This is a reverse kind of pilgrimage where, instead of people going to the sanctuary where a saint is venerated, the saint will go to the people. The relics of Don Bosco transported to us have all the meaning of a pilgrimage, even though it is the saint who travels to our sanctuary instead of us traveling to his.
In recent years, the relics of St Therese of the Child Jesus have been transported around the globe, and the relics of Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati were venerated in Melbourne for WYD 2008.
This is not the first time Don Bosco’s remains are transported in pilgrimage. This happened in 1929 (from Valsalice to Turin, when the remains of the saint were enshrined in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians) and in 1959 (when Pope John XXIII requested that the relics be brought to St Peters along with those of St Pius X for days of prayer among children and youth). The movement on those occasions, however solemn, was quite minimal.
From 2009 to 2014, the relics of Don Bosco are being transported worldwide, to over 100 countries. People in Italy and Latin America have received the urn with great enthusiasm and devotion.
How will the relics be met in the USA, and specifically in the USA and Canada?