I never believe that I really can be this close to a saint. The real saint comes, St. John Bosco. St. John Bosco (relics) come to my country (Indonesia) on 9-12 March 2011 as part of his world wide tour in the celebration of 200 years of Father Bosco’s birth.
St. Bosco comes through his relic. His urna (right hand bone) is put inside a wax replica of his body. The wax replica is put in a glass coffin and put in front of the Tabernacle. Everyone could come close and see, even to touch the glass case. We could pray in front of him. Beside the relic, the parishioners also prepare an exhibition about St. Bosco. I know him more after going to the exhibition. They display the story of St. Bosco life. The story from his birth until the churches he built.
St. Bosco’s Life
Little Bosco was a dreamer. He dreamed so many strange but through his dream, God talked to him. Jesus and Mary often came to his dream. Don Bosco spirituality about loving the youth was also one of St. Bosco’s dream since he was young. Little Bosco dreamed that Jesus and Mary came to him and showed him a group of bad boys. The group of boys soon turned into a group of fierce animals. Jesus and Mary came and asked him to change the fierce boys into calm and tame sheeps. This dream changed his life. Bosco knew that to get along with the boys, he must enter their group with doing things that the boys do or like. So, he learned the circus and acrobat. Circus and acrobat was an entertainment that attract people’s attention, especially kids and young people. So, there be the St. Bosco order with their mission to reach as much as youth to Christ with fun way and with love.
Bosco’s life was not easy. He was poor. His mother worked hard to get him to school. Bosco also worked. Bosco was a very smart and multi-talented boy, so he could do any job given to him, and could learn all kinds of job, like sewing, blacksmith, cooking, serving the bar (cafe) also. In summer holiday, Bosco worked for money to pay his school fee. The experiences and skills that Bosco got from working was God’s preparation for him so that he could teach his student later those skills and experiences.
Bosco loved his boys so much. He was very hunger of youth. He put his most attention to the youth. He wanted the youth to have a quality life and he wanted the youth to shout out and dare to dream. He never stopped walking to reach the youth. He always opened his hand to the youth. Time goes by, the more youth boys came to him and wanted to join his life. Then Bosco built the Salesian Order, using St. Francis de Sales’ name. But there were also times that he thought it’s very hard and he thought about stopping what he was doing. But in every grief of his heart, he prayed. And God never put His hand away from this saint’s work. God always gave St. Bosco everything he needed to his work. His life was never easy, but he always happy and joyful in his works for the boys. He really lives his dream.
“You will never die, Father Bosco” said one of Bosco’s boys in the movie. Yes, St. John Bosco never dies! Even when his physical body has gone, his virtue, his life-story, his big heart lives forever. Personally, I see St. Bosco visit’s to Indonesia is just like his journey to reach as much as boys when he was alive. It is written in the the banner, “Not all people could go to Italy and see John Bosco. Therefore, St. Bosco himself comes to meet us!” It has been 123 years after his death, but St. Bosco is still travelling the world to visit and to be with his young people!
I love St. Bosco. His life virtue really encourages me to become a saint. Before his visit to Indonesia, I don’t know much of his story. So, I soon read much about him. Part of his life which I love the most is about St. Dominic Savio. Bosco is Dominic’s teacher. St. Bosco was the one who inspired St. Dominic to become a saint. So there be St. Dominic as the youngest saint.
St. Dominic’s Life
Dominic Savio was a brilliant student in his school, therefore his former teacher sent him to Father Bosco. Little Dominic lived with St. Bosco. Once little Dominic listened to a talk about holiness, then he was really interested in it and intended to be a saint too. He told Father Bosco, “Would you like to help me? I want to be saint.” Father Bosco saw a big heart in his little boy. He encouraged Dominic to live a holy life through joy and cheerful life. Indeed, Dominic was liked by his friends. In his hunger, he gave his food to his friend. He did fasting. St. Bosco commented on his fasting, “Your stomach is always empty.” Dominic was not an ordinary boy. He cheered Father Bosco when Father Bosco was down. He also had a close life to Jesus. He hold fast the Sacrament.
My prayer and my wish
I love Dominic Savio. I want to be like him, a holy youth. So, I only have 5 words prayer when I was touching Bosco’s glass case : “I wanna be a saint”. Yes, I pray and ask for help from Father Bosco. “St. John Bosco, I come to you as your second Dominic. I want to be a saint too. Please help me.” Yeah, I want to be Bosco’s second Dominic who came to him and asked for guidance to keep holiness.
And I couldn’t pray anything more than thanking Bosco for coming to my place. His visit really encourages me to grow in holiness and to fill my youth day with the Spirit of the Lord.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Father Bosco! Hope I could see you again.