Friday 22 October 2021

John Bosco - Jennifer Moorcroft - CTS Great Saints

John Bosco
CTS Great Saints
Jennifer Moorcroft
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860825811
CTS Booklet B719

A few years back I stumbled upon the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I instantly fell in love with the clear and concise writing. I have read over 200 books from the CTS, and be blessed and benefited from each of them. There are many wonderful series. This is the second volume I have read from the pen of Jennifer Moorcroft, but I will be tracking down the rest. I loved the books in the CTS Great Saints Series. I have already read 15 book in this series and had only  read 1 other from Moorcroft. I have also read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series. And have enjoyed all of them. This volume is an excellent read, in a wonderful series! 

The description on the back of the book is:

“The inspiring account of a poor boy from Piedmont who discovered his vocation to look after the street urchins of nineteenth-century Turin, going on to found one of the Church's most famous religious orders for the care of youngsters. Defamed, deemed mad, and shot at, Fr Bosco's complete faith in the Holy Spirit guided him through the greatest obstacles, while nurturing in him his abiding love and respect for children and the poor. Before his death in 1889 many already considered him a saint.”

And the chapters in this little volume are:

Early life
Towards the Priesthood
The Pinardi Shed
Attacks and Persecution
The Miracle Worker of Turin
The Fire Dying Within

Prior to reading this book I had read one other book about Saint John Bosco, Saint John Bosco Champion for the Young by Emily Beata Marsh. That volume was geared for a younger audience and many of the stories and incidents in this volume were omitted. It was fascinating to read this story and find out more about this saint. He faced so much opposition, attempts on his live, being attacked by a group of thugs. And yet he continued to love and serve. Some of the passages I highlighted my first time through this book were 

“The moral, he said, was that we tend to imitate others, for good or for bad. John was very young when he discovered he had just such a gift of influencing others.”

“He was sensitive towards others. There was one boy, from a family as poor as his, who brought coarse black bread to eat. Margaret made good bread for her family so John looked at the other boy’s bread and said he liked the look of it, could they swap? They did so and after that John ate the hard bread.”

“At that time children did not receive Holy Communion until the age of twelve, but the parish priest agreed that he should make his First Communion when he was ten years old.”

“Discovering John’s desire to become a priest Don Calosso took him under his wing and supplemented his meagre schooling with further lessons, especially in Latin, that would better prepare him for the priesthood.”

“Now a priest himself, Don Bosco was always and everywhere open and available to everyone and above all to his boys, whom he treated with the utmost respect, seeing their unique individuality and their potential. He said that the boys should be loved, and know that they were loved.”

“Don Bosco decided to respond in kind and took up his pen to write in defence of the Faith – he became a prolific writer, penning some 700 works of different kinds. For every tract produced by the Waldensians John wrote one in defence.”

“Everyone laughed, but Fr Rau took it to heart. He worked so hard to achieve the fatherliness he so admired in Don Bosco, that he became a faithful replica of the saint. John, in his turn, admired the deep spirituality, the boundless energy and loyalty of his faithful lieutenant.”

“The Eucharist and Our Lady were the twin anchors of Don Bosco’s life, and in this dream he was being shown that they are the twin anchors that will also hold the whole Church steady.”

I hope those few quotes will inspire you to pick up this excellent volume and give it a read. It seems every time I read a book from the Catholic Truth Society I find 2 or three others I want to read. This was one of those. I have an ever growing wish list of eBooks, books in print, and books out of print from the Catholic Truth Society I want to track down. I greatly enjoyed reading this volume. I learned several things about this Saint I was unaware of. This is another excellent read, in a great series. Like the previous volume from Moorcroft this book is very well written, and leaves me wanting to find the others from this author in the series. It is another great volume in the CTS Great Saints Series. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Jennifer Moorcroft:
A Catholic Response to the Jehovah's Witnesses
Saint Therese of Lisieux and Her Sisters 
When Silence Speaks. The Life and Spirituality of Elisabeth Leseur
The Hidden Light: A Life of Saint Dominic
He is My Heaven: The Life of Elizabeth of the Trinity
God Is All Joy: The Life of St. Teresa of the Andes

In the CTS Great Saints Series:

Books in the CTS Great Saints Series:
Antonio Rosmini - J.B. Midgley
Bernard of Clairvaux - J.B. Midgley
Benedict Patron of Europe - J.B. Midgley
Charles Borromeo - J.B. Midgley
Dominic - J.B. Midgley
Elizabeth of the Trinity The Great Carmelite Saint - Jennifer Moorcroft
Francis de Sales - J.B. Midgley
Gemma Galgani Gem of Christ John Paul Kirkham
George: Patron of England - J.B. Midgley
John Baptist de La Salle - J.B. Midgley
John of the Cross - Jennifer Moorcroft
John Vianney - J.B. Midgley
Louis Marie de Montfort His Life, Message and Teaching - Paul Allerton SMM
Martin de Porres - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Patrick Missionary to the Irish - Thomas O’Loughlin 

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