Michael Rua - Don Bosco

Don Bosco

Not long afterwards, the young Rua met Don John Bosco, a young priest working to improve the lives of the children of the neighborhood, who had just built his Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in Valdocco. When he was about ten years of age, one day Bosco told him: "We two shall share in everything in our lives--sorrows, joys, work." He was among the first few with whom Bosco shared the idea of forming the Salesian Society. In 1852, at the age of 15, he joined Bosco's Oratory to complete his education.

Rua made his first profession in 1855 in the new Society of St. Francis de Sales which Bosco was then forming to carry out his vision; he was its first member. For the next 36 years he was Bosco's closest collaborator in the development of the congregation.

Upon the death of Bosco's mother in November 1856, he brought his mother to live at the Oratory, where she was to live for the next twenty years, as a mother to the young Society. In 1858, he accompanied Bosco to Rome to seek the official authorization of the Society by the Holy See. He served as the first spiritual director of the Society at the age of 22 years (1859), even before his ordination as a priest on the 29 July 1860.

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