Saint Joseph of Cafasso, Priest of the Gallows
by Saint John Bosco
Here is the story of Saint John Bosco's spiritual mentor in the priesthood and the man who influenced him to become a priest, told by Saint John Bosco himself. Saint Joseph Cafasso was called the "priest of the Gallows" because he converted so many condemned criminals, often accompanying them all the way to their execution to keep alive in them the grace of final perseverance. Every minute of his life was consumed with the glory of God and the salvation of souls. A single word from him--a look, a smile, a gesture, his very presence - sufficed to dispel melancholy, drive away temptation and produce holy resolution in souls. Saint John Bosco exclaims that he seemed to have been a full-time writer, a full-time teacher and a full-time pastor - judging by the fruit of his labor. In all, Saint Joseph Cafasso is a striking example of how zealous are the saints in their work for Christ.