A casket containing relics of St. John Bosco is scheduled to visit the United States and Canada beginning in mid-September, 16 months after a world tour reaching 100 nations. The pilgrimage of the relics began April 25, 2009, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesians of Don Bosco and is to continue until shortly before the 200th anniversary of the saint's birth near Turin, Italy, on Aug. 16, 1815.
The relics will arrive for a two-day visitation in Belle Glade, FL on Friday September 24, 2010 at St. Philip Benizi parish, 710 South Main Street, Belle Glade. All are invited to attend a Mass which will be celebrated by Most Rev. Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Friday September 24, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. Immediately following the Mass, the public will be invited to remain in prayer as the church will be open until 11:00 p.m. for continued devotion and veneration. On Saturday September 25, 2010 all are invited to participate in a Mass celebrated by the pastor, Fr. Joseph Santa-Bibiana S.D.B. at 8:00 a.m. Following the Mass there will be once again an opportunity for the public to prayerfully venerate the relics throughout the day. At 3:30 p.m. there will be a special time of prayer for Salesian “alumni” (*those who have attended Salesian schools and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christian Schools and all friends of St. John Bosco). Joining in the day’s devotion will be retired Salesian auxiliary Bishop from Boston, MA, Most Rev. Emilio Simeon Allue. All events are open to the general public. For the tour, the bones and tissues of the right hand and arm of the 19th-century Italian saint have been placed within a wax replica of St. John Bosco's body, which is being displayed in a glass box mounted on a large wood and metal cart.
The display -- weighing more than 1,800 pounds and measuring approximately 8 feet long, 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall -- has been transported around the world by plane and in specially designed and built trucks.
The veneration of relics is an important aspect of the devotional life of the Catholic Church. It connects the people of God with the sanctified remains of holy men and women who now intercede for the Church in heaven. The scheduled stops in North America include: California, New Orleans, Florida, Washington, New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal and Surrey, British Columbia.
For more information about Saint John Bosco and the “Pilgrimage of Relics” to the Diocese of Palm Beach and other regions in Florida please visit http://www.donboscoamongus.org or contact the parish of St. Philip Benizi at 561-996-3870.