Carlo Socol – “Don Bosco’s missionary call and China” in “Ricerche storiche salesiane”

This essay explores the evolution of Don Bosco’s missionary vision, particularly his aspirations regarding missions in China, as documented in his Spiritual Testament and other correspondence. Don Bosco’s missionary call is analyzed within the context of his broader mission to serve poor and abandoned youth, tracing the development of his missions from South America to potential endeavors in China.

The essay highlights the pivotal moment of November 11, 1875, when the first Salesian missionary expedition departed for Argentina, marking the beginning of an expansive mission effort. It delves into the motivations behind Don Bosco’s decision-making process, including his responses to invitations and the challenges posed by cultural and linguistic differences in potential mission territories. The narrative underscores the gradual realization and adaptation of Don Bosco’s plans in response to changing circumstances and the necessity of securing financial and institutional support for his missions. Additionally, it explores Don Bosco’s consideration of establishing a Salesian presence in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, alongside his contemplation of missions in Asia, particularly in response to offers from the Holy See. Through an examination of historical documents and scholarly interpretations, the essay illuminates the complexities and intricacies of Don Bosco’s missionary vision and its manifestation in the real world.



  • Preamble
  1. The missionary call of Don Bosco
  2. Negotiations with Timoleone Raimondi for a house in Hong Kong (1873-1874)
  3. China in Don Bosco’s dreams, anxieties and words
  4. Epilogue and conclusions

Reference time period: 1875 – 1900

C. Socol, “Don Bosco’s missionary call and China” in «Ricerche storiche salesiane», 25 (2006) 2, 215-294.

Reference institution:
Istituto Storico Salesiano
Istituto Storico Salesiano

Comments are closed.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑