Chennai Province bids farewell to the Relic of DB By Fr. Paul Raj Amal
Chennai, Nov. 18. The entire Salesian Family in Chennai came together to bid adieu to the relic of Don Bosco at the Provincial House on 17 November, the penultimate day of the relic's presence in the Province of Chennai. Archbishop Chinnappa of Madras-Mylapore and two State Ministers specially deputed by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu were also present on the occasion at the Provincial House.
After a solemn Mass at Lourdes Shrine, Perambur, the relic reached the Provincial House at 9.00 p.m. on Thursday. The Salesians, the sisters, co-operators, VDBs, past-pupils and other members of the Family welcomed the casket with overwhelming joy and devotion. The casket was placed in Hall of SIGA for veneration and whole night vigil. The Provincial welcomed and thanked Mr. Chella Pandiyan, Minister of Labour, Mrs. Gokula Indira, Minister for Tourism and Mr. Prabhakaran the M.L.A. for their gracious presence.In his welcome address he threw light on the significance of the relic pilgrimage and the relevance of Don Bosco and his style of holiness for today's world. He also said that the last 22 days during which the relic criss-crossed the province, visiting numerous places were also days of grace and blessings for the province.
Speaking to the Salesian Family, Archbishop Chinnappa SDB said today we need not only Don Bosco's hand, but also his heart - the heart that overflowed with so much love for the young and the poor. The casket was kept open for veneration for the members of the ''Salesian Family, while Fr. Anthonyraj, the Vice Provincial, animated the prayer service.
During the night vigil, the young Salesians of the province and a good number of Sisters from the Salesian Family sat around the casket praying and praising. The vigil service concluded with a Solemn Eucharistic celebration at 5.00 a.m. this morning, presided over by Fr. Jayapalan, the provincial.
Today, the relic's final day in Chennai and India, it is scheduled to visit the Shrine at Little Mount, where St Thomas the Apostle lived, and from there to the Sacred heart Seminary, Poonamallee, and then to St Thomas Mount, the place where St Thomas was martyred, before it leaves to the airport on its way to Sri Lanka.