As an editor, I depend on many resources in my work: dictionaries, style guides, the internet, and even a saint or two! When challenges arise, I am happy to be able to call on the patron saint of my profession, St. John Bosco, to help me through a challenge.

Don (Father) Bosco (1815–1888) of Italy was born more than 200 years ago, but his work lives on around the world. His efforts to educate homeless and orphaned boys in the city of Turin flourished: over time, he built a large institution (“the oratory”) that included a grammar school, a technical school and a church. His approach was one of kindness, religion and reason.

He co-founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales, which was rooted in the spirituality and philosophy of that saint. His own legacy lives on in the Society, now known as the Salesians of Don Bosco, whose nearly 15,000 members serve in 132 countries. As their website notes, their mission remains “to evangelize and educate young people, especially those who are poor and at risk in the style of Don Bosco.”

With St. Mary Mazzarello, he co-founded the Salesian Sisters (Daughters of Mary Help of Christians), whose mission is also teaching young people, especially the poor. More than 13,000 sisters are working in 94 countries today.

An inspired educator, Don Bosco had some good lines that can guide those wishing to live the Christian life:

“Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.”

“Be slow to pass judgment.”

“Accept what the day brings.”

“We do not go to Holy Communion because we are good; we go to become good.”

“Without confidence and love, there can be no true education.”

“Serve the Lord joyfully!”

He wears many hats as patron saint, serving not only editors but Catholic publishers as well as apprentices, schoolchildren, magicians and juvenile delinquents.

St. John Bosco, pray for us!

Anne Louise Mahoney, Managing Editor, Novalis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *