Magicians Want Don Bosco Declared Their Patron

ROME, JAN. 29, 2002 ( Hundreds of magicians and illusionists will present a petition to John Paul II on Wednesday asking him to declare St. John Bosco their patron saint.

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These special pilgrims will attend the general audience dressed in their glittering costumes. They will give the Pope a magic wand from India, «so that he will continue to perform the great magic the world needs: peace and serenity.»

One of the organizers of the event is Salesian Father Silvano Mantelli, widely known as Magician Sales.

Two years ago Magician Sales organized the Jubilee of magicians (excluding occultists) and, for the past 20 years, he has celebrated the «Mass of the Conjurers» in Castelnuovo Don Bosco, homeland of his founder.

Don Bosco is known popularly as patron of conjurers and illusionists, though he has never been officially declared as such, Sales said.

Sales directs the Magicians Without Frontiers Foundation, which funds projects for Third World children with income from the performances.

The feast day of St. John Bosco (1815-1888) is Thursday.

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