A commemorative postage stamp on the Death Centenary of Saint Giovanni Bosco (John Bosco), an Italian Roman Catholic priest :
Issued on Jan 31, 1989
Description of Designs : The stamp is designed by India Security Press, Nasik Road, based on a design obtained from DBYA – India. The first day cover is designed by Sankha Samanta and cancellation by Alka Sharma.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Single Colour
Denomination : 60 Paise
Overall size : 4.06 x 2.73 cms.
Printing size : 3.71 x 2.38 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported unwatermarked adhesive gravure coated stamp paper
Number Printed : 20,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printed : India Security Press
Name : Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco
Born on Aug 16, 1815 at Castelnuovo Don Bosco, Italy
Died on Jan 31, 1888 at Turin, Italy
- John Bosco was born on 16th August, 1815, to Francis Bosco and Margaret Bosco in the little hamlet of Becchi, near the industrial city of Turin, Italy. Losing his father when he was just three years old, he grew up in poverty and hardship, unable to attend a regular school. As he grew up, his own poverty and under-privileged position made him identify himself increasingly with other boys like him.
- He was ordained a priest on 5th June, 1841. He disregarded all offers of comfort and opted to share his life with the poor street urchins of Turin. His work took him into the streets, factories and prisons where he encountered neglected youth and young delinquents.
- The beginnings were hard, with no place to shelter and work but this did not deter Don Bosco. Gradually help began to trickle in. He obtained a small plot of land outside Turin at Valdocco. The small shed which he put up here was the nucleus of the present institutions. Valdocco in course of time became a town where his boys could learn a trade of their choice, acquire a sound education and move into the world with confidence. At the centre of this complex Don Bosco built a shrine to Mother Mary.
- Many of his own boys opted to share his mission. Thus was born the religious society of Don Bosco, called the Salesian Society in 1859. In 1872 a similar society for women called the Salesian Sisters was formed to look after poor girls. Don Bosco organised his lay collaborators into a Salesian family.
- Don Bosco died on 31st January, 1888 at Valdocco, having lived a life wholly dedicated to his boys.
- His vision and spirit have continued to flourish and grow. Today there were 36000 Salesians and Salesian sisters working in over 100 countries, more so in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and South America. The first group of Salesians came to India in 1906. By 1989, there were also over 2,500 Salesians and Salesian Sisters working in India in about 300 communities.
- Text: Fr. Joseph Kezhakkekara s.d.b., Don Bosco Youth Animation – India.