John Bosco was born of poor parents near Castelnuovo in the diocese of Turin in 1815. His early years were difficult years as his father died when he was about two years old, leaving his mother, Margaret, to support three boys. John’s early years were spent as a shepherd and he received his first instruction at the hands of the parish priest. He possessed a ready wit, a retentive memory, and as years passed his appetite for study grew stronger. Owing to the poverty of the home, however, he was often obliged to turn from his books to the field, but the desire of what he had to give up never left him. In 1835 he entered the seminary at Chieri and after six years of study was ordained priest on the eve of Trinity Sunday by Archbishop Franzoni of Turin. Once ordained, he dedicated himself to the education of the young. He founded the Salesian Order, named after St Francis de Sales, and, with the help of St Mary Mazzarello, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. He composed pamphlets for the support and defense of religion. He died on 31 Jan 1888. Pius X declared him Venerable on 21 July 1907. Pius XI beatified him in 1929 and canonised him in 1934.