The Salesians of Don Bosco in the World
When Don Bosco was a young man, Italy was undergoing great political, religious and social turmoil. It was the time of the Industrial Revolution. Child labour and exploitation of the young was common practice. Don Bosco wanted to establish the Salesians of Don Bosco, a group of Priests, Brothers, Sisters and Lay People who wished to devote their lives to the care and education of young people at risk. He knew that the Government of the day would not allow this. So with gospel shrewdness, he made friends with the Minister of Internal Affairs, Urban Ratazzi, who had written the anti-church laws and showed him how he could get around them and establish his new organisation.
The Salesians of Don Bosco grew fast. Don Bosco opened more High Schools, Trade Schools and Youth Centres throughout Italy. In this way he was able to provided education and care to young people who otherwise would have missed out. France soon appealed for his Salesians .. Then Spain … Germany … Poland … England. In 1875 Don Bosco’s work spread to Argentina. From there they spread to the whole of South America.
Today the Salesians of Don Bosco work in over 108 countries, especially in the developing countries where Trade Skills and Trade Schools are in great demand.
Together with Mary Mazzarello, Don Bosco established the Salesian Sisters, whose works for young people also flourishes in most countries of the world.