EVENT The relic of Don Bosco, who started a chain of educational institutions across the world, will be in the city on October 28
Past and present pupils of Don Bosco schools in the city will get to meet their founder in the flesh. The right hand of St. John Bosco (popularly known as Don Bosco), who founded the Society of Saint Francis de Sales and masterminded a revolution in education, has been preserved since 1929, when his mortal remains were exhumed for the purpose of beatification and canonisation.
The casket which contains the hand is lodged within a wax replica of Don Bosco's body. On a back-to-back tour of 130 countries, this sculpted image — enclosed in a glass box that is mounted on an embellished wood-and-metal cart — is being displayed at all institutions in these countries that bear his name and legacy. After the journey, the relic will return to Turin in 2015 for Don Bosco's bicentennial celebration.
At present, the relic is on the last leg of its India tour, which includes going around Tamil Nadu. It comes to Chennai on October 28 and will visit 42 Don Bosco establishments — schools, technical institutes and social organisations — in the citybefore leaving for Sri Lanka on November 18. “Don Bosco is venerated as a reformer and far-thinking educationist. He focused on education and social betterment of street children and juvenile delinquents, and service to the poor. As they celebrate the great man and his social mission, the events draw even non-Catholic admirers of Don Bosco,” says Rev. Fr. John Alexander, rector-correspondent, Don Bosco, Egmore (This flagship establishment of the Salesian Society in Chennai gets to connect with its leader on October 31).
The tour of Chennai has generated great excitement and, as a result, the Don Bosco fraternity in the city has been preparing for months for this event. “It's a mix of spiritual and logistical preparation,” says Fr. Alexander.
For details about the programme at Don Bosco, Egmore on October 31, call 28191274/ 28194105.