|India – Don Bosco returns to visit those in prison|
|India – The city of Agartala pays homage to Don Bosco|
Escorting the casket were Fr Ethelbert Minj, Vice Provincial and coordinator of the travels around the Guwahati Province; Fr Joseph Manianchira, Provincial Economer, coordinator of the travels of the casket around the India-Calcutta Province; Fr Eddie D’Souza, Rector and parish priest of Dotma; and other Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA).
The convoy crossed the border between Assam and West Bengal at 10.30 local time on 28 June near Srirampur. At 12.30 the relics entered the campus of the “Saint Anthony” School of the FMA at Jaigaon, welcomed by the girls and boys in 2 lines calling out: “Viva Don Bosco”, “We love Don Bosco”, “We want Don Bosco”…
The casket was placed inside a typical local structure a “pandal” where it was venerated by the faithful. As well as enjoying the dancing and signs of respect shown, those accompanying the casket including the drivers also enjoyed the hospitality of the people.
Fr Ethelbert Minj, who had already witnessed the honours shown the casket in his own Province expressed his admiration at the welcoming ceremony: “It was a very touching experience. The faith of these simple people is admirable and strengthens my own.”
Having arrived on the evening of Tuesday 28 June at Oodlabari, on the slopes of the Hymalayas, the Salesian community kept a vigil during the night for the relics of the saint. The following morning, the young people from the school, with their teachers, and the various co-workers, a total of about 650 people, prayed and sang before Don Bosco and honoured him with garlands of flowers. Fr Ellicherail, the Provincial invited all present to grow in their awareness of God, in morality, in brotherhood and in solidarity with the poor following the teaching Don Bosco gave his boys at Valdocco.
On Wednesday afternoon 29 the casket was taken to the Patibari district. About 5000 young people took part in the Mass of thanksgiving. After three hours journey the truck carrying the casket reached the Salesian house in Sonada, on the mountain chain of the Himalayas. Welcomed by the band the relics were greeted that evening by 200 youngsters, Salesians and members of the Salesian Family.
The following day, 30 June, the main event was an inter-religious prayer gathering organised by the Past Pupils of the Institute, with songs and celebrations by Christian faithful, Buddhists, Muslims and also devotees of Sai Baba.