Don Bosco’s Relic Statue in Ethiopia

Don Bosco in Ethiopia

Don Bosco in EthiopiaIn the days coming up to Christmas, the pilgrimage of the statue containing the relics of Don Bosco continued with visits to the centres of the Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. There follows a second account of the event which involved religious, young people and the laity.

Communities had been preparing since the month of October to welcome the relics of Don Bosco; every day in the schools and oratories through books, poetry, sketches and films and the good nights, naturally, as well as prayers, his story was told.

Early in the afternoon of 19 December, the minibus carrying the statue of Don Bosco arrived in Dilla from Adamintullu, accompanied by a large convoy. As soon as it entered the parish, the first communion catechism children all dressed in white greeted Don Bosco with welcoming hymns. After an hour and half of public veneration, Mass was said.

The following day, 20 December, the statue was taken to the Don Bosco Stadium, the main football field in the area. An Austrian Volunteer Karina, with the children from the nursery school opened the day’s programme singing “Don Bosco we love you.” Then after a welcoming address by Fr Roberto Bergamaschi, the Rector, several representatives of the local authorities spoke about the wonderful work being done by the Salesians in Dilla for the young people and the general population. The programme continued with more songs, dances and local cultural expressions in honour of Don Bosco, in the presence also of the leaders of various Christian communities and the Islam Imams.

On Wednesday 21 the statue arrived at the house in MakallĂ©. Fr Alema Hagos, the Rector explained to those present the meaning of the pilgrimage of the relic. At the end he gave everyone a vest with “200th anniversary of the birth of Saint John Bosco: 1815-2015” written on it. Then the relic was taken to the community at Adigrat, where the Salesians had organised a celebration with traditional dancing, a theatrical performance and a quizz about Don Bosco and the 25 years of the local presence of the Salesians. In the afternoon the Rector Fr Estifanos Gebremeskel presided at Mass and at the end there was an exhibition of some historic photographs recalling the first Salesian missionaries in the country.

The statue stayed in the Adua community on 22 and 23 December. On its arrival it was welcomed by all the students of the technical school in two parallel lines with songs, applause and the waving of flags. Fr Giuseppe Larcher, the founding member of the Salesian presence in Adua, gave a moving talk pointing out how “Don Bosco has been here with us today.” There were a large number of guests and members of the Salesian Family at the religious and cultural events of the first day

On Friday morning, 23, Mass was said according to the Ethiopian “Geez” rite. Afterwards the relic went to the FMA community in Adua, where there was a conference, a celebration with silent prayer and the saying of the rosary.

 

Source: Info ANS