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January 31 

Saint of the day:

Saint John Bosco

Patron Saint of apprentices, editors and publishers, school children, magicians, and juvenile delinquents



Saint John Bosco’s Story

John Bosco’s theory of education could well be used in today’s schools. It was a preventive system, rejecting corporal punishment and placing students in surroundings removed from the likelihood of committing sin. He advocated frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. He combined catechetical training and fatherly guidance, seeking to unite the spiritual life with one’s work, study and play.

Encouraged during his youth to become a priest so he could work with young boys, John was ordained in 1841. His service to young people started when he met a poor orphan and instructed him in preparation for receiving Holy Communion. He then gathered young apprentices and taught them catechism.

After serving as chaplain in a hospice for working girls, John opened the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales for boys. Several wealthy and powerful patrons contributed money, enabling him to provide two workshops for the boys, shoemaking and tailoring.

By 1856, the institution had grown to 150 boys and had added a printing press for publication of religious and catechetical pamphlets. His interest in vocational education and publishing justify him as patron of young apprentices and Catholic publishers.

John’s preaching fame spread and by 1850 he had trained his own helpers because of difficulties in retaining young priests. In 1854, he and his followers informally banded together, inspired by Saint Francis de Sales.

With Pope Pius IX’s encouragement, John gathered 17 men and founded the Salesians in 1859. Their activity concentrated on education and mission work. Later, he organized a group of Salesian Sisters to assist girls.










St John Bosco

(d. 1888, Turin, Italy) (Relics: Turin, Italy)

Basilica di Maria Ausiliatrice

(Basilica of Mary Our Helper)

Piazza Maria Ausiliatrice 27

10512 Torino, Italy

*St John Bosco founded the Salesian community at this location and later in 1868 completed this magnificent basilica. Relics of St John Bosco now rest within the chapel dedicated to him on the right side of the nave. Some of his relics are also periodically put on tour throughout the world. Also within this church are the remains of St Dominic Savio, a very saintly youth who studied under St John Bosco.


Churches of Honor in Rome


Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio

(Sacred Heart of Jesus at Castro Pretorio)

Via Marsala 42

Rome, Italy

*This church was built by St John Bosco and finished in 1887. It is located near the Termini Train Station.

*St John Bosco celebrated Mass at the altar in the left transept.

It was at this altar that he profoundly realized that his life had fulfilled the vision of his youth.

*In the museum to the right of the main sanctuary are various relics. One reliquary contains a bone fragment of St John Bosco.

Also upon request one can visit the rooms of St John Bosco.

Basilica of

Our Lady Help of Christians,

Turin, Italy,
Resting place for St. John Bosco



Turin has an obsession for chocolate, and the Bicerin is one of its proudest inventions.

A hot chocolate/coffee drink, Bicerin is a unique drink of Turin, and a must-try for cool evenings.
Three layers of yumminess!

Makes 1 large drink


  • 2 TBSP butter

  • 2 tsp to 1 TBSP cornstarch

  • 2 cup milk

  • 4 TBSP sugar

  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

  • 2 oz espresso, brewed

  • 1 ½ oz Grappa

  • 2 oz whipped cream


  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.

  2. Whisk in cornstarch until combined and melted. If you want the hot chocolate thicker, use the maximum amount of cornstarch.

  3. Add in milk and sugar. Increase the heat gradually to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Mixture will start to thicken.

  4. Once the mixture begins to thicken, turn the heat down to low and add in the chocolate chips. Stir constantly until well melted.

  5. Set aside 


For the whipped cream

  • 1 cup cream

  • 2 TBSP powdered sugar, or to taste

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. To make the whipped cream, combine cream, sugar and vanilla on medium high speed in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.

  2. Whip until soft peaks are formed (be careful not to over-whip!). Set aside.

  3. Pour hot chocolate into a mug, leaving room for the espresso and grappa. Add both then give it a stir.

  4. Top with whipped cream, serve and enjoy!


Typical for Turin is Zabaglione,
an alcoholic type of egg-nog, where the egg is whipped into a foam,

and you basically eat the drink with a spoon.

It’s sweet, a little sticky, and has a strong alcoholic liqueur flavor.


  • 6 egg yolks

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine

  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel

  • Ground cinnamon, TT

  • 1 TBSP Vanilla extract

  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped

  • Strawberries, raspberries, or biscotti


  1. Place egg yolks, and sugar in a large, round-bottomed stainless steel bowl.1 

  2. Add grated lemon peel and a pinch of cinnamon and a drop of vanilla extract to the yolk mixture.

  3. Pour in the Marsala wine. You can use sweet Vermouth as a substitute for the Marsala.

  4. Half-fill a pot with water, bring the water to a simmer and reduce the heat to low.

  5. Set the pan or bowl containing the custard mixture over the water; the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.

  6. Whisk the custard mixture, making sure that the water does not boil.

  7. This ensures that a gentle, even heat thickens the mixture without curdling it.

  8. Whisking traps air in the yolks for a light, fluffy mixture.

  9. 3 Continue whisking for about 10 minutes, until the mixture triples in volume, froths up and becomes pale.

  10. When it reaches the desired consistency, take the container of custard out of the pot.

  11. Slightly thickened, the custard can be used as a sauce. Longer cooking will thicken the custard further,
    giving it the texture of mousse. Continue whisking for a minute or two to prevent the custard from sticking to its container.

  12. Serve the custard while still warm, or, if you want to serve it cool, set it aside for about 15 minutes.

  13. Whisk heavy cream until it forms soft peaks; add the whipped cream to the cooled custard and use a whisk to gently
    fold them together. Reserve some of the whipped cream to serve on top.

  14. Ladle the zabaglione into individual dishes. Serve with whipped cream, berries, and/or cookies such as biscotti.



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