Catholic Education South Australia

Our College Patron


Saint John Bosco

We are a Catholic school in the Salesian Tradition. Our patron of Xavier College is St John Bosco (1815-1888), founder of the Salesian Order.

St John Bosco, or Don (Italian for Father) Bosco as he is more affectionately known, gave his life to working with the abused and neglected young boys and men of Turin and surrounding townships at the height of religious, political and industrial unrest in 19th Century Italy.

Don Bosco’s educational and social welfare endeavours were based on reason, religion and loving kindness and influenced by the life and example of St. Francis de Sales.

At a time when education and society was strictly authoritarian and repressive, Don Bosco created a model of educational practice that was based on preventing the young from making mistakes or placing themselves in harms way as opposed to one that abused or punished severely when a young person had made a poor decision. This was achieved by developing a strong personal relationship and understanding of the life situation of each student and being prepared to give of yourself so that the student knows that you are there to support and pastorally love them.

By the time of Don Bosco’s death, there were 773 Salesians in Europe and South America. Today there are over 17,000 Salesian priests and brothers, 18,000 sisters and tens of thousands of lay people working in every continent continuing the spirit and mission of Don Bosco amongst the young.

Don Bosco was canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI and declared Father and Teacher of Youth by Pope John Paul II in 1989.