By Christina Hermoso
On Friday, January 31, is the feast day of Saint John Bosco, the well-loved founder of the Salesian Order and revered patron saint of boys, school children, and editors.
The second day of the triduum masses at the Saint John Bosco Parish in Tondo, Manila will be held at 6 p.m. On Sunday, Feb. 2, a community mass will be held in his honor at 8:30 a.m.
At the Saint John Bosco Parish in Makati City, a commemorative mass will be held in honor of their patron on Sunday, February 2, at 5:30 p.m.
Born in the year 1815 in Turin, Italy, Don Bosco was ordained a priest in 1841. He taught poor boys about God, how to live moral lives, and basic livelihood skills. He founded the Salesian Order in 1859 with the purpose of providing education to poor and neglected young boys.
In 1872, together with St. Mary Mazarello, he established the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians to help poor and neglected girls.
Don Bosco died in 1888 and was canonized by Pope Pius XI on April 1, 1934. Over the years, devotion to him became widespread, transforming his major shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin, into a popular tourist spot and pilgrimage site. Many churches and schools in many countries, including the Philippines were named in his honor and memory.
In 2010, the pilgrim relic of Don Bosco was brought to the country as part of a worldwide pilgrimage tour in preparation for his bicentenary of birth which was marked on Aug. 16, 2015.