As a youth in Turin, Italy, Michael was drawn to the work and vision of St. John Bosco, his school’s chaplain. In 1854 he helped Don Bosco found the Salesian Congregation, dedicated to practical charity and inspired by St. Francis de Sales. After his ordination in 1860, Michael personally assisted Don Bosco, becoming his vicar in 1865. Following Don Bosco’s death in 1888, Michael led the congregation, sending missionaries to 23 countries. By the time he died in 1910, the congregation had grown to 341 houses and 4,000 members. He was beatified in 1972.