The Relic of St John Bosco

The relic statue of St John Bosco, will be touring Australia from July-September as celebrations of the centenary of the arrival of the Salesians on Australian soil continue throughout 2023.

The wax replica of the Saint contained in a glass casket comes from the Province of Hong Kong, made by Gianpiero Zoncu at the time of Don Bosco’s beatification in 1929. A small bone from the right arm of the Saint was removed and placed in this wax replica before being securely concealed in the large glass casket.

For Catholicism, a relic is of immense reverence, and helps to remind individuals of the holiness of a saint, and the fulfillment of God’s work through the saint. A relic can consist of anything from the bones of a saint to an object that the saint came in contact with during his or her lifetime.

The 410 kg glass casket containing the wax replica of St John Bosco will be received by the Salesian Province Centre in Ascot Vale, Victoria by the end of June. It will be on tour and displayed for prayers and homage at various Salesian works in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth from July to September 2023.

The relic will stay at the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne during the Salesian Biannual Educational Conference in August. It will also journey with the Salesians and many lay members at the Centenary Retreat in the last week of September at the Foothills in Mooroolbark.

The relic statue of St John Bosco will be farewell from Australia during the concluding Mass of the Centenary led by Archbishop Peter Comensoli on Saturday 30th September at St Margaret Mary’s parish in North Brunswick at 11:00 am.

Proposed tour of the relic statue:


3-7 Ascot Vale

8-11 Clifton Hill

12-14 Chadstone

15-19 Lysterfield

20-21 St Joseph’s College, Ferntree Gully

27-31 Brunswick + St Margaret Mary’s Parish


3-8 Sunbury [College + Parish]

10-13 APSPA Conference

16-22 Engadine, NSW [Parish, College, Dunlea Centre, SJB Schools]

23-28 St Marys, NSW [Parish & Youth Centre]29-31 St Mark’s, Port Pirie, SA


1-5 Gawler, SA [Ss Peter & Paul’s Parish & Xavier College]

7-11 Glenorchy, TAS [Dominic College & St John’s Parish]

16-20 Perth, WA

25-30 Centenary Retreat, VIC

30 Conclusion Eucharist of the Centenary [St Margaret Mary’s, North Brunswick


This story originally appeared in the Winter 2023 edition of the Salesian Bulletin, available now!