Worldwide Relic Pilgrimage of St John Bosco

Also known as Don Bosco or Giovanni Melchior Bosco, he was the founder of the Salesian Society. Born of poor parents in a little cabin at Becchi, a hill-side hamlet near Castelnuovo, Piedmont, Italy, 16 August, 1815.  In 1835 he entered the seminary at Chieri and after six years of study was ordained priest on the eve of Trinity Sunday by Archbishop Franzoni of Turin.

Leaving the seminary, Don Bosco went to Turin where he entered zealously upon his priestly labours. It was here that an incident occurred which opened up to him the real field of effort of his afterlife. One of his duties was to accompany Don Cafasso upon his visits to the prisons of the city, and the condition of the children confined in these places, abandoned to the most evil influences, and with little before them but the gallows, made such a indelible impression upon his mind that he resolved to devote his life to the rescue of these unfortunate outcasts. On the eighth of December 1841, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, while Don Bosco was vesting for Mass, the sacristan drove from the Church a ragged urchin because he refused to serve Mass. Don Bosco heard his cries and recalled him, and in the friendship which sprang up between the priest and Bartollomea Garelli was sown the first seed of the "Oratory", so called, no doubt, after the example of St. Philip Neri and because prayer was its prominent feature. Don Bosco entered eagerly upon the task of instructing thus first pupil of the streets; companions soon joined Bartholomeo, all drawn by a kindness they had never known, and in February 1842, the Oratory numbered twenty boys, in March of the same year, thirty, and in March 1846, four hundred.

Don Bosco died January 31, 1888; declared Venerable by Pius X, July 21, 1907.  He was canonised Easter Sunday 1st April 1934.  when he was given the title of "Father and Teacher of Youth".

In the tradition of pilgrimage, the relics of St. John Bosco are being carried into the towns and villages, neighborhoods and centers where the Gospel is announced among the young and the poor today. This pilgrim journey through 130 nations began on January 31, 2009, the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation. It prepares us for the 2015 celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Don Bosco’s birth near Turin, Italy on August 16, 1815.

The relics of Don Bosco have been recomposed from the urn that contained his remains since 1929 when the body was exhumed for his beatification and canonization. The bones and tissues of the right hand and arm have been taken and placed within a wax replica of St. John Bosco's body, which in turn is enclosed in a large urn.

The urn was constructed specially for this pilgrimage. It is composed of a large glass box in which the wax replica is placed, and easily viewed. The box is mounted atop a large wood and metal cart. Among the urn's decorations are the words, "Da mihi animas, ceatera tolle," which translates to, "Give me souls, take away the rest," one of Don Bosco's many quotes that guided his ministry from its earliest stages through today. Images of young faces also surround the urn, as well as maps showing where the Salesian Family is present today. Finally, the years 1815 and 2015 are placed near the base, serving as a reminder of the purpose of this Relic Pilgrimage: in 2015, the Salesian Family, and the Church as a whole, will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Don Bosco's birth in 1815.

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  1. I think that its just stupid for them to create a relic from wax that looks like a dead man. why didn't they just make it look like he was still alive? silly catholics! this is a pagan ritual if you were to ask me.

  2. tsk tsk tsk even pagans had to make idols for them to worship. It is not the wax that matters most, but the spirit behind all these.....he visits to inspire more young people.

  3. They are people (not catholic) that dont understan us, we do not worship a piece of wood, ceramic, paint etc, we just use that for ilustration porpuse, Is only a figure that every time we see it, remaind us Christ or our Mother Mary, is like when you have a picture of your girlfriend or mother, you not worship that piece of peper, that piece of peper is just a conection, is something that remaind you a person you love and respect, simple as that.


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