DSPT Events

The Relics of Don Bosco at DSPT

September 14 2010, 12:15-2:15 pm

In the tradition of pilgrimage, the relics of St John Bosco are being carried into the towns and villages, neighborhoods and centers where the Gospel is announced among the young today. This pilgrim journey through 130 nations prepares for the 200th anniversary of the saint's birth near Turin on 16 August 1815.

Don Bosco Pilgrimage 2010

The year 2015 marks the second centenary of the birth of Saint John Bosco. To prepare for that observance the rector major of the Salesian Society, don Pascual Chávez, has responded to the request of many young people and sent the saint's relics from Turin on pilgrimage through 120 countries.

The pilgrim journey began on the 31st of January, 2009 in Italy. By summer 2009 the urn passed to other countries. In September 2010, Don Bosco's relics will journey through several U.S. cities.

Plans for the California itinerary are as follows:

· Saturday, 11 September 2010: arrival of the relics at SFO from Guadalajara, with transport to SS. Peter and Paul, North Beach (remaining until 13 September)

· Monday, 13 September 2010: journey from SS. Peter and Paul to Corpus Christi Parish San Francisco.

· Tuesday, 14 September 2010: journey from San Francisco via East Bay (Richmond, Berkeley, DSPT from 12:15-2:15 pm) to Watsonville (Our Lady Help of Christians Church).

· Wednesday, 15 September 2010: journey from Watsonville (Our Lady Help of Christians, St Francis) to Los Angeles (St Mary's Parish, Boyle Heights).

· Thursday, 16 September 2010: journey from Los Angeles (St Mary's, Salesian High, St Bridget's) to Rosemead (Don Bosco Techn, St Joseph Youth Renewal Center).

· Friday, 17 September 2010: journey from Rosemead to Bellflower (St John Bosco, St Dominic Savio Parish, remaining until 19 September).

· Sunday, 19 September 2010: transport by air to New Orleans.

Don Bosco's relics arrive first in San Francisco – historically the port of arrival of Don Bosco's sons in the United Sates – then gradually travel to Southern California, where the Salesian Family has the largest population in North America. Local committees will coordinate celebrations.


The relics of Don Bosco have been recomposed from the urn that have contained the saints remains since 1929 at Valdocco. The bones and tissues of the right hand and arm have been taken and recomposed to be included into two reliquaries, one of which is shaped as a statue of the saint and is being brought in pilgrimage to India; the other reliquary is a replica of the remains of the saint composed in the urn at Valdocco, and this is being brought to the rest of the world, including California.

This latter reliquary is made of fiberglass; the relics have been documented and sealed in box that has been placed within the image of Don Bosco in repose (they are placed in the chest of the sculpted body). This in turn is in an urn, which has been constructed for transport and for display. The total weight of the reliquary in the urn is 820 kg (1,808 lbs). The dimensions of the classical style urn on the cart are: length 253cm (99.61 inches); width 108.3cm (42.64 inches); height 132 cm (52 inches).

The reliquary urn of Don Bosco is being transported by truck that has been specially designed and built by Iveco for this purpose. Two Iveco trucks will arrive together: one for transport and one for escort as an emergency vehicle. Two drivers, specifically trained for this event, have charge of each truck.