MORE than 100,000 people turned out in Slovakia to view a relic from the body of John Bosco, a priest popularly known as Don Bosco.
Named Father and Teacher of Youth by the Roman Catholic Church, Bosco lived from 1815 to 1888. He founded the religious order The Salesians of Don Bosco and was canonised on Easter Sunday of 1934.
The Provincial of the Salesians in Slovakia, Karol Maník, expressed his surprise at the large attendance, as he had expected that Don Bosco’s journey would be a more private matter for Salesians and their supporters.
“I did not expect it to be so strong, or that [Don Bosco] is so well known and his life is so appealing and inspiring,” Maník said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
The Relic of Don Bosco – the palm and fingers of Bosco’s right hand – was displayed in Slovakia from April 11 to May 1, according to the Salesians’ website. It came to Slovakia from Ukraine and was displayed at 24 Slovak sites including a juvenile prison in Sučany near Martin as well as the Lunik IX district in Košice.
Bratislava was the last Slovak stop for the relic, which then travelled on to Slovenia, according to a Salesians’ press release.