Cerebral relic of saint Don Bosco found by police
TURIN— A flask housing a fragment of the brain of saint Don Bosco, which had previously been stolen by opportunistic thieves from a Basilica in the Piedmontese province of Astri, has been found by local police some two weeks after it was snatched.
The cerebral relic was found in the kitchen of a 42-year-old man with previous convictions, hidden in a copper teapot. The man told police that he didn’t steal it because he wanted to demand a ransom, nor because he wanted commission from an ornament collector, but because he thought the gold lid of the display case would be valuable.
After being interrogated by local police and coordinators from the Asti public prosecution service, he was arrested at his home in Pinerolo.
“It’s a relief for the Salesians, for the Church of Turin and for so many friends of Saint Don Bosco, who have copiously shown, in this period, their proximity,” said don Enrico Stati, head of the Salesians of Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta.
The priest also expressed his, “thankfulness and gratitude to the magistrate, to the local police and to all those involved in the positive solution of this unfortunate event.”
Police were able to indentify the culprit from fingerprints left on the back of the main alter at the basilica Castelnuovo don Bosco, a small town named after the saint, who was born there in 1815 and died in 1888.
It is the second time a relic of Saint Don Bosco has been stolen. In 2011 a small bone reputedly from one of the saint’s hands was stolen from a church in the town of Alassio.