Italian police recover stolen relic of St. John Bosco

IMAGE: CNS photo courtesy of the Salesians and Andrea Cherchi


TURIN, Italy (CNS) — Inside a copper teapot in a kitchen
cupboard, Italian police found the relic of St. John Bosco that had been
stolen two weeks earlier from the basilica erected at his birthplace.

The press office of the Salesians in nearby Turin announced
June 15 that Italian military police obtained a search warrant and discovered
the relic early that morning in the home of a 42-year-old Italian man
identified only by the initials C.G.

From previous encounters with the law, the man’s
fingerprints were on file and they were found on the glass case protecting the
relic and reliquary in the lower Basilica of St. John Bosco in the town of
Castelnuovo Don Bosco.

Police said they watched and followed the man for several
days before obtaining a warrant to search his home.

The relic, a piece of St. John Bosco’s brain, was still in
its small glass jar tied with red ribbon. The seal of authenticity was intact,
the Salesians said.

“It appears the motive for the theft had nothing to do
with a desire to demand a ransom nor was it stolen for a collector,” the
police said in a statement. Apparently, the thief “erroneously”
believed the gold-painted reliquary over the glass jar was worth a lot of

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