Giovanni Bosco grew up fatherless, like many of the boys he later fostered. His father died when he was about two years old, and as soon as he was old enough to work, young Giovanni made a living as a shepherd.
He hungered for learning, and knew very early on that he wanted to be a priest. In 1835, when he was twenty years old, he was able to enter seminary and be ordained.
It was at his first parish that his mission among children began. He often accompanied the pastor of the parish to the dreadful prisons, where he saw many children who had been confined with their parents. Seeing this, Giovanni resolved to devote his life to loving and rescuing children in such conditions.
The path was not an easy one.
When Giovanni Bosco formed a school and oratory for cast-off or impoverished boys, he also founded an order of priests and brothers—the Society of St. Francis de Sales, called the Salesians—to care for and teach them; but he and his ever-increasing band of children often found themselves unwelcome, being forced to relocate the school several times.
Don Bosco (Don is the title for a diocesan priest in Italian), however, was an experienced and determined shepherd. When he and his sheep were refused pasture in one spot, he simply took them to another and better pasture. He relocated his boys until they found the future site of the first successful Salesian house: a shed in a field.
By the time of his passing in 1888, his order had established 250 houses to care for hundreds of thousands of children in Italy.
Don Bosco saw intense poverty in the streets of Italy. He saw the few wealthy, removed and detached from the condition of the poor. In the eyes of many fellow Italians of his time, a government centered on socialism—the idea of no private possessions, only common property—would have sounded like a good idea. After all, wouldn’t such an equal distribution of wealth among all men be more Christian-minded?
Actually, it isn’t. There’s more to this than meets the eye. Do you want the full story?
Acclaimed apologist Trent Horn teamed up with Catherine Pakaluk in their book Can A Catholic Be A Socialist? to show just why socialism is not in line with the Faith. Straightforward and sincere, this book refutes the tantalizing notion of a Christian-based socialist system and presents principles for truly Christian-minded governance. You’ll discover what socialism really is and why it’s actually anti-Christian. Get your copy today!