Don Bosco relics arrive in Kolkata


Kolkata : The relics of 19th century Italian priest and educator St. John Bosco arrived Friday in the city's Auxilium Parish. The sacred remains of the saint will remain here till July 19 to mark his bicentenary which falls in 2015.

The pilgrimage, through 130 nations, began from Valdocco near Turin, Italy Jan 31, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation, a society founded by the saint, also called Don Bosco.

The relics were brought into the church amid chants of 'holy father bless us' and Frank Anthony school boys playing the 'Drum's Tune'. The saint was given a traditional welcome in the form of an 'aarti' while popular Rabindra Sangeet 'aaguner poroshmoni' played in the background, giving a Bengali touch to the choir.

"We are honoured and delighted to have the saint among us. His relic has been brought here to mark his 200th birth anniversary on Aug 16, 2015," said father Robin Gomes, a Don Bosco priest.

After the welcome programme, the relics were taken inside the church for the solemn Eucharistic celebrations.

Hundreds thronged to get a glimpse of the wax statue and seek blessings. "When we heard that the relic was coming to Kolkata, we planned our travel accordingly. It is an experience of a lifetime," said a tourist who was here with a group from Malaysia.

In the city, the relic will be kept at Auxiliun Parish, Gobra on July 15-16 and 18, Christ the King Church on July 17 morning, Don Bosco School Park Circus on July 17 and 18 morning and Provincial House & Nitika, Tengra on July 18 noon to July 19.

The journey of the relics in India began from Imphal April 29, 2011, and will go to all 10 Indian Salesian provinces till Nov 30, 2011.

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 canonisation. The bones and tissues of the right hand and arm have been taken and placed within a wax replica of the saint.

The specially constructed urn for the pilgrimage comprises a large glass box in which the wax replica is placed.

The relic will begin its journey for Delhi July 19.



Don Bosco relic Rides into Kolkata on Mother Teresa Sarani

Don Bosco Rides into Kolkata on Mother Teresa Sarani
KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – Don Bosco Relic rode into Kolkata city from Howrah district crossing Hooghly river (a tributary of holy Ganges) on second Hooghly bridge. The motorcade drove past historical monuments of British period like the Race Course, Victoria Memorial, St Paul’s Cathedral, Eastern High Command, Park Hotel, St Xaviers College and Archbishop’s Hose - the entire stretch of Mother Teresa Sarani former Park Street of British fame.
Missionaries of Charity house on Park Street end near the Park Circus seven point traffic crossing had a banner put up with the pictures of Mother Teresa and Don Bosco carrying their sayings on Smile and peace! “Smile is the beginning of Peace (Don Bosco). “Peace begins with a smile. (Mother Teresa).
A similar banner is also displayed at the front of Christ the King Church Park Circus some 200 meters away. Don Bosco Relic will be at this Church on Sunday (17 July) 6.30 to 8.30 am for a solemn Eucharist and public veneration. The parish priest of the Church Fr Orson Wells, a Calcutta boy, is alumnus of Don Bosco Schools Liluah & Bandel.
The convoy with Highway Police escort was followed by an autorickshaw fitted with two horns (public address system) announcing the arrival of Don Bosco to Kolkata city. The three wheeler owned by a Catholic parishioner of Auxilium Parish Gobra where Don Bosco will stay the first two days, rendered the service of going around announcing Don Bosco’s arrival over the past two days.
Some 60 young people of the parish consisting of Indians of various ethnic origins as well as Chinese formed the outriders on motorbikes carrying flags.
The Salesians started Auxilium Parish in 1974, possibly the largest slum parish in Kolkata, after relinquishing the Cathedral Church on Portughese Church street to the diocese in 1972 where they started their first presence in the city in 1925.