Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Anna Arco

9/25/2009 (4 years ago)

The Catholic Herald (UK) (www.catholicherald.co.uk/)

The relics, which were brought to Britain via the Channel Tunnel, have drawn over 20,000 pilgrims since they started touring just over a week ago.

Relics of St. Therese on display for veneration by the faithful.

Relics of St. Therese on display for veneration by the faithful.

Highlights

By Anna Arco

The Catholic Herald (UK) (www.catholicherald.co.uk/)

9/25/2009 (4 years ago)

Published in Europe


LONDON (UK Catholic Herald) - Thousands of Catholic faithful have flocked to venerate the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux which have been on tour in England and Wales since last week.

The relics, which were brought to Britain via the Channel Tunnel, have drawn over 20,000 pilgrims since they started touring just over a week ago.

At their first stop at the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Portsmouth, more than 4,500 people came to venerate the relics. Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth said that the visit had been one of his proudest moments as bishop of the diocese.

He said: "Over the years of the history of our diocese and our cathedral in Portsmouth we have witnessed many great events and occasions. But for sheer intensity of prayer and real devotion, I doubt whether any have matched what we have experienced during the hours of the visit to the cathedral of St Thérèse."

The relics were then taken to Plymouth where they were met by Bishop Christopher Budd at the doors of his cathedral. Pilgrims travelled in coaches from Cornwall and Devon and the cathedral was packed to capacity, with 3,000 people passing through over the course of 20 hours.

The relics drew their largest crowd so far at St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, with 11,000 people in two days. Bishop William Kenney, the administrator of the archdiocese, said: "The visit of the relics has been a time of grace for the diocese and in particular for the many thousands of pilgrims who came to venerate them in person."

At Coleshill, Birmingham, where the relics stopped at the parish of St Teresa of the Child of Jesus, they were met by several hundred people and Fr Marcus Stock, the new general secretary of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, celebrated a welcome liturgy.

Auxiliary Bishop David McGough of Birmingham preached about St Thérèse's humility and her resolve that everything in her life "would become an expression of Christ's presence in our world".

There was also a celebration for the priests of the diocese held at Coleshill before St Thérèse was taken to Cardiff. The relics were then due to be taken to Salford, Manchester and Newcastle before stopping in York Minster, the Anglican cathedral.

The Dean of York, Keith Jones, said: "I am thrilled that the relics of St Thérèse, the Little Flower, are coming to York minster ... she is a gift of God to us all and this is a chance for Christians of different traditions to us to pray for unity and renew our faith and our love."

The relics will then head south via Middlesbrough, Leeds, Nottingham and Walsingham before stopping in Oxford, Buckinghamshire and Aylesford. They arrive in London in mid-October, stopping first at the Carmelite church in Kensington and then Westminster Cathedral.

While reports in the secular press were initially positive a backlash soon followed. Matthew Parris of the Times said that the presence of the relics in England and Wales should be a "call to arms" for atheists. He criticised mainstream news coverage of the event for being uncritical. In the Sunday Times Minette Marrin attacked the Government for allowing the relics to stop at the Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London.

She wrote: "There comes a time when even a peaceable agnostic feels roused to indignation. For me it was last week, at the news that the Home Office has seen fit to let the bones of the Little Flower into Wormwood Scrubs prison ... In so doing, it opens wide the gates of reason to let into any public place any and every fetish or juju that any religious group claims is part of its spiritual life.

"What the starry progress of the relics of the Little Flower has done for me is to remind me that we have in this country rather too much religious tolerance."

Simon Jenkins, writing in the Guardian, was also critical of the decision to bring the relics to Wormwood Scrubs.

But Fr Gerry McFlynn, the chaplain at the prison, said in a letter to the Guardian: "In venerating the relics of St Thérèse, Catholics and other Christians are not engaging in some ghoulish ritual, but rather seeking to draw inspiration from the life and spirituality of a remarkable woman."



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis and St Augustine Speak to Bishops

Image of Francis encouraged these men, called to be shepherds of the flock of Christ, to be men of courage. He charged them to overcome the initial fears which can accompany the daunting task entrusted to them by the Lord and His Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

This week, Pope Francis met with all of the Bishops who received their appointments in the past year. They are all participating in a training session which is held at the Vatican every year. Francis, the Bishop of Rome, told his brothers they were  - the ... continue reading


Pope hailed as 'pontiff of the poor' by noted Greek atheist and leftist leader Watch

Image of Alexis Tsipras, Greece's opposition leader and a renowned atheist and leftist, met with Pope Francis as part of starting a dialogue between the Church and leftists in Europe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Alexis Tsipras, a radical leftists and self-described atheist-as well as Greece's opposition leader-has hailed Pope Francis as the "pontiff of the poor" after a meeting at the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Tsipras, one of the loudest critics of ... continue reading


New apostolic constitution to overhaul Vatican drawn up by Council of Cardinals Watch

Image of The nine cardinals will help advise the Pope on the reform of the Vatican's organization and church governance. Discussions are reportedly now more

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals have begun a first draft of a new apostolic constitution intended to reform Vatican bureaucracy. Appointed by Pope Francis, the so-called "C-9" of nine cardinal members held its sixth meeting this week. LOS ... continue reading


Until death 'til they part - and then some! Skeletons hold hands for centuries Watch

Image of The skeletons were placed together in this position, as there was enough room in the grave to have them buried apart, according to Vicki Score, ULAS project manager.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a remarkable find - and a reminder on how love can last past the grave. Two skeletons, holding hands centuries after their passing, were discovered in an old, British churchyard. Fingers still entwined, the couple was found in a site that overlooks the ... continue reading


Who was the mysterious third tribe that formed gene pool with primitive Europeans? Watch

Image of Hunter-gatherers arrived in Europe thousands of years before the advent of agriculture. These hunters took shelter in the south during the Ice Age and then expanded during a period called the Mesolithic, after the ice sheets had retreated from central and northern Europe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers at Harvard medical School have definitely linked at least three tribes that combined to create Europeans of 7,000 years ago. Scientists say that blue-eyed hunters with olive skin mingled with brown-eyed, fair-completed farmers as these tillers swept ... continue reading


Shakespearean villain Richard III died from battle wounds Watch

Image of King Richard III suffered a total of 11 wounds around the time of his death. According to analysis, Richard suffered nine wounds to his skull and two to the rest of his body.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classical Shakespearean villain and colorful historical figure King Richard III died from a particularly brutal blow to the skull he suffered in battle. A forensic analysis of his skeleton gave scientists' clues to his final moments. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Millions displaced from homes due to natural disasters Watch

Image of Last year, seasonal floods caused significant displacements in sub-Saharan Africa, notably in Niger, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan, countries also affected by conflict and drought.

By Laura Onita, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Almost 22 million people were forced to flee their homes due to natural disasters last year and the numbers uprooted could increase as urban populations grow, a refugee agency said on Wednesday. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The majority were in Asia, where 19 million ... continue reading


Pope Francis invites Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet with him Watch

Image of It's not yet known how Chinese President Xi Jinping will respond to Pope Francis' request for a special meeting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has reportedly invited the President of China, Xi Jinping to meet with him, either in the Vatican or Beijing. The pontiff wants to speak to the president in order to build a lasting global peace, which the Pope says is engaged in a "piecemeal" ... continue reading


Marriage and Holiness: Pope Marries Twenty Couples on the Exaltation of the Cross Watch

Image of One of the twenty couples who exchanged their vows in the presence of Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Much of the Press, including circles of the Catholic Press, focused on the unique path which some of the couples followed to the Sacrament of Marriage; even though they had all arrived at the Altar, offering their love to the Source of all true Love, for ... continue reading


Pope Francis Gives Impassioned Plea for an End to War: What Does it Matter to Me? Watch

Image of Pope Francis walks inside the Austro-Hungarian cemetery at Fogliano in Redipuglia September 13, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

By Catholic Online

With this - What does it matter to me?-  in their hearts, the merchants of war perhaps have made a great deal of money, but their corrupted hearts have lost the capacity to cry.  That - What does it matter to me?- prevents the tears.  Cain did not ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
6 Seek out Yahweh while he is still to be found, call ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
20 all in accordance with my most confident hope and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 21st, 2014 Image

St. Matthew
September 21: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter