He tirelessly heard confessions that lasted for several hours. He would never miss to give a word of advice to those who needed it. And he would also not forego opportunities to admonish individuals if there was a need to do so.
Prisoners had always a special place in the heart of Don Bosco. This was true to the conversion among the convicts who had encountered him.
Those who had met Don Bosco could attest that he did not merit the grace of God due to prayer and virtues. Don Bosco worked hard to attain it through his various ways of mortification and acts of sacrifices.
Among the many occasions where Don Bosco was willing to give his everything just so he could assist the spiritual needs of others was when he studied German on his own through a grammar book. Later on, he sought the help of a teacher. He did this to minister to several German families who were moved to Turin because many of them were serving in the Piedmontese army.
One evening, he remarked to his boys: "I learned some German when the oratory was just beginning, but as with all other foreign languages, one soon forgets it if he does not continue to keep it up."