John Bosco was born in 1815 and grew up in a small farming area called il Becchi, in Northern Italy. His father Francis died when John was only two years old. Don Bosco was ordained to the priesthood in 1841 in Turin, Italy, where he began his ministry to youth. He invited some of the young people who frequented his youth center, called the Oratory, to join him in his work. From these humble beginnings came the religious community of men dedicated to youth ministry and education. Today the Salesians serve in over 120 countries and number 17, 000 members, the second largest community of men in the Catholic Church.