The St. Jean-Bosco school in Marlieux had the excellent idea of republishing the book, Un grand éducateur, saint Jean Bosco [A Great Educator, St. John Bosco], by Fr. Augustin Auffray, which is without contest the best biography of this saint in whose life, according to Pius XI, “the supernatural had become almost natural, and the extraordinary, ordinary.”
The director of the Marlieux school, Fr. Ludovic Girod, very fittingly writes on the back cover: “St. John Bosco based his educational method on kindness, joy, a solid piety, and the fulfillment of the duty of state. A relationship of solid trust is established between the adolescent and his educator. He himself directed and led many children towards holiness, the most famous of which was St. Dominic Savio.”
“This eager holiness is none the less authentic. St. John Bosco knew that the essential work is accomplished in the secrecy of the soul through prayer, the sacraments, and penance.”
In his preface to the third edition (1934), Fr. Auffray made a confession: “We know that reading this book has persuaded more than one young man’s or girl’s will, hesitating at the first crossroads of life, to place their feet into the footsteps of the great apostle. We have worked for that, especially for that, we are not trying to hide it, but we had not hoped for so much! Heaven be blessed!”
We can only hope that this exciting life will show to everyone, once again, the topicality of holiness. The only thing that does not wear out.
Père Augustin Auffray, Un grand éducateur, saint Jean Bosco, Editions Saint Pierre-Julien Eymard, 546 pages, 20 €, available at l’Ecole Saint-Jean-Bosco allée des Platanes F-01240 Marlieux.