John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesians

31 January -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Pastors, page 483

Born in 1815 to a peasant family, John Bosco spent most of his life in the Turin area of Italy. He had a particular call to help young men and pioneered new educational methods, for example, in rejecting corporal punishment. His work with homeless youth received the admiration even of anticlerical politicians and his promotion of vocational training, including evening classes and industrial schools, became a pattern for others to follow. To extend the work, he founded in 1859 a religious community, the Pious Society of St Francis de Sales, usually known as the Salesians. It grew rapidly and was well-established in several countries by the time of his death on this day in 1888.