Saint John Bosco, popularly known as Don Bosco, was born at Becchi, in Piedmont, Italy on August 16, 1815. At a very young age, he felt inspired to work with the poor and abandoned boys, educating them with total dedication and personal involvement in their lives and problems. He envisaged a unique educational philosophy, the preventive system of education, founded on Reason, Religion and Loving Kindness. He dedicated his whole life to the young as a caring father, with the sole purpose of making them ‘good Christians and honest citizens’. His legacy is today carried on by the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDBs).

The Preventive System

Don Bosco’s Method of Education a method that changed the world for better. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has; Reason, Religion, Loving Kindness.

Faith and Don Bosco

The Consistent Faith of Don Bosco in Divine Providence elevates him from the Scrubby Stone Cottage to becoming the Cheerful Companion of Millions of Youth.

Don Bosco the Dreamer

One cannot understand Don Bosco without understanding his dreams. Here is a quick reference to those who would like to read more in detail any one of the dreams of Don Bosco

Mercy in Don Bosco

Don Bosco considered God as the God of Mercy and constantly encouraged people, especially sinners, to have recourse to themercy of God.

Quick Links

Abbreviation S.D.B.
Motto Da mihi Animas cætera tolle (“Give me souls, take away the rest”)
Formation 18 December 1859
Founder St. John Bosco
Type Clerical Religious Congregation (Clerical religious institute of pontifical right)
Purpose Dedicated to do apostolic works
Membership (2014)
15,298 (14,731 without novices and bishops)
Rector Major
Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime
Formerly called
Society of St Francis of Sales


The Salesian Coat of Arms was designed by Professor Boidi. It was published for the first time in a circular letter of Don Bosco on 8 December 1885. It consist of a shining star, the large anchor, the heart on fire symbolize the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity; The figure of St. Francis de Sales recalls the Patron of the Society; The small wood in the lower part reminds us of the Founder of the society; the high mountains signify the heights of perfection towards which members strive; The interwoven palm and laurel that enfold the shield either side are emblematic of the prize reserved for a virtuous and sacrificial life. The motto Da mihi animas, caetera tolle is present at its bottom.


The logo of the Salesians of Don Bosco is made up of two superimposed images: in the background a stylised “S” (Salesians) in white is formed within a sphere like a globe marked to the right and left by two cuttings between the hills/dunes. The second image is in the centre of the globe bridging the “S” road. This is an arrow pointing upwards resting on three perpendicular legs on top of which are three closed circles making a stylised image of three people: the first of these in the middle and taller than the others is the point of the arrow, and the other two beside it appear as it were to be embraced by the central figure. The three stylised figures with the arrow pointing upwards can also be viewed as a simple dwelling with a sloping roof and with pillars holding it up (the bodies of the three people).


The Rector Major of the Salesians (also known as successor of Don Bosco) is the head of all institutes of the Salesians of Don Bosco worldwide. It is the title of a Catholic priest that is elected as the general superior of the religious institute Salesians of Don Bosco. He is also considered the successor of Saint John Bosco in the top guidance of his Salesian Order. The first general superior of the order was Don Bosco himself from 1874, the year that the order was officially created and its Salesian Constitutions approved by the Holy See, until his death in 1888.

Since then, the Salesians have elected their Superior in the General Chapter. Between 1888 and 2014 there have been ten successors of Don Bosco, seven of them of Italian nationality, one Argentine, one Mexican and one Spaniard. Following the Salesian tradition from their Italian origin, the Rector Major is addressed as Don (Father).

Then the Salesians have the Rector Major as the “superior of the Salesian Society” who is the “successor of Don Bosco, the father and center of unity of the Salesian Family” (Art. 126). The functions and responsibilities of the Rector Major are described in the chapter dedicated to the service of authority in the world community of the Salesians.

  • Don Bosco

    “Without confidence and love, there can be no true education. If you want to be loved…you must love yourselves, and make your children feel that you love them.”

  • Don Bosco

    “Act today in such a way that you need not blush tomorrow.”

“I will not offer to the Lord my God sacrifices that have cost me nothing.”
— 2 Samuel 24:24