Latest Updates: Don Bosco’s relic to arrive in Shirva on August 25

Wilson D’Souza
Kemmannu News Network, 19-08-2011 19:17:18

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Shirva: The worldwide pilgrim relics of St John Bosco, the 19th century Italian priest and educator popularly known as ‘Don Bosco’, will arrive at Our Lady of Health Church, Shirva near Udupi on 25th August at 9.00 am.  This pilgrimage that began on 31st January 2009 from Italy, is to mark the 150th anniversary of the Saleisan order he founded.  The relic will travel across 130 countries in 5 continents where the Salesians of Don Bosco run some of the best educational institutions.   It is also seen as a preparation for the celebration of the Bicentenary of Don Bosco’s Birth in 2015, when the relic will complete its world pilgrimage.

The relic comprising of the bones and tissues of Don Bosco’s right hand have been placed within a wax replica of Don Bosco’s body, which in turn is enclosed in a large urn.  It began its journey in India on April 29 from Imphal and it has arrived in the Konkan Province of the Salesians on 17th August.  From Goa, the relic will travel to Sirsi in Karnataka and then arrive at Shirva at 9.00 am.  It will be solemnly received by Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza, who will also preside over the Eucharist for Youth at 11.00 am.  Sessions of Don Bosco’s life and teachings will be held for the youth and parish leaders in the afternoon.  There will be another Mass for the faithful at 4.00 pm presided over by the Vicar General, Msgr. Denis Moras Prabhu.  The devotees will have the opportunity to venerate the relic till 6.00 pm.  From Shirva it will proceed to Bangalore on 26th August.

Don Bosco established two religious orders, the Salesian order of priests and brothers and the Salesian order of nuns. He also set up two lay movements, the Salesian co-workers and the Don Bosco Alumni Associations.  Members of the Salesian men’s and women’s orders worldwide number around 30,000. There are about 4,000 of them in India working in 350 primary, secondary, technical and higher educational institutions. 

Earlier News By 

Shirva, Udupi: The solemn official welcome of the relics in Udupi District will be on the 25th August at Don Bosco, Shirva. The Relic will be welcomed at our lady of Health Church Shirva at 9.00 AM. A Concelebrated Mass presided over by his Lordship Bishop of Mangalore Most Rev. Dr. Alyosius Paul Dsouza for the YOUTHS will be at 11.00 and for the public Mass will be at 4.00 PM by Msg. Denis Moras Prabhu. For More Details please refer the below Invitation.


About the Relics: (Various sources by

A relic is an object of religious veneration. It can be anything from the bones of a saint to an object which touched a martyr during his or her lifetime. In The Acts of the Apostles, the importance of relics is emphasized: "Meanwhile, God worked extraordinary miracles at the hands of Paul. When handkerchiefs or cloths that had touched him were applied to the sick, their diseases were cured and evil spirits departed them." Relics do not contain magical powers but they symbolize how God works through the saints even after they have died. During their lives, saints helped draw people closer to God, and after they ceased, the relics continued to inspire individuals to become more devoted to God.

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.

In the tradition of pilgrimage, the relics of St. John Bosco are being carried into the towns and villages, neighborhoods and centers, among the young and the poor. 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 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.

The urn weighs 820 kilograms (over 1,800 pounds!). The glass box, containing the relic, is 253 centimeters long (almost 100 inches), 108.3 centimeters wide (over 40 inches), and 132 centimeters tall (over 50 inches). The full urn is transported via two specially designed and built trucks. 

In May 2011, Don Bosco’s relics arrived in India from the East. The pilgrimage through India began on 1 May 2011, in Dimapur Province. The Relic will visit all Indian Provinces, before it departs for Sri Lanka on November 18, 2011. Approximate sequence of visit to the provinces: Dimapur May 1 – 24, Guwahati May 25 - Jun 28, Kolkatta Jun 29-Jul 19, New Delhi Jul 20-Aug 3, Mumbai Aug 4- 16, Pangim Aug 17-24, Karnataka (INK) Aug 25-Sep 6, Hyderabad Sep 7-22, Kerala (INK) Sep 23-Oct 13, Trichy Oct 14-26, Chennai Oct 27-Nov 18.

 The Church honors God through the relics of the bodies of the saints, the things they used, and the lives they touched. The relic of Don Bosco is being brought to the world so Christians may honor him as a Servant of God, as well as view him as a source of inspiration for those still living.

It is important to note, however, that the devotion and honor given to saints, and their relics, is different from adoration or worship which is reserved for God, and God alone! Devotion and honor of saints is called veneration, and it consists of asking for their intercession before God.

Veneration of Relics throughout History

The veneration of relics is as old as the Church itself. The earliest reference to relics is found in the Old Testament of the Bible, in 2 Kings 13: 20-21: "Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once, while some Isrealites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. Then the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet."

There are several passages in the New Testament that emphasize the importance of respecting and honoring the body of a saint. For example, when St. John the Baptist was martyred, his followers recovered his remains and took them to a safe place to be honored

Relics are present to remind individuals of the holiness of a saint, and the fulfillment of God’s work through the saint. They help to inspire individuals to pray for saints to intercede for them, and to pray to God to give them the Grace to live a holy, faith-filled life. 

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