The remains of the late ancient Italian Roman Catholic priest, Father Don Bosco, who died 124 years ago, are being taken on a world tour and are scheduled to arrive in Zimbabwe on July 16 this year, a Catholic priest has said.
Fr Don Bosco is credited with the establishment of the congregation of priests and brothers called the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1859, which now boasts 17 000 members across the globe.
In Africa, the congregation has representation in 42 countries.
Born in 1815 as John Bosco, Fr Bosco became known as Don at a later stage in life, which in Italian means father. He died on January 31, 1888. The remains are called relics, which according to Fr Ignatius Musengi of Kambuzuma Catholic Parish, are remains of a saint which are venerated as part of the Catholic tradition.
“The relics are being taken to 131 countries where we (the Catholic Church) are found,” Fr Musengi said.
“The remains are called the relics, belonging to the venerated Catholic priest and they are set to jet into the country in July,” Fr Musengi said.
He said Fr Don Bosco dedicated his life to the education of poor young people, whom he urged to become Christians and respectable citizens.
“The relics are coming as part of the veneration, which is high respect we give to saints, different from worshiping, which is due to God, but this is given to the saint who lived a good Christian life, which is a model,” Fr Musengi added.
From Zimbabwe, the relics are to be taken to Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other remaining African countries.
Don Bosco College in Hwange and the Salesian community in Kambuzuma are some of the institutions proceeding with the legacy of the late cleric. According to Fr Musengi, the relics would be taken to these communities and a number of other Salesian youth centres set up in honour of Fr Don Bosco.