St. John Bosco (+1888) was a great father figure and educator, working especially with orphaned boys and young men, organizing schools and workshops to teach them trades and give them formation with guidance. These days a horrible war has been declared on boys and young men in common culture, which is riddled with the rot of a degrading type of feminism and, now, effeminacy among men in the form of homosexual traits. Pray to St. John Bosco in this time of need, especially that boys and men who have need of good and wholesome father figures may find them soon.
Deus, qui beatum Ioannem presbyterum
adulescentium patrem et magistrum excitasti,
concede, quaesumus, ut, eodem caritatis igne succensi,
animas quaerere tibique soli servire valeamus.
O God, who roused up blessed John the priest
as a father and teacher of young men,
grant, we beseech You, that we, enflamed with the same fire of charity,
may be able to seek after souls and to serve only You.
The word adulescens gets our attention. Just how old is an adulescens (which gives us our word “adolescent”)? The Roman vocabulary for the different ages of man was a bit fluid but as s a starting point we can consult the mighty Lewis & Short Dictionary under the voice aetas and get some help. Other entries for the specific words of age states also give varying information, but we will boil some of it down here before we get any older.
The polymath Varro divided the ages of man into pueritia, from birth to the 15th year, adulescentia, from that time to the 30th; iuventus, to the 45th; the age of seniores, to the 60th; and finally senectus, from that time until death.
Others make a different division, for example, until the age of 7, a boy would be a puer, in the state of pueritia (a girl being a puella). From 7 onward he would be an adulescens, in the state of adulescentia, until about 15 years. He remained an adulescens until at least 30, and in some reckoning as old as 40, when he became a iuvenis (juvenis in the L&S) in the state of iuventus (which is not just an Italian soccer team). At the age of about 65 a iuvenis became a senex, in the state of senectus. A woman would often be consider an “old woman” from about 40 onward, being called a senex or by the term “matron” or anus (fem.), either married or unmarried.
We might recall the so-called “seven ages of man” spoken by Jacques (“All the world’s a stage…” in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Act II, vii) who broke it down into “infant”, childhood – “whining schooby”, adolescent – “lover”, young man – “soldier”, adult – “justice”, old man – “lean and slippered pantaloon”, second childhood of senility – “sans everything”.