On June 11 and 12, 2010, a glass coffin encasing the likeness of St. John Bosco and his relics passed through the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado on the way to Don Bosco parish where there was an all-night vigil. This visit was in preparation for the bicentennial celebration of the birth of St. John Bosco, founder of the Society of St. Francis de Sales, known as the Salesians. Huge numbers of young and old turned out to welcome this great saint and to pray before him. The glass coffin and a number of his relics are visiting Salesian parishes around the world.
¨Don Bosco¨ was a title of endearment and respect given to Fr. John Bosco (1815 -1888), who dedicated his priesthood to helping and educating poor youth, initially in the area of Turin, Italy. He was an innovative educator who promoted a teaching system that emphasized love and patience over punishment. His ¨Preventive System¨ of education stressed reason, religion, and kindness while using music and games to keep the youth engaged. Fr. Bosco often said that education was a ¨matter of the heart¨ and that a student must not only be loved, but knowthat he or she is loved. Pope Pius XI had known Fr. Bosco and canonized him a saint on Easter Sunday in 1934 giving him the title of ¨Father and Teacher of Youth.”
The Salesians continue to be a very active missionary order throughout the world, especially in Venezuela. Don Bosco parish is the neighboring parish of our Archdiocesan mission parish of Jesucristo Resucitado. It is staffed by four Salesian priests from Poland and Venezuela. This parish runs a well-respected vocational technical school preparing youth as carpenters, auto mechanics, refrigerator repairmen, and bi-lingual secretaries.
The parish of Don Bosco works with our mission parish of Jesucristo Resucitado in running a home for boys that have been abandoned and living on the streets. This refuge is currently located in the parish of Jesucristo Resucitado and is the home for ten boys ages 9 to 17. Visiting groups from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis enjoy getting to know them and participating in activities with the boys as a part of their mission experience.
The visit of St. John Bosco’s likeness and relics were a great blessing not only for the Salesians but for all at the diocese of Ciudad Guayana.