Several years ago, my second oldest daughter was baptized on the Feast of St. John Bosco. Up until this time, I didn't know much about this saint aside from the fact that he was Italian, he worked with boys, he is the patron saint of youth, and there was a book about some of his dreams. In an effort to teach my children about St. John Bosco and to learn more about him myself, I started to invest in children's books about this wonderful saint. The books that I purchased included Saint John Bosco : The friend of children and young people (this book appears to be out of print) and A Story of St. John Bosco by Brother Ernest, C.S.C. (recently republished by Tan Books & Neumann Press). My parents-in-law gave us Saint John Bosco and Saint Dominic Savio by Catherine Beebe. My children have really enjoyed these books. Bernadette fell in love with St. John Bosco, "even though he is known for his work with boys", due to the latter book.
Last year, I pulled Sunshine in the Shadows: Mama Margaret, Mother of St. John Bosco (out of print) by Peter Lappin off of one of our bookcase shelves and I couldn't put it down. Peter Lappin's retelling of the life of Margaret Bosco and St. John Bosco left an impression on me that gave me a great respect for "Mama Margaret". Pope St. Pius X was absolutely correct when he said, "A vocation comes from the heart of God, but goes through the heart of the mother." Sunshine in the Shadows caused me to want to read more about St. John Bosco. I finally purchased and read Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco: The Apostle of Youth (a book that I have wanted for a long time). I am thankful that I did so. Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco provides a lot of information for parents (and single people) to contemplate. I hope to eventually read parts of this book to my older children. I was truly amazed by St. John Bosco's prophetic and soul-saving dreams. His dreams provide a lot to ponder for both young and old. If you are a parent and have not read Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco: The Apostle of Youth, I highly recommend doing so.
"My sons, now it is up to you to draw your own strenna. Examine your conscience. You will know if you were safe under Mary’s mantle, or if the elephant flung you into the air, or if you were wielding a sword. I can only repeat what the Virgin said: 'Venite ad me omnes' – 'Come all to me'. Turn to her; call on her in any danger. I can assure you that your prayers will be heard."
~ Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco: The Apostle of Youth
The next book that I would like to read about this remarkable saint is St. John Bosco: The Friend of Youth by F.A. Forbes.
St. John Bosco, pray for us!