Kolkata’s slum kids seek Don Bosco’s blessings

July 17th, 2011 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 17 (IANS) Children from slums, students and people from all walks of life Sunday paid homage to the 19th century Italian priest and educator St. John Bosco, whose relics were displayed at the Don Bosco School here.

Over 800 students of the night school and 250-odd girls of the adult literacy programme, along with hundreds of people and school children, thronged the premises at South Kolkata’s Park Circus to get a glimpse and seek blessings of the priest, popularly known as Don Bosco.

The slum kids happily mingled with Don Bosco students as the latter played their part as hosts rather well. Some awestruck children kept staring at the casket of Don Bosco while others joined in the celebrations.

The relics, which are being carried across the world to mark the bicentenary of the clergyman in 2015, came to the city Friday. The voyage through 130 nations began from Valdocco near Turin, Italy, Jan 31, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation, a society formed by the saint.

The relic’s journey in India began from Imphal April 29 and will visit several cities in India till November 30.

Kolkata’s singing sensation Usha Uthup paid floral tributes and sang “Amazing Grace” in homage to Don Bosco, enthralling the audience.

The remains of Don Bosco were earlier displayed at Christ the King Church, Park Circus. The holy communion at the church was jointly conducted by Father Orson Wells and 90-year-old Father Strocio, said to be the oldest Salesian priest in the city.

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 relics will begin their journey to New Delhi Tuesday.

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