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John Bosco

giovanni melchior Bosco) (1815-1888. Roman Catholic educationist and founder of the Salesian Order. He was born in near poverty at Becchi, Italy, was ordained priest in 1841, and worked in anticlerical Turin where the plight of poor boys in the city led him to pledge his life to them. He especially hoped to prepare some for the priesthood. His persistence overcame many difficulties of finance and accommodation, and his early efforts led to the establishment of night schools and eventually technical schools, workshops, and a church in Turin. In 1859 he founded the Society of St. Francis of Sales (Salesians*), which has now spread all over the world. Reason, kindness, and Christian faith were the basis of his educational philosophy, known as the “preventive” system. “As far as possible avoid punishing,” he said. “Try to gain love before inspiring fear.” He was canonized in 1934.