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Hong Kong greets Don Bosco relics

Thousands turn out for glimpse of saint before casket heads to Macau

Welcoming ceremony for Saint John Bosco’s relics on March 25 (photo courtesy the Salesian Bulletin) Welcoming ceremony for Saint John Bosco’s relics on March 25 (photo courtesy the Salesian Bulletin)
  • ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong
  • March 28, 2011
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Thousands of local faithful and Salesian school students have flocked to see the relics of Saint John Bosco on the first occasion they have  gone on display in Hong Kong.

The relics arrived to a welcoming ceremony at the Salesian Tang King Po School on March 25, officiated by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and Salesian provincial Father Simon Lam.

Over the weekend, there were four gatherings for primary schoolchildren, teenagers and adult Catholics, as well as an all-night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Lee King-to, a worker at the Salesian youth pastoral office, said many young people including non-Catholic students at Salesian schools know of the saint’s life and his concern and love for youths from movies.

“Seeing his relics up close now affirms their appreciation for Saint Bosco,” he said.

Hong Kong is the latest stage on a world tour of Saint John Bosco’s relics organized by the Salesian society to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the saint's birth.

The relics, which contain the right metacarpal bone of the saint within a life-size wax replica of his body in a glass coffin, are touring all the schools and communities of the Salesian family in Hong Kong today and tomorrow. This part of the tour will end with a Mass at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on March 31.  The relics will then proceed to Macau.

Ma Tak-wai, a Salesian school alumna said getting the chance to see the relics was a moving experience.

“We heard many stories about the saint. But it was wonderful to see the relics.”

Saint John Bosco is also a familiar figure to Apple Joyce So. She said she appreciated the saint’s joyful spirit and his way of leading youths.

Having seen the relics, the university student said she will tell her friends “Bosco stories, as they are often unhappy with their academic results and family relationships.”

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