Giovanni Bosco – “Memoirs of the oratory”

Written over several occasions between 1873 and 1875, the manuscript of the Memoirs of the Oratory remained unpublished by Don Bosco’s explicit will. However Fr John Bonetti drew on it abundantly for his History of the Oratory of St Francis de Sales, (which found its way into English under a different title Don Bosco’s Early Apostolate) published as a series in the Salesian Bulletin between 1879 and1886. And Fr John Baptist Lemoyne included it in its entirety in the first volumes of the Biographical Memoirs, adding in other information and anecdotes drawn from other witnesses. The first complete edition of the Memoirs appeared in 1946. The decision to put the book in the public domain in its entirety was motivated by the universal dimension that the Saint has taken on, as Eugene Ceria wrote in the presentation: “Today Don Bosco has become part of history and also been listed among the saints.”

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Giovanni Bosco – Exemplary biographies

The biographical profiles of Louis Comollo (in the 1854 edition), Dominic Savio, Michael Magone and Francis Besucco are among the spiritual and pedagogical documents which are most representative of Don Bosco’s outlook. From these stories comes a horizon of meaning, a way of thinking and acting thoroughly rooted in his cultural context. At the same time however, beyond historical contingencies, they highlight a range of elements which better illustrate the characteristic features of the saint’s spiritual pedagogy.

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Giovanni Bosco – Spiritual formation of the young through preaching, “goodnights” and dream accounts

In Don Bosco’s educational system preaching has special importance, both that which is bound up with the liturgical or catechetical context, and that of the informal, familiar kind. The saint often addressed the community of young people with brief and fervent talks aimed at stirring up their emotions, nurturing their minds, encouraging good resolutions and devout sentiments, and looking ahead to stimulating horizons.

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Giovanni Bosco – Educational experiences in the school and family setting (1855)

The “document that properly begins the representation of Don Bosco’s real experience as an educator is The Sway of a Good Upbringing. Here we find the Director of the Oratory of St Francis de Sales as catechist, counsellor and confidant of young Peter”, even if he “is in the shade and not fully defined.”

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Fabio Attard – Professional formation of the young in salesian youth ministry

The topic of professional formation within the Salesian world is to be read in the light of the early experience of Don Bosco. One will not understand either the vision or the value of Salesian professional training as a whole if one overlooks this fundamental phase which Don Bosco lived and was able to help germinate and blossom.

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Paul Formosa – Historical sketch of the oratory of Don Bosco in Malta

In this article, I will attempt to trace how Don Bosco’s original experience was translated in such a way that his work could be established in Malta – an island country in the Mediterranean with a distinct tradition and culture from that in which the Salesian story first began and developed in Turin, Italy. I will place special emphasis on the Salesian Oratory, Sliema.

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Arthur Lenti – Saint with a human face: Don Bosco in Father Giulio Barberis original chronicle

The Central Salesian Archive contains numerous eyewitness reports of Don Bosco’s words and deeds, particularly in the form of chronicles and memoirs. I drew heavily on these documents for previous articles which saw the light of day in the pages of this Journal. I shall do the same for the present article.

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