NASHIK, AUGUST 6, 2011: The vehicle bearing the casket with the Relic of Don Bosco inched its way through the huge crowd of devotees at Nashik, on August 6, 2011, at 8.00 a.m., as people cheered enthusiastically, welcoming the Relic into their city.
Fr. Diego Nunes garlanded the casket and invited the Salesian priests to escort the Relic to the place of veneration. The hall where the casket was placed was brimming over with devotees. Fr. Ivo Coelho initiated the celebration of the pilgrim visit of Don Bosco to Nashik through a meaningful inaugural prayer service, praising the goodness of God made visible through the visit of Don Bosco. The casket was incensed, after which Fr. Coelho said a prayer of blessing. After this, time was allotted to the devotees to venerate the Relic of Don Bosco.
Later, Fr. Valerian Pereira animated a one-hour prayer service for the Salesians from 8.45 to 9.45 a.m. He called on the assembly to reflect on the person of Don Bosco, who preached the Good News in season and out of season, who blended holiness with cheerfulness and who worked tirelessly for poor youth. Fr. Savio D’Souza, Fr. Joaquim D’Souza, Fr. Thomas Chalissery and Fr. Tony D’Souza were invited to light a lamp each, symbolic of the challenge of every Salesian educator to promote justice, to develop a relationship of prayer with Jesus, to cherish the gift of life and to become communicators of God’s love to all. The gathering raised prayers of thanksgiving and petitions to the Lord, through the intercession of Don Bosco. The Salesians then proceeded to venerate the Relic and to enjoy these grace filled moments with Don Bosco.
“This will always remain one of the most memorable days of my life”, a young Salesian was heard remarking. Indeed, it is momentous occasion… and the day is not yet done. We are now awaiting the solemn Eucharistic celebration at 6.30 p.m. this evening. It is like living a dream, and we are cherishing every moment of it!