St John bosco relic stolen
Bone goes missing from Alassio church12 December, 18:27
Local police opened an investigation, saying they had no immediate leads.
The relic, a small bone from one of the saint's hands, had been the focus of veneration in the Santa Maria degli Angeli church since the celebrated defender of young criminals became a saint almost 80 years ago.
John Bosco (1815-1888) was a priest who dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth.
He employed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment and founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales, more commonly known as the Salesian Society, as well as helping establish a congregation of nuns known as the Salesian Sisters. In 1875 he published the first Catholic Book Lover - Salesian Monthly Bulletin, which has remained in continuous publication ever since.
It is currently published in 50 different editions and 30 languages.
Don Bosco set up a network to carry on his work, one of the most highly regarded Catholic activist organisations worldwide. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934.
photo: Bosco's body touring India earlier this year