The centenary of the death of the Italian Saint John Bosco is to be marked with awards for young people.

John (Giovanni) Bosco was born in Italy in 1815 and died on 31 January 1888.

He took a special interest in poor youngsters and founded communities of priests, brothers and sisters to help educate them.

John Bosco went on to found the Salesians Order, now the third largest in the Catholic Church. He was beatified in 1929 and canonised as a saint in the Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI in 1934.

To mark the centenary of his death, the Salesians in Ireland have announced a series of awards for young people. Each award is worth £1,000 for special achievement in the areas of sports, the arts, courage, service to the community, peace, job enterprise, and the Salesian family. 

Seminars will be held later in the year on the life of John Bosco. 

As part of the commemorations, a youth conference will be held in Turin, Italy. A group of Irish youngsters will be among three thousand delegates attending the conference in August. 

In September, Pope John Paul II will visit the saint's birthplace. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 31 January 1988. The reporter is Kieron Wood.