Wallace Leon Cornell – Biographies of students, Michael Magone & Francis Besucco

This passage discusses a book containing biographies of three students of the Oratory, highlighting their significance as gold mines of principles and goals that guided Don Bosco in spiritual direction, particularly for the youth.The book includes the lives of Michael Magone and Francis Besucco, complementing Don Bosco’s first work on the biography of St. Dominic Savio. Fr. Albert Caviglia emphasizes how Dominic Savio’s formation reflects the basics of Don Bosco’s spiritual principles. Don Bosco, focusing on the heart rather than the head, presented these simple yet rich lives of young boys. The text encourages prayerful and close reading to learn principles considered basic by Don Bosco, understand how Christians can live their vocation, and observe how even young boys can become apostles. Each chapter concludes with considerations drawn from Don Bosco’s words, offering insights for personal spiritual growth and the spiritual direction of others, especially the youth.


  • 1850 (March 1): Francis is born at Argentera.
  • 1858 (September): First Holy Communion. 
  • 1862: Reads the lives of Savio and Magone and expresses the desire to go to the Oratory.
  • 1863 (August 2): Enters the Oratory.
  • 1864 (January 9): Death at the Oratory.
  • (July-August): First sketch of his life appears in the Catholic Readings.
  • 1877: A second and revised edition of his life written by Don Bosco.

Reference time period: 1842 – 1877

J. Bosco, Biographies of students, Michael Magone & Francis Besucco, Salesiana Publishers, New York, 2008.

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