The youngsters and the Oratory

The friendship with youngsters, the education and the approaching to the Church

Influenced by the news concerning don Giovanni Cocchi, who some years before him tried to gather the poor youngsters of Turin in the Oratory, Giovanni Bosco decided to go out the streets of his town and observe the degree of degradation of the youngsters of that time.
Together with don Cafasso he began visiting also the prisons and was horrified because of the degradation, in which the youngsters with age from 12 to 18 years old lived, nibbled by the insects and able to only one little loaf of bread.

After a first moment of suspicion, the prisoners decided to get closer to the priest, telling him about their lives and pains. Don Bosco knew that those youngsters would have ruined their lives without a guide and made them promise, that once they leave from prison, they would join him in the Saint Francis Church. Don Bosco decided to gather all poor youngsters of the area, from the small chimney sweeper to the ex-detainees. In this period the fundamental characters of his future educational activity became stronger: the friendship with the youngsters, the education and the approaching to the Church.

Together with the young brothers Buzzetti, with Bartolomeo Garelli and some other youngsters he created the Oratory of Don Bosco. In a short time it was so popular that the young priest asked three young priests: don Carpano, don Ponte, don Trivero for help.

On 12 April 1846, the day of Easter, finally Don Bosco found a place for his youngsters, a shed with a lawn: the shed Pinardi in the Valdocco quarter. In 1854 Don Bosco created the Salesian Society, by which he ensured the stability of his work and his spirit also for the future.
Ten years later he laid the foundation stone of the Shrine of Mary, help of Christians. In 1872 together with Saint Mary Dominique Mazzarello, he founded the Institute “Daughter of Mary, Help of Christians”, with the aim of educating the girls with the same spirit.

Il Cammino di Don Bosco è un progetto di
Città metropolitana di Torino e Strade di colori e sapori