On the Road to Sainthood - the Salesians of Don Bosco Way

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The road to sainthood is not an easy one.  It is a road that is beset with trials and challenges.  In the Catholic religion, believers are taught to emulate the actions of saints as one way of leading a holy life close to God or at least a semblance of it.

Look Like a Saint
When I received the notice from my children's advisers that both of my children were chosen to be part of their school's Look Like a Saint event, I took it as a blessing.  More than the pride of having children who appeared to pass off a "saintly" look in the view of other people, I felt we were given the golden opportunity to study the lives of people who have successfully made it to sainthood without having to force my children.  With their excitement in being part of the program, the study part was almost effortless.  

The Francis Besucco  and Saint Mary Mazzarello persona adopted by my son and daughter respectively,  for a few hours were indeed revelations.

The Salesians of Don Bosco

The Salesians of Don Bosco is a Roman Catholic religious institute established by Saint John Bosco (Don Bosco) in the later part of the 19th century.  It used to be known as the Society of Saint Francis de Sales. The foundation of its operation is based on works of charity and was originally conceived to serve young children of the industrial revolution who were poor.  The Salesians established its presence in many countries all over the world including the Philippines where it made its mark in the educational system through Don Bosco schools.  

All Salesian schools  follow a system of education that is based on the Preventive System.  This simply means helping the youth before they even get into trouble.  It has to be remembered that Salesians started their work focusing on marginalized young men and women who had the most potential of losing their way.  The order promotes strict order and discipline without the use of physical punishment.  It goes about serving its wards and students with loving kindness, reason, and religion.  The Salesian school system is characterized by an active involvement of the family thus the great support for Parents' Associations in relation to its role of molding the students.

The Salesian Saints of Don Bosco

If there is any legacy that Saint John Bosco has left behind for the world to benefit from, it is the inspiration to strive for holiness in whatever situation a person is in.  Many of his society's followers have been recognized by the Church either as Saints, Blessed, Venerable, or Servants of God.  Two of which are the above mentioned Saint Mary Mazarello and Francis Besucco.

Sainthood is often seen as an impossible goal for many.  In fact, all of those who have been recognized as such did not pursue sainthood as a goal.  Their proclamation was a result of the endless pursuit of holiness and service to others.

Applying Teachings to Everyday Life

Saint John Bosco's motto was :  "Give me souls, take away the rest".  He also advises the youth to " Run, jump, and shout but do not sin".  My children's school also constantly reminds students of the importance of service to others through their motto " I love therefore, I serve".

These words contain simple truths and nothing extraordinarily difficult to understand.  However, application to everyday life may be more difficult.  Here lies the challenge of bringing up children who may not become saints but will be models to look up to in society.

My Say

It is not my goal to raise children who will become saints but it is my intention to bring up my children to become members of society who can readily empathize with the plight of all people in various levels.  Genuine service to others is often forgotten in this highly materialistic world we are now in.  Parents should endeavor to teach their children the value of appreciating people more for who they are.

That said, it will always be a personal struggle to do right for all of us but this should not stop us from trying.  The way offered by the Salesians of Don Bosco is just one of the many which people can follow not necessarily to travel the road to sainthood but rather to become a good human being.

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