 1859 Pope Pius IX gave general approval for the Salesians. His fame as an educator spread across the continent and over the seas to America. John Bosco became on of the greatest pioneers of modern vocational education. He was totally devoted to the Pope and demanded the same of his brother priests and the youth they taught. When he died on January 31, 1888 at the age of 73 in Turin he he was responsible for over 800 Salesian priests with over sixty Salesian foundations established as well as the Daughters of Our Lady, Help of Christians which he founded in 1872 in order to provide for the poor and neglected young girls. On Easter Sunday in 1934 Pope Pius XI canonized this crusader of vocations.

Thursday, February 1, 2001

      First Reading: Hebrews 12: 18-19, 21-24
      Psalm: Psalm 48: 2-4, 9-11
      Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 7-13

January 31, 2001
volume 12, no. 31

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