DIMAPUR, 12 March, (C.M. Paul) – The Relics of St John Bosco currently on a five continent pilgrimage will arrive on 1st May in Dimapur province northeast India, the province of the rising sun! May 1st, this year is most auspicious. Besides being the Divine Mercy Sunday and pope John Paul II’s beatification day in Rome, it is also Worker’s Day. The bones of the right hand of Don Bosco contained in a casket will travel 11 Salesian provinces spread out in the Indian sub-continent and Sri Lanka where it will make a pilgrim tour till 30 November 2011.
The Tour which started from Valdocco, Turin (Mother House of the Salesians of Don Bosco), 25th April 2009 in preparation for bi-centenary of Don Bosco’s birth in 2015 (16 August) is currently in Australia.The relics traveled to North America and to Central America from where it arrived in Asia 1st November 2010.
DB Relics Pilgrimage India
The casket containing Don Bosco Relics will reach Kolkata by flight and will be transferred immediately to a connecting flight to Imphal for the grand reception and India tour launch scheduled for 1st May 2011, says DBRP India coordinator Fr Joseph Manianchira of Kolkata.
The DBRP Dimapur coordinator Fr Jose Palely meanwhile awaits a miracle. He says “we hope that they will bring Don Bosco Relics to Imphal from Kolkata by a special flight on Friday 29 April 2011, so that we can have more of Don Bosco for the Imphal celebrations and also take him to remote Tamenglong mission.”The DBRP is expected to pass through Guwahati, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Goa, Karnataka-Kerala, Hyderabad and Trichy, Goa and Mumbai provinces till 30 November 2011.
From India the relic is scheduled to go to Sri Lanka and then on to Africa-Madagascar region.The pilgrimage covering some 130 countries is expected to end in Turin in August 2014. The bicentennial of St. John Bosco’s birth in Castelnuovo D’Asti, near Turin, will be celebrated with major events in 2015.
DB Relics Background
In recent years, the relics of St Therese of the Child Jesus have been transported around the globe, and the relics of Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati were venerated in Melbourne for World Youth Day 2008. This is not the first time Don Bosco’s remains are transported in pilgrimage. In 1929 the remains of the saint were transported from Valsalice to Turin and enshrined in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. Again in 1959 Pope John XXIII had the relics be brought to St Peter’s Basilica along with those of St Pius X for days of prayer among youth.The casket which weighs about 850 kilos, contains the right hand relic of St John Bosco who died in Turin on 31 January 1888.