A casket with the relic of Don Bosco has been on pilgrimage throughout the world since the 5th of April 2009 to prepare to celebrate the bi-centenary of Don Bosco’s birth (1815-2015).The casket has already visited Italy, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Perù and Ecuador. It then travelled to Columbia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Porto Rico, Haiti, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Canada. In 2011 it visited Japan, Indonesia, Australia, China, Taiwan, India, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. In 2012 it has visited Uganda, Ruanda, Sudan, Togo, Mozambique, Ghana and Spain. In 2013 it has already visited the UK and is now set to come to Ireland
Everywhere the arrival of the casket has aroused great interest, participation and involvement and has brought together children, young people and adults to welcome Don Bosco, and to learn more about the Piedmontese saint, his Preventive System and his commitment to working with the young.
The casket will arrive in Ireland on Saturday 23rd February 2013 and will travel throughout the island until the 7th of March 2013.
St. Peter & Paul’s Church, Portlaoise:
Tuesday 26th February
Masses: 7.30pm, 12 midnight
Wednesday: 27th February
May this be an occasion of grace, and an opportunity for all to be supported and challenged by the example of Don Bosco.
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 contructed 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.