Back in September I had the great privilege of seeing the relics of St. John Bosco. Since today is his feast day I thought I would share some words and pictures of the experience; it’s just a few months overdue!
Getting to see and venerate the relic of a Saint is always a great blessing; it’s an even greater one when it is a Saint that you are more familiar with. For us, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a friend that we’ve known, heard about, and always wanted to meet. You see, my father was taught by the Salesian priests and brothers in India when he studied in the minor seminary for a while. The Salesians are a religious order founded by St. John Bosco to minister to disadvantaged and at-risk youth. My family and I just had to go to the special Mass in honor of St. John Bosco when we found out about it.
The National Shrine was packed with people who wanted to honor this great man. I don’t use the word honor lightly… honor, not worship! To some it may seem bizarre to honor the relics of a dead person… but to those who believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, it will make sense. Anyway, we had a chance to pray right in front of the relics which are encased in a wax figure of the Saint. The Archbishop said some great things–as this article captures. It was great to see so much devotion to, and desire to imitate, St. John Bosco.
“When we look upon the relic of John Bosco, we see a physical remembrance of his bodily presence and a reminder of his spiritual greatness” – Cardinal Wuerl
And here are some more pictures: