Goa set to welcome Don Bosco’s body relic

August 9th, 2011 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Aug 9 (IANS) Lakhs of Catholics will throng the streets of Goa Aug 18 to witness 19th century Italian saint Don Bosco’s body relic — his revered right arm — as part of its worldwide pilgrimage.

It is a run up to mark the bi-centennial of Don Bosco’s birth Aug 16, 2015.

The relic of Saint John Bosco, popularly known as Don Bosco, will be accorded a civic welcome and then taken to various parts of Goa for public veneration.

“The relic is officially sealed in a casket in the presence of Vatican delegates and is placed in the chest of life-size fibre mould of the saint in repose,” said Fr Ian Figueiredo, one of the organisers of the event.

Born in the Piedmont region of western Italy, Don Bosco founded the Catholic order of the Salesians, who are known for their quality educational institutions across the world.

The right arm of Don Bosco has been travelling around the world as part of its international itinerary since 2009 and will arrive in Goa from Kudal in Maharashtra.

“The relic will arrive in Panaji by motorcade and will be accorded a civic reception by the city mayor (Yatin Parekh),” Figueiredo said.

“We honour the relic because it is a part of the body of a saint and we treasure and have special respect for it. It will be a moment of prayer and paying of homage to the presence that Don Bosco represented,” he added.

Goa is already home to the relic of 16th century Spanish saint St Francis Xavier, whose body rests in a casket at the Basilica of Bom Jesus at the Old Goa church complex near Panaji. The relic is open for public display once every 10 years.

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