As part of a worldwide tour, relics of St. John Bosco will be hosted by Washington, D.C.'s National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in order to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the patron saint of youth and students.
A portion of Don Bosco’s right arm bone is encased in a 1,800 pound reliquary and is currently undergoing the North American tour which began Sept. 11 in San Francisco and will end Oct. 7 in Montreal, Canada. The saint's relics will eventually make their way to 130 countries by his 200th birthday in 2015.
The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will host the reliquary on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Auxiliary Bishop Martin Holley of Washington is slated to welcome the relics in the morning at the Basilica’s Great Upper Church and lead an opening prayer service that will begin a day of veneration. That evening, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will be the principal celebrant and homilist of a commemorative Mass.
In a press release for the event, the shrine reported that Pope Benedict XVI granted a plenary indulgence to those who make a pilgrimage to see and pray before the relic of St. John Bosco, in accordance with the usual conditions of partaking in Confession, the Eucharist and prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions.