Our “saint of the month” for January is St. John Bosco (feast day: January 31). I’ve grown to have quite an affection for this man who was such an amazing inspiration for youth in his time. In reading more and more about him, I’ve started to look to him for a lot of our homeschooling philosophy too. I love quotes like these:
“Without confidence and love, there can be no true education.”
“The teacher who is seen only in the classroom and nowhere else, is a teacher and nothing more; but let him go with his boys to recreation and he becomes a brother.”
“Frequent Communion and daily Mass are the two pillars of education.”
“[I have] always tried to enlighten the mind while ennobling the heart.”
“Do you want to do a good deed? Teach the young!
Do you want to perform a holy act? Teach the young!
Do you want to do a holy thing? Teach the young!
Truly, now and for the future, among holy things, this is the holiest.”
But I digress. This is my blog; I’m allowed to digress. Anyway, we picked up a small book at our parish library to read about Don Bosco this month and I was happily surprised at its digestibility. See, I’m due any day now with my 6th baby (pray for me!!!) and this is currently one or our “low tide” seasons in homeschooling. Latin lessons are on hold. Formal science is out. It’s very basic morning basket time, and then individual math work and copywork. Maybe a cool Loch Ness Monster documentary in the afternoon… but frankly this is all I have energy for right now. Real life will hopefully fill in the gaps but for now, we are busy tidying the home, running errands, readying the nest and resting aching joints to get ready for this babe. You can expect a winter slowdown on this blog too.
So, like I said, I was happy to not have to devote hours and hours to a biography on Don Bosco. He isn’t exactly the St. Francis of Assisi to the picture book world either so I was happy to find a little, colorful 65 page story about him from Paulist Media.
Saint John Bosco : The friend of children and young people tells the story from his childhood on up to his death and is both enjoyable and thorough in the process. You could read it in one sitting, but we have chosen to make it a two-day read, stopping halfway about when he enters adulthood. The pictures are engaging enough and so far it is holding the attention of my 4-11 year olds… quite a span!
Here are some pictures of the inside of the book to give you an idea of what to expect.