I was born on the day dedicated to Mary Assumed into Heaven in 1815 in Murialdo near Castelnuovo d’Asti. My mother’s name was Margaret Occhiena and she was from Capriglio; my father’s name was Francis.
They were farmers who made their living by hard work and thrifty use of what little they had. My good father, almost entirely by the sweat of his brow, supported my grandmother, in her seventies and a prey to frequent illnesses; three youngsters; and a pair of farm helpers. Of the three children, the oldest was Anthony, born of his first wife; the second was Joseph; and the youngest was me, John.

Sac. Giovanni Bosco – “Memoirs of the Oratory of Saint Francis de Sales “

Listen to the audio-guide told by Fr. Egidio Deiana’s story about the little home (italian language)”casetta

1815. The Birth

On August 16th, St. Giovanni Bosco was born in Becchi (Morialdo village of Castelnuovo d’Asti), in the Biglione farm where his father worked as a farmer.

1817. The death of dad Francesco

He was not yet two years old and he lost his father who died for a fulminant pneumonia on May 11th. In November, with his mother, his siblings and his grandmother, the Bosco family moved to a little and poor house (“Casetta”) bought by his father. “This is my home,” Fr. Bosco will say. Here he received the precious education of Mamma Margherita; here, at nine, he had the prophetic dream of his future mission (the lawn of the Dream).

1828. In Moncucco with the Moglia

In February, just 12 years old, as young emigrant, he worked in Moncucco for the gentlemen Moglia: twenty months alternating job, reading and prayer. Everybody loved him.

1829. The meeting with Don Calosso

In November, after a sermon heard at the church of Buttigliera, coming back home, he met Fr. Calosso and they bacame friends. The old priest was his first Latin teacher and his spiritual guide. He put all confidence in him but in November 1830 Don Calosso suddenly died.

1830. School in Castelnuovo

After Fr. Calosso’s death, he attended the school in Castelnuovo.

1831. Transfer to Chieri

He moved to Chieri to continue the school. These years were difficult, but wonderful for the brilliant results, for the esteem by teachers and companions and the friendships (the Society of Joy).

1835. The start of the seminar

On October 25th, at the age of twenty, in the parish church of Castelnuovo, he received the ecclesiastical dress and entered in the seminary of Chieri.

1841. Don Bosco!

On June 5th, Giovanni was ordained priest. He is Don Bosco! On December 8th of the same year, feast of the Immaculate Conception, in the church of St. Francesco d’Assisi, in Turin, he providentially met Bartolomeo Garelli, the first young emigrant catechized by him. This is how Don Bosco’s Oratory was born. But for five years, the hundreds of boys who run to him did not have a fixed home. These were the difficult years of the migrant oratory.

1846. The first oratory

On Easter Sunday, the oratory finally had its permanent home: the Pinardi canopy with a little piece of garden in the Valdocco area. On November 3rd, Mamma Margherita followed him in Turin. They began the hospitality of young people in need, and they organized professional workshops and schools. Don Bosco sought and found collaborators, priests and lay people to meet the growing needs of hundreds of teenagers. For the Christian education of the people, he started up a monthly paperback of Catholic Letters.

1854. The arrival of Domenico Savio

On October 2nd, he met Domenico Savio, who arrived at Valdocco on the 29th of the same month.

1856. A mom in the sky!

On November 25th, Mamma Margherita died.

1857. The young Savio dies

On March 9th, Domenico Savio died and Don Bosco wrote a little book about his life.

1859. The Salesians

The Salesian Congregation was founded on December 18th.

1868. The Basilica and ADMA

On June 9th, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians was consecrated, and the following year ADMA, the Association of Mary Help of Christians, was born.

1872. Girls’ education

On August 5th, with St. Maria Domenica Mazzarello, they founded the Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians for the education and training of the girls.

1875. Don Bosco and the missionaries

On November 11th, there was the first expedition of missionaries in Argentina. This is how Don Bosco’s great world adventure began.

1876. Salesian Cooperators

On May 9th, Pius IX recognized the Salesian Cooperators Association.

1877. Missions of FMA

First missionary expedition of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

1881. Mother Mazzarello

On May 14th, Mother Mazzarello died.

1888. The death of Don Bosco

At the dawn of January 31st Don Bosco died.

1929. Blessed and then Saint

On June 2nd, Don Bosco was declared Blessed and in Easter of 1934, April 1st, was proclaimed Saint by Pius XI.

1951. Saint Maria Mazzarello

On June 2st, Saint Maria Mazzarello was proclaimed Saint.

1954. Saint Domenico Savio

On June 12th, Domenico Savio was proclaimed Saint.

1988. The centenary and Laura Vicuña

Pope John Paul II, during his pilgrimage at Colle Don Bosco, that he described as “hill of the Young Beatitudes”, proclaimed Don Bosco “Father and Teacher of Youth” and Blessed the young chilean, Laura Vicuña.

2010. The Pontifical Basilica

Don Bosco’s Temple – formed by two superimposed churches – was proclaimed Pontifical Basilica of San Giovanni Bosco at the meeting of the Salesian Bishops on the occasion of the Celebration of Mary Help of Christians.

2015. The Bicentenary

On August 15th, at Colle don Bosco it was celebrated the Bicentenary of Don Bosco’ s birth.