Don Bosco

Pope Paul VI

Don Bosco in the august word of the Popes

By the Salesian Press Office
of the Directorate General for Works Don Bosco Turin


Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in Sotto il Monte (Bergamo) on 25 November 1881. He was ordained a priest in Rome on 10 August 1904; consecrated bishop on March 19, 1925; Patriarch of Venice January 15, 1953. He was elected Pope October 28, 1958. He called the Vatican II Ecumenical Council. He died on June 3, 1963.
John XXIII was pleased several times to recall that as a boy he read Don Bosco's Catholic Readings, "the first and most effective complement to his religious and civil formation"; who, still a child, learned of the death of Don Bosco from the Salesian Bulletin, which came to his house; that the image of Mary Help of Christians, taken from an issue of the Salesian Bulletin, hung on the wall near her bed. The new temple of San Giovanni Bosco in the Appio district (1959) was solemnly inaugurated in Rome.

In five years of his Pontificate he elected the third Salesian Cardinal (Raul Henriquez Silva, 1962) and 12 Bishops (Salesians 21.500).


Domenico Savio, warning symbol of educational art (April 24, 1955)
School of Saints (January 30, 1957)
To the Social Works "Don Bosco" (March 29, 1958)
How Don Bosco worked in the Church (February 21, 1960)
Today is a day of hope! (April 21, 1960)
Don Bosco knew how to "bring out" the complete man from the boy (January 31, 1961)
Don Bosco and the Salesian formula (January 31, 1962).
Opening Symposium of the Psycho-Clinical Institute in Arese (May 29, 1962)
Young people, love the Church! (January 31, 1963)
The Salesian Society a great thing in world Catholic life (May 21, 1965)
The Children of Don Bosco (June 2, 1965)
The blessing of the Holy Father for the 150th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco (June 30, 1965)


In the liturgical feast of St. John Bosco, His Holiness John XXIII was pleased to celebrate Mass for the employees of the Vatican Printing Houses, gathered in the Consistory Hall.
(January 31, 1959)
1. The exhortation of simple virtues. - 2. Memories of childhood. - 3. What made Don Bosco great. - 4. The souls: the great anxiety of Don Bosco. - 5. Help of Christians: mystical name.

1. The circumstances and the sacred Liturgy present us with numerous Johns. The text of the Evangelist which closes the divine Sacrifice had been read for a few moments; the Holy Mass was that of St. John Bosco; in the lessons of the Breviary there is the comment made by another great John, the Chrysostom, to the passage of the Gospel of St. Matthew, whose meditation is proposed by the Church on January 31st. In fact, in the homily of the great Constantinopolitan Bishop the bright background is explained from which, many centuries later, the exalted figure of St. John Bosco would have emerged.

In the reported tract of the Gospel the dominant motive is the smallness of the child placed near Jesus, and on which the divine words descend: talium est enim regnum coelorum. Now the great Father of the Church dwells on this episode with profound eloquence. What is the ordinary judgment of the world? If a human being - it proclaims - is not endowed with special qualities, it must be eliminated. The child, as long as he remains, is completely useless.

The Lord instead - the Chrysostom notes - speaks very differently. From the humble, the little ones, Jesus takes effective images to consider true greatness; indeed, with it he will put forward salvation: If you do not convert and become like the little ones, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
We therefore have the exaltation of the simple virtues, of humble and meek things, considered as those that constitute the true
wealth also on earth, and, one can add, the true glory of Christianity.

Beautiful harmony! For the feast of St. John Bosco, his praise, that is the exaltation of the doctrine from which Don Bosco took inspiration and vigor for all his work, is made by St. John Chrysostom. May the humble Successor of so many John be allowed to pay homage to the memory of the dear Saint.

2. The August Pontiff retains a precise memory among the many of his childhood. He was seven years old when, on a festive morning, after he had already served Holy Mass, he saw the participation with which Don Michele Rua gave the news of the arrival in the house of one of the first Salesian Cooperators, where he was. death of the Founder. Little Roncalli had already read the Salesian Bulletin; but now he remembers that, from that day on, he saw more and more the reverence for Don Bosco and the esteem for his work, which was already so prosperous, despite having had very modest beginnings. There is therefore no wonder that the Lord chooses some other poor and humble priest, and gives him what is necessary to carry out even grave tasks. This miracle, which at other times took place, assumes such a singular prominence with St. John Bosco, and an aspect so penetrating as to enliven the building of the Christian people and to arouse the interest of the contemporary world. From that letter of Don Rua, in fact, a wonderful literature was opened in all languages, which does not cease to praise the son of Mamma Margaret, in whom the spark of the Lord's grace was able to bring a simple, good and innocent nature to to arouse such enterprises, which still amaze humanity. Following the example of the Founder, his religious children continue his spirit and works, trusting in the Most Holy Trinity, in the Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, and in St. Francis de Sales, who gave the thought, the impetus, the heavenly inspiration to the entire Family of St. John Bosco.

The Johns are many and the Salesians compete with them: they are in fact numerous, great, powerful, of the power of good and of the apostolate; of that power which, precisely because it is clothed with grace, follows the highest aims, which are the education of the people of our age, at the service of God and enthusiasm for souls.

  1. During Holy Mass, in the oremus in honor of the Saint of the day is the invocation to look for souls, to serve you alone. The August

Pontiff said he was pleased to have accepted the filial invitation to celebrate the divine Sacrifice in that House, which is of great councils, of great relationships, of great events; but which becomes precious before God both for the simple souls who carry the spirit of Don Bosco there, and for those who work memorable enterprises in the face of the world. In one and in the other there will be success, if there is something of the supernal virtue of which is accompanied by the grace of the Lord.

The Holy Father added that if what had happened three months ago had not happened, today he would have gone to the great church of San Giorgio in Venice, which still manages to give the heartbeats and thrills that art and history therein have accumulated. All that remains is to follow the ways indicated by Providence. However, the two truths and aspirations remain the same: to strive for the good of souls and to try to serve God alone.

His Holiness was pleased to see before Him those who cooperate, even with their daily work, in the defense and construction of truth; which is a tribute to what can be more solid for the basis of the social order, for something that is also a guarantee of the perpetuity of grace. This in fact assists men, especially when they let themselves be led by it in the works of the apostolate.

It is therefore necessary to continue to understand today's teaching. If we do not become and remain as small as children, that is to say: if we do not continue in the worship of what made Saint John Bosco great, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven; while we have secured it, if we keep the Saint's tradition and we will do it honor.

Consequently: simplicity, purity, innocence of life; the commandments of the Lord; and observed and applied with that covering of grace and in a good manner by Don Bosco indicated; a true cult of simplicity, always sincerity, at all costs; and, at the same time, the opening, like flowers of spring, to the dew of grace.

  1. Then, animas quaerere. It is, in reality, the programmatic motto of St. John Bosco, as it was already read in the first years of the Salesian Bulletin, where it was written: Da mihi animas, caetera tolle. It really constitutes the expression, the discriminating point of what was his great and immense activity: animas! animas! Not the construction of cities, palaces, other buildings, considered in their materiality: but everything in the service of the triumph of truth; of the triumph of Christ, of His name, of His law in souls; of the triumph of true Christian civilization.

In summary: love of the blessed inspiration of simplicity, never to be detached from the Gospel, so as not to forget the great comment of St. John Chrysostom; and then fire lit in our heart. The humble laymen can likewise adapt themselves to the heights of the great apostles. Even in work, in the use of one's intelligence, in daily toil, even if it concerns modest things, everything becomes sublime, if looked at by the Angels of the Lord; for which our life will be worthy of blessing.

If then in everyone's life there is also what the relationship of social coexistence is: a family, children, it is always necessary to keep faith, always to look respectfully at the remembered principles, and never blush to possess them, to practice them, to make them triumph .

5. His Holiness invoked what he had said, and the intentions of the devout listeners, the protection of Mary Most Holy Help of Christians, who at that time saw in the grandeur of his altar at the Basilica of Valdocco, glorious, with the mark of his royalty, surrounded by the Saints Peter and Paul and the main witnesses of his help spread here below. It is provident to always resort to so many Mother who, with an intervention, of which there is no equal, with his presence in the individual houses, will be a pledge of peace, of joy, of love, of perfect conformity to the will of the Lord. Mary Help of Christians! This wonderful name seems to widen the wings of its own protection; and while it adorns the work that all the sons of Don Bosco continue to do throughout the world, it constitutes, for those who cooperate in this apostolate, an extraordinary element of peace and is a perennial encouragement to the good.

With these thoughts, of great heart, desiring to all his listeners the Holy Father, in the name of the Holy Trinity, in the name of Mary our Mother, so beloved and exalted by St. John Bosco, proceeded to impart the Apostolic Blessing.


Letter of His Holiness John XXIII to Don Renato Ziggiotti on the occasion of the consecration of the new temple in honor of San Giovanni Bosco erected in Rome.
(P April 1959)
Beloved son,
the consecration of the temple, dedicated to St. John Bosco in this alma City, and the coming to Rome, in this circumstance, of his venerated remains, offer us the grateful opportunity of addressing our great comforting word to the great Salesian Family. And we do it with lively complacency, and with intimate emotion of the soul. We are pleased, in fact, to point out the significance of this double event: a Shrine is consecrated to the great apostle of youth, precisely in this Rome which was so dear to him, and in which he wanted to leave precious memories of his piety; and on that occasion he, more than a hundred years after his first coming, no longer returns in the modest simplicity with which he loved to hide his person, but accompanied by universal veneration.

We are therefore grateful to find in these next events a confirmation of the providential disposition, which closely embraced the Piedmontese Saint and his incipient work in this City, as the seat of the Successor of Peter. Indeed, one cannot fully understand the spirit that always animated St. John Bosco, if one forgets his very special devotion to the Roman Chair. On the other hand, Our glorious Predecessors revealed to him a paternal esteem and a deep trust: Pius IX, in fact, encouraged him to found his Society, and Leo XIII entrusted him with the erection of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

That little seed, then thrown by a humble priest on the word of the Supreme Shepherd of the Church, had to grow and develop into a grandiose tree, which has now extended its hospitable branches to all regions of the earth, wherever there are souls to be saved. So that the return of Don Bosco to Rome, on the occasion of the consecration of the majestic Shrine dedicated to him, takes on the value of a new, splendid episode of his love for the eternal City, and also a tribute of gratitude to his towards him.

Therefore we deeply delight with you, beloved son, and with the whole Salesian Family. But another reason makes Our satisfaction more complete: in fact, we know that around the new temple there are grandiose school buildings and oratories, modernly equipped, to house and form the large male and female youth of the large tuscan suburb. A new field of action therefore opens to the sons of Don Bosco; nor could a more opportune means be found to make the spiritual presence of the Father and Teacher of youth more sensitive, we would almost say, in that area which will be named by him.

We therefore trust that fruitful fruits of good will mature from these new works, and from the joint efforts of so many educators, filled with the gentle and strong spirit of the Holy Founder. The youthful energies of mind and heart must in fact be wisely cultivated, today as always, so that they can develop in a serene harmony of science and virtue: this highest purpose cannot be achieved without the genuine Christian spirit, the only one that forms man in the its completeness, and which ensures the durable good of individuals and society. The work of Don Bosco is permeated by this spirit, and the fruits collected so far are the luminous proof that the Lord has largely blessed it. Let us therefore continue with faith, with dedication, with love in this holy educational mission, from which the Church and civil society so much promise for future generations; let us continue to instil in the minds of young people, threatened by so many dangers, those great ideals wisely insinuated by Don Bosco - the Eucharist, Our Lady, the Pope - that alone can guard the great treasures that they contain, and shape them for future duties ; and the new enterprises that are being inaugurated are a continuous stimulus to ever more ardent love for souls.

With these paternal vows, let us raise Our prayer to the Lord, so that he may profusely fruitful the works, started with so much zeal; and confirming the heavenly outpourings of grace, we warmly impart to you, to your Co-workers, to the Religious and Religious of the Salesian Family, to the Cooperators and to all the faithful of the new Parish, our propitiatory Apostolic Blessing.

From the Apostolic Palace, 10 April 1959, I of Our Pontificate.



Address of His Holiness John XXIII in Piazza San Giovanni Bosco to the immense multitude gathered there to venerate the sacred remains of the Saint, transferred to Rome on the occasion of the consecration of the temple dedicated to him.
(May 3, 1959)
1. A show worthy of Rome. - 2. The young, standing with their enthusiasm, next to the Pope. - 3. The powerful and generous hymn of fidelity to Jesus - 4. Christ is present in innocence. - 5. A blessing in the name of Mary Help of Christians. - 6. Every believer, a collaborator of the Saints.

  1. In addressing his fatherly greeting and exhortations to all the dear children present, the Holy Father noted, first of all, that the spectacle they offered was worthy of a poem. In Rome, in reality, everything takes on huge proportions; but here: the new manifestation of peripheral Rome, which surrounds the ancient Urbe, was also particularly solemn. Although he wanted to recall the events of past history, he certainly had never been able to contemplate anything similar in such kind of fervent meetings.

The first impression that the Father of souls had received in coming to the new Temple was that of youth: and immediately, by contrast, he had thought about the past times. When he was a little boy, one day he heard the news that Don Giovanni Bosco had died in Turin. On the other hand, in those very years rumors were often heard that the Church was about to end; and the good old men shook their heads exclaiming: poor world, poor Italy, our poor countries! And what will become of these boys who come up, with all the work - and it was a very bad job - that is done to spoil them, pervert them, distract them from the tradition of the fathers?

  1. The answer comes - continued Your Holiness - from your Pontiff. He can talk to you after traveling around the world e

after having lived several years and with experiences much greater than those of those who feared a very sad future. The current meeting was significant and eloquent. On the one hand the young: standing with their enthusiasm, rejoicing in front of the grandiose church dedicated to St. John Bosco; on the other hand, indeed beside them, the Bishop of Rome, the Pope of the universal Church, who reaps their cry of faith and promise: we are here, we are there! We young people of today have received the holy tradition of the fathers and we do not intend to renounce them. It is we who proclaim that we believe in Christ; to say that, next to Him, there is his Mother, always also our Mother; to reconfirm that the stones of the Decalogue are not broken. Certainly someone behaving otherwise, wants to ignore them: worse for him, poor man !: we will see, however, to help him. But the holy law is there, unshakable; the Gospel always remains the eternal book; in our tabernacles the Heart of Jesus always pulsates; from our altars the Madonna watches over mothers, on young brides, on the young, on innocence, on the virginity that blooms; on the missionaries, whose apostolate continuously extends and is inflamed. We are not, therefore, on the land of the dead, but on the land of the living, fervently alive!
His Holiness always thanks the Lord for this comfort: it is also a great encouragement for the whole journey ahead.

  1. Often the priests read something in the Breviary that makes one shudder. There is talk of those who, by renouncing God, rejecting God, believe they can find some peace here. No: it is written that the wicked will have no peace. They may have some success, but this is a poor thing. We must call them back, pity them, we must have patience with them too: explain to them why they will never be able to have peace. True peace dwells in the soul of the righteous and of those who hold themselves together with Christ, who always remains the triumphant. It may seem, sometimes, here or there, buried, but surely the thrill of the tomb that opens up reappears: and the victory of the Risen One is inevitable.

A few moments before it was echoed in the vast square and in the spacious street facing the canticle Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat! It is our song; a hymn without pride, without aversions, but powerful, generous, since it synthesizes the marvelous progress of the sweet and gentle empire of Jesus in the world.

We are close to Don Bosco - the August Pontiff continued to the one who raised up immortal enterprises: and he was a poor son of the people. His Holiness knew him by virtue of the Christian upbringing that was given him in the family, in the various pages read about life and works: he immediately realized how it was the grace of the Lord to accomplish so many wonders, and how it is the beginning of elevations and bearer of true and vast genuine peace, because it is made of charity.

  1. Moving on to other confidences, the Holy Father, while renewing his gratitude for the welcome received, for the joy he procured for the heart of the one who represents the whole Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, for the comfort of knowing how many souls grow more and more their fidelity and their commitment, he wanted to repeat how he is shy of the thunderous manifestations and feels mortified, while he must resign himself to the acts of the loving love of his children. But there is a spectacle that touches his heart, when he passes among the multitudes - and they follow each other in the Basilica and in St. Peter's Square and in the audiences, and also elsewhere: in Fatima he once found himself before an immense reception of half a million people -; and it is when he sees the fathers raise up their children to receive a special blessing. This indicates the security that everything goes and will go well and for the best; since Christ is present alongside innocence, he is the divine 'animator of individuals and families, he assists and encourages us in the days of trial and sadness.
  2. To return to the solemnity of that hour, the August Pontiff wanted to greet, in a singular way, the Salesians, very zealous and dearest priests, who, teaching, writing, manufacturing, resorting to so many meritorious activities in every part of the world, carry out the program of their Holy Founder. Leaving the Vatican Basilica a little earlier, where he had decreed the honors of the altars to a heroic, very great Blessed, His Holiness thought of what the Salesians would have reserved for him. Well, it is a new happy implementation, a new vibrant touch of faith, of profound and active religiosity, which arouses the most joyful and well founded hopes.

At this point the Pope announced His Blessing. He intended to give it by invoking the Mother of God, as the Salesians always invoke her, with the sweetest name of Mary Help of Christians - the beautiful title taken from the Litany, and with so much opportunity, from Don Bosco -, at the same time, invoking the intercession of the same Saint and of another exalted Protector, Saint Pius X, who was a great friend of Don Bosco, and around whom, on the occasion of the journey of the Sacred remains from Rome to Venice, there were wonderful demonstrations of devout homage and ardent enthusiasm in the city that was so dear to him. There is, therefore, as an understanding between heaven and earth. It reaffirms the excellence of all our intentions, expressed almost for the sake of our lives, the tranquility of our days, the solidity of our trust, in the sure announcement that, beyond time and our eyes, there is a paradise, an eternal joy that awaits us all.

  1. After the benevolent announcement, all those present were invited to pray for the Pope, so that his grave task may be supported by the help of the Lord. We are close to Pentecost. We know what happened on that day, after the descent of the Holy Spirit. A sudden, magnificent exuberance of the nascent Church, through the work of the Apostles, especially of St. Peter, who had overcome uncertainties and weaknesses, at some time so acute as to make him deny the Lord. But the sincere repentance was immediate: and his was, on the day of Pentecost, the first public affirmation that to Christ we owe honor, glory, love and blessing for all the centuries.

St. Peter continues to implore special graces for His Successors. To St. Peter and to the great saints just invoked, to all the other heavenly districts the persevering plea of ​​all the redeemed. With this thought the Holy Father wanted to seal the unforgettable conversation. It is, in a word, a reality that is entirely specific to the Catholic Church. Every believer is called to be a collaborator of the Saints with prayer and Christian life; and it is his commitment and it will be his merit to be ever more worthy of so much honor. This is the primary memory of the memorable meeting of faith and peace.

The following day, May 4, 1959, the Holy Father sent to the Rector Major, Fr Ziggiotti, this telegram signed by himself.
With senses of profound satisfaction we address a moved and grateful thought to the beloved Sons of the Salesian Family and to all those, praying and applauding, who joined us in the solemn rite celebrated at the Urn venerated Spoglie San Giovanni Bosco in the new temple dedicated to him in Alma , which was so dear to him in which he left such precious memories of pity and zeal.

To the expression of paternal satisfaction we join the fervent hope that these days of homage devoted to the glorious Holy Incline and of intense religious fervor will be fruitful of edifying spiritual fruits in souls, while we renew to you, your collaborators, the Religious and Religious of the worthy Salesian Society, to the Cooperators, to all the faithful of the new Parish, the propitiatory and comforting Our Apostolic Blessing.



Speech of His Holiness John XXIII in St. Peter's Square at the Sacred College, the Episcopate and an immense multitude of the faithful, in the solemn epilogue of the Roman celebrations in honor of St. Pius X and St. John Bosco.
(11 May 1959)
1. A show of moving joy. - 2. Saint Pius X: all a glorification of pastoral tasks. - 3. Don Bosco: the priest of youth and of the Pope. - 4. Here they are these friends of God.

  1. The show that this evening offers itself for contemplation of Our eyes fills our hearts with profound and moving exultation. The great square of the Basilica of San Pietro, which for centuries has opened its marble arms to the salute of the praying and pilgrim crowds, inviting them to recollection and to prayer, receives in this evening the two glorious saints, so dear to the heart of Christian multitudes: Saint Pius X, Roman Pontiff, and Saint John Bosco, Apostle of Youth.

The space, enclosed by Bernini's mighty colonnade, is transmuted in this hour as in a solemn temple, in an altar of prayer and praise. The venerated remains of the Holy Pontiff return, after a month, of what we would like to call the last pastoral visit in the Patriarchate which one day was his; and in happy coincidence of events, they meet with the mortal remains of St. John Bosco, who, carried by the piety of his sons in the church recently dedicated to him in the Tuscolan quarter, is about to return to his Turin.

With deep satisfaction of the soul, and also with the personal participation of the word, of the writing and of the presence, we followed day by day the two solemn manifestations, which so much fervor and so much devotion have aroused in the echo spread all over the world: Venerable Brothers and beloved children, you allow that in the final moment, which approaches in so singular signification
and amiable the two luminous models of sanctity of our times, we have to point out the spiritual value of today's circumstance.

  1. As far as Pius X is concerned, this evening's edifying scene is in all worthy of the first pages of the Divine Book; worthy of being compared to that forty-ninth chief of Genesis, where it is said that the sons of Jacob accompanied for the definitive deposition the body of their Patriarch to the double tomb, which Abraham had made for himself and for his own in the land of Canaan, in field of Efron Eteo, in the face of Mambre (Gen. 49, 29-30).

Not unlike the sons of Venice, to whom by distinct sign of affection we had granted the great favor, and great honor, of transferring for a short time to the Lagoons the holy remains of Pope Pius X, already their distinguished Patriarch, before the glorious Pontiff of Universal Church, as if to help it fulfill its ancient promise, here they are now ready, in perfect fidelity, for the return of the sacred pledge, because, re-established in St. Peter's Basilica, a survival of intercession continues for those who invoke it, and of edification and gladness for all the Christian people.

But what greatness, what a triumph in this posthumous pilgrimage of the ancient Patriarch to his good Venetian people: what spiritual exaltation on his passage at the doors of the main cities, arranged along his journey from Venice to Rome: and here in Rome, how cordial devoutly enthusiastic and enthusiastic, so as to make us repeat several times: Mirabilis Deus in sanctis suis! (Ps. 67, 36).

Indeed, nothing has been lacking on the solemnity of this return and this reception: first of all, the crowd is not only «not modest», but very impressive; and the patient or pawing currus et equites, as all modern forms of transport were put into action, to make it more rapid and solemn.

This was a great blessing for the Venetian people, and for the Italic people: a most efficacious apostolate of truth, religious piety and peace!
The survey, in addition to succeeding in deep satisfaction with Our spirit, opens our hearts to the most happy hopes.

The lives of the saints that the Lord has the goodness to give from one point to another to his Church, portrays very much from the various configuration of places, times and men, among which these privileged and generous beings lived and multiplied the preying virtues and the good examples of which the spiritual patrimony of a strong and Christian people is enriched.

It is for this reason, venerable Brothers and beloved children, that by thanking God for the immense riches, multiplied by this passage of the Sacred Remains of a Holy Pontiff, We welcome them in their return to the Urbs, and we recompose them with moved reverence, here where they will continue to be the object of veneration by pilgrims from all over the world.

Some of the most illustrious saints in the Church of God are sometimes reserved for exceptional tasks that extend over the centuries. Each saint then has his providential mission to accomplish, he has his own physiognomy, which leaves a particular imprint in his time, and which sometimes extends also in the material and temporal order.

Pius X is all a glorification of pastoral tasks; and to observe minutely the eleven years of his government as Pope Supreme, we can deduce such a multiplicity and fullness of wise provisions for the internal structure of the ecclesiastical administration, for the reinvigoration of the religious piety of the clergy and the people, for the exercise of charity and pastoral ministry, to fill the soul with admiration and wonder. He could well apply to him as a distinguished, vigilant and incomparable shepherd, the trinomial in which another of his most distant ancestors, in more difficult and bitter times than ours, summed up the Holy Church, which he wanted it, and in part the 'obtained: that is: "free, caste, catholica".
And here it is now, the Holy Pius X, like the ancient Patriarch Jacob, in the face of Mambre, in possessionem sepulcri, and forever: here he is in the presence of his people, of this his gens sancta, of this regal sacerdotium, of this populus acquisitionis; thus St. Peter called him to remind the precepts of the Lord, like the dying Patriarch to his exiled children in a foreign land.

He is here: and his voice, which comes from the bosom of God, reminds all Christians of the right path to follow: the exact appreciation that must be made of earthly things, that is, not in view simply and exclusively of material prosperity , but in the preparation, for each man, of his return to the House of the Father, for which we were all created, and marked in front of the divine seal of grace.

O glorious Pope our Pius! Here we are in front of your tomb, at your altar, in the ritual of restoring oneself in the serene and beneficial peace of the gods
Saints of the Lord. The Princes of the Holy Church, resident in the City, form the Sacred College of the People. Cardinals: and, alongside them, the first and most precious and beloved collaborators of the ecclesiastical government. The distinguished line of prelates is added, Our and their indefatigable cooperators; priests especially consecrated to the service of souls, in different degrees of ecclesiastical parish order: and the vibrant choirs of the new youth, gathered here from every point of the earth to educate themselves in the conquests of the future of the Kingdom of Christ in the Church; and finally the crowd, the most devoted and pious crowd, of the faithful of the Orbe and the Orbe, which an equally noble and powerful fascination of admiration and love attracts towards your protection, Holy Father. Be for everyone, o Santo Pio X, friend, inspirer, intercessor.

  1. Next to Saint Pius X - we already said it - We equally offer an affectionate tribute of veneration and exultation, in admirable unanimity of sentiments and affections, to Saint John Bosco.

A happy combination of meanings prepared his return to the city, a hundred years after his first arrival! The humble priest of the popular quarters of Turin was not unknown, when he first came to Rome.

For the people, Don Bosco was always the priest of the boys, of the young, which is what it is to say the priest, all dedicated to their religious education, to moral education, to training in civic virtues and at work. In this, with wise foresight he saw the future prosperity of the Church and of society, and applied himself with conquering sweetness and firmness.

But for those who knew how to read thoroughly, Don Bosco immediately showed himself, together with his youth, the Pope's priest: the Roman priest, so to say in his city, with a touch of jealousy: "Rome admires you: Turin loves you ». After so many years, in the luminous irradiation of his figure and his Work, one can rightly say, almost correcting the brilliant phrase: "The whole world admires you: the whole world loves you".
Don Bosco is still alive in the enchantment he exercises on youthful souls. In fact, he had the rare ability to gather and understand the aspirations of youth. It is not true that this always wants to overdo it, to impose itself in the light of the doctrine, at the address of good discipline. On the contrary, it wants to be understood, with benevolent intellect, guided with a robust arm, with a sincere word: it wants to find hearts that love it and esteem it, helping it gently and firmly in the search for what is really important in life; in the present life and in the direction towards the future.

This appeared with Our deep satisfaction on the radiant day of Sunday, May 3, when, among the more than one hundred thousand people that surrounded us in the Tuscolano district, most were vibrant youths, who cheered the Pope, and in the Pope the perennial youth of the Church .

Looking back on this magnificent reality, let us repeat to the young the words of Pius IX, who was the Pontiff of the times of Don Bosco: "We are with you". The Papacy, through which Christ rules souls, has its foundation not in the territorial dimensions of a State, but in the expressions of apostolic, charitable missionary activity, in the forms of life in which youth souls are molded for tomorrow.

On this evening of emotion and love, the hymn of gratitude rises to Don Bosco, apostle of youth, and with him to all the founders and leaders of ancient and modern institutions, which deploy their energies in Rome and the world to education of the new generations, with the security of an ever promising dawn of life, activity and Christian perfection.

  1. Venerable Brothers and beloved children! On the threshold of this Basilica, near the tombs of the Apostles, Martyrs, distinguished Doctors, to whom the eyes of the Catholic faithful of the whole world are turned, We feel the prophetic admonition in this hour, in solemn warning and with encouraging encouragement words of the Liturgy: I saw coniunctos viros, habentes splendidczs vestes, et angelus Domini locutus est ad me dicens: isti sunt viri sancti fatti amici Dei.

Here they are these friends of God, after the admirable journey of their earthly existence, during which they met and loved each other: here they are after the wandering of these days from Rome to Venice, from Turin to Rome.

In truth the supplication moves us to the lips moved: Santi tui, Domine, admirable consecuti sunt iter.
The journey of these Saints was accomplished, also in the vote of a meeting of Saint Pius X with his Venetians, and of Saint John Bosco with that population of the City entrusted to the pastoral ministry of his children.

Beloved Sons! As the eyes turn to these glorious urns, so the steps of each of us are prepared to continue the journey towards the fulfillment of the earthly and eternal vocation.

Sancte Pie, now pro nobis: Sancte Joannes, now pro nobis. O Saints of the Lord! pray for the whole Church, which acclaims you and venerates you; to pray because of the constant application of the apostolic work, to the sanctity of custom, to the charity of fraternal and social relations. Pray that good families may multiply, that they give generous and faithful servants to the Church and to society; pray that all men, meditating thoughts of peace, may like to firm conviction that only meek and generous goodness dissolve what is arduous and difficult, strengthens the bonds of brotherhood, conquer hearts, saves families and peoples.


Decree of John XXIII. (October 16, 1959)
On the initiative of some illustrious friends and admirers of the Salesian Work in Colombia, a humble request was presented to the Holy See for Saint John Bosco to be declared "Patron of the young apprentices of Colombia". The Holy Father, nodding kindly, accepted the petition.
Those who, in the height of age, are preparing to exercise an art or a trade in life, rightly venerate and invoke St. John Bosco, the distinguished Master and Father of youth. Our immediate Predecessor Pius XII, eager to increase this devotion ever more, with the Apostolic Letter of January 28, 1958, consecrated all the young apprentices of Italy to the same Patron Saint. Now, also complying with our intimate persuasion, some illustrious personalities of the Republic of Colombia, where the association of young apprentices, called SENA, is officially established, They have given us lively prayer because we declare St. John Bosco the Patron of young people who learn an art or a trade. Very willingly accepting these vows, corroborated by the recommendation of Our Beloved Son Card. Crisanzio Luque, Archbishop of Bogotà, with the favorable opinion of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, of certain science and after mature deliberation, in the fullness of the Apostolic Authority, in force of the present letters, we elect, we declare and confirm in perpetuity St. John Bosco, Confessor, celestial Patron of all the young apprentices of Colombia, who are called los Aprendices Colombianos, with all the honors and privileges that are given to the Patrons of Associations or Orders . Despite any contrary provision. Thus we order and establish, decreeing that this Our Letter is and always remains stable, valid and effective ...

Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, under the Fisherman's ring, on October 16, 1959, I of Our Pontificate.



Pontifical decree. (April 22, 1960)
Particular love and special care, as everyone knows, must be had for those who, in their prime, learn an art, so that their life conforms to true human dignity and to the dictates of religion and piety.

What is especially worrying in our times, in which so many dangerous doctrines are spreading and the enticements of corruption are growing, is that many reduce everything to matter, so that dangers of every kind dominate the souls of adolescents.

Well understood of this and driven by pastoral zeal, the Em. Cardinals and Metropolitan Archbishops, presenting together also the votes of the Clergy and the civil Authorities, prayed to us that for our benevolence we declared St. John Bosco, honored by all father and friend of the young, as heavenly Patron of apprentices and young workers throughout Spain.

We wholeheartedly accepted these prayers, We who deeply venerate this Saint, trusting that under his protection the young people of Spain who learn an art will one day be able to do honor and be useful to the Church and the Nation with their work. Therefore, after hearing the Sacred Congregation of Rites, of a certain science and after mature Our deliberation, with the fullness of Our Apostolic Authority, by virtue of this letter we establish and proclaim in perpetuity St. John Bosco, Confessor, heavenly Patron with all of God the young apprentices of Spain, who are called jóvenes Aprendices Espagoles, with all the honors and liturgical privileges that by right belong to the Patrons of Associations.

Despite anything against it etc.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, under the Fisherman's ring, on April 22, 1960, II of Our Pontificate.



Speech addressed in the courtyard of San Damaso to the very numerous participants in the Salesian Cooperators' pilgrimage to Rome and Pompeii.
(May 31, 1962)
1. Don Bosco's businesses raise enthusiasm. - 2. Cooperators of our ministry. - 3. The laity are largely invited to their place of responsibility.

1. This day so bright at the end of May - Feast of the Ascension - in which Jesus raised himself from the earth to the heavens disappeared from the eyes of his most intimate, he could have been a sad opinion for the hiding of the divine Master, and almost escaping from familiarity with Apostles.

Instead St. Luke takes care to tell us that Jesus took them out of the city, to Bethany, and raised his hands he blessed them, and turned away from them, and they returned to Jerusalem, but in great joy, cum gaudio magno (Lk. 24, 52).

In fact they had reason to rejoice: for the promise of the imminent Holy Spirit; and then because the Mother of Jesus herself remained in good company with them, in common participation of grace and prayer.

With this call to the mystery of the Ascension, we love to introduce ourselves to a greeting and encouragement for you, beloved children of Don Bosco, who have come in large numbers here, in the Father's house, to fill it with so much affection and so much vivacity of faith and desire to do well.

Along Our life The memories and echoes of the Salesian Family have accompanied us, of which this Audience, in the Courtyard of San Damaso, offers very eloquent essay.

At other times we have said it: we have confided it in many meetings. Today the mere nod is enough. The dear image of the Madonna, under the title of Help of Christians, was for many years familiar to Our eyes as a child and as a teenager in the house of Our parents. Don Bosco's exploits - considered in his entirety as a perfect ecclesiastic in the exercise of prayer, personal intimate witness and action - raised such enthusiasm, to make a young man sent to the priesthood, whom we were from the age of fourteen, desire , to emulate the examples.

The booklets of the Salesian Readings, on the opening of Our youth, offered us essays of beautiful writing, as they encouraged everyone to new forms of apostolate.

2. Today the Third Salesian Family - as they like to call it - has come to show its liveliness, of which we love to highlight two aspects: the love of gratitude to the Congregation founded by St. John Bosco, and the honor given to him in in every aspect of Catholic life - in the parish, in the diocese, in the workplace - the examples of the Saint who wanted to be totally devoted to the Church: minister and apostle of his teaching in every field of dogma, of the moral education, of social service.

Cooperators is a high term: in fact, each bishop calls his ministries (Pont. Rom. In Ord. Presb.) His co-workers: co-operators of our ministry.

It is indeed a sacred and meaningful word. It could not be used by applying it only to the contribution, though worthy of gratitude, of a money offer: but it extends to a whole commitment of life, to a constant and generous service.

You mentioned the Council. We could not doubt that you too think of the great event, pray for it, and are willing to do something, even a great deal, when it comes to carrying out what the Council Fathers have deliberated with us.

For our part we have offered Our existence for this purpose. And with Us an endless number of chosen souls. The cooperation of many, noble and holy energies of the teaching Church fills us with a spirit of consolation, because we see that work proceeds with sure start towards the desired goals. And everything gives hope for good, even the respectful expectation of the whole world.

You can certainly cooperate in the success of the Council, and in its application. It is not necessary to say much: but it is enough to think of its aims, considering it from the point of view of pastoral horizons and missionary apostolate, which it wants to open or expand: souls to bring or to bring back to Christ; hearts to be filled with love for the great ideals of Christianity; institutions and enterprises of today's civilization to be consecrated to the triumph of the kingdom of God, in an effort to adapt to the increased needs, so that the essentiality of Christ's message may reach all, uncontaminated and persuasive.

3. In the vast field of pastoral action, which opens in the era of the Council, and will require new formulations after its celebration, the laity are largely invited to take their place of individual and community responsibility, under the amiable guidance of the bishops , and beside and in fraternal understanding with the priests.

After all, the invitation is not of modern times, but always. And this particularly in the assistance and charity sectors; of social action; of the press; the use of leisure time; of various audiovisual techniques and the means of spreading thought. These fields are particularly called to the beloved children of the laity, for their competence and preparation, and for the possibility they have of permeating them with the conviction of faith.

To you you are called, beloved sons and daughters: and the wise organization, in which Salesian cooperation is expressed, offers you opportunities for fervent preparation.

In the light of this vast horizon, It is so welcome to encourage you to be faithful and persistent. Continue your journey joyfully, be aware of the great possibilities you have to do good, work it courageously and peacefully, be the leaven destined to ferment the mass (see Mt. 13, 33).

This word now reaches your souls, directly to each of you, but extends to the whole laity of Catholic action, of the third orders, of the brotherhoods, of the pious unions.

We accompany you all with Our prayer, so that, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Help of Christians, of St. Francis de Sales and of St. John Bosco, and of the luminous constellation of so many other saints who are protectors of the lay apostolate, may you fructify to God with every good and beautiful work. May the implored comforting Apostolic Blessing be a pledge of Our cordial vows.


On January 31, 1960, the Holy Father John XXIII, solemnly concluding the First Synod of Rome in St. Peter's Basilica, gave a luminous Address in which he was pleased to appoint Don Bosco and Mary Help of Christians.
«Today Sunday 31 January is the liturgical commemoration of St. John Bosco. This name is a poem of grace and apostolate: from a small village in Piedmont, it brought the glory and successes of Christ's charity to the most distant borders of the world. To its blessed name the Holy Church associates its fellow saints Giuseppe Cottolengo and Giuseppe Cafasso: and to the call of this triad the memories of innumerable humble priests and great heroes of charity are reawakened that in Italy, in the ancient dioceses, in all nations of "Europe and the world where the Church of Rome extends its pavilions, perpetuating the manifestations of ardent and faithful priestly and pastoral zeal".

Concluding then the Address, His Holiness addressed this devoted invocation to the Mother of God:
«O Mary, Mary, you know how you are acclaimed here Salus populi Romani, and how the humble Bishop of Rome calls you every day and invokes you Regina Apostolorum, Queen Cleri, Auxilium Christianorum, Auxilium Episcoporum. These words are enough to tell you the sweetness of our love for you, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, and to confirm your mercy for us, your most devoted and good children ".


SS GIOVANNI XXIII receiving the participants in the XII Assembly of the Federation Institutes dependent on the Ecclesiastical Authority (FIDAE) recalled the Saints, heroes of the apostolate in the field of education and education of the people, especially Saint John the Baptist de la Salle and Saint John Bosco, and others who have started a consoling flowering of Christian life, now cared for by their spiritual children.
Likewise, the Holy Father, receiving the staff of the Circus "Orfei", who performed in front of him in some numbers, urged the 250 defendants to ensure that the recreational shows that they offer to the public are always moral, and recalled the example of St. Giovanni Bosco who, young man, used fun for his apostolate.
Also speaking to the students of the Collegio Pio Latino Americano and of the Collegio Pio Brasiliano, inviting them to think about the multitude of souls who await salvation from their ministry, the Holy Father affirmed that among the memories of His childhood there was the reading of what Don Bosco he had seen with a prophetic spirit precisely on Latin America: the vast expanses, the dense forests, the boundless horizons immense field for a fruitful apostolate.