John Bosco came from humble beginnings and eventually worked his way to the privilege of receiving an education. He worked at many jobs during his schooling, many of which he would eventually help teach his own students. After ordination he was assigned chaplain to a girls' home and school but became distressed with how many young boys and men were imprisoned on his visits to render pastoral care to the inmates. Determined to do something to prevent juvenile delinquency, he vowed to help boys and young men avoid unemployment, delinquency and imprisonment.
His small community of boys met with much opposition but continued to grow in number and took a major step forward when boys whom Bosco had helped became determined to help him in this unique ministry. In 1859 he founded the Salesians (after Francis de Sales and with great devotion to Our Lady Help of Christians) to continue and promote his ministry.
Local residents complained the boys made too much noise during recreation and his homes were forced to move several times. Political leaders also became alarmed when the numbers of youth grew, fearing a political or military union.
Despite criticism from within and without the the Church, Bosco persisted and religious society continues to this day in nations throughout the world.