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Saint Therese Comes To Salford
 

THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE…

From Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September, the superstar relics of St Therese will be at Salford Cathedral. With almost a quarter of a million Catholics in the Salford Diocese, the Cathedral is expected to be well crowded.

Unusual? Nah, Canon Tony McBride of Salford Cathedral tells Liam Starkey, it's just like having Michael Jackson's glove in town… 

 


St Therese Tour St Therese Tour
click image to enlarge

Salford Cathedral is all set to be one of the top locations for the international tour of the relics of St Therese of Lisieux. The tour, which was last in Guyana, takes in Liverpool, London and, controversially, Wormwood Scrubs during its British leg, before heading off to Tunisia next. So what's the attraction?

St Therese was a French Carmelite nun born in 1873 who died at the age of 24. Her autobiography, 'the life of a soul', was translated into many languages and she is one of the most widely revered saints in the Catholic church. The arrival of her relics in Salford is a major event for Catholics.

She is venerated as a saint for the modern era because she taught that the little things in life, the smallest good deeds, could count towards the saintly life as much as the great deeds of heroic virtue, meaning  that holy life was accessible to all. She was also deemed to understand the position of atheists and agnostics and is thus thought to have a wide appeal.

The remains of St Therese's body are kept in Lisieux. The relics in the tour consist of some of her limbs encased in an ornate coffin, or reliquary, weighing 132kg (a gift from the Catholics of Brazil). The reliquary is encased in perspex. For security reasons and for reasons of respect two people will be with the relics at all times.

When asked if some people might consider the veneration of a saints bones unusual, Canon Tony McBride of Salford Cathedral responded that according to the teaching of the Catholic Church it has nothing to do with superstition and is all about relationship. In the same way fans of Michael Jackson might like to see a glove or other artefact belonging to the star, Catholics build up a sense of relationship through coming into contact with artefacts.

Christians believe that all good Christian people from all eternity are joined in one family under God. Seen in this way, venerating the relics is like visiting the grave of a loved one or keeping a lock of their hair, as in Victorian times.

According to Canon McBride there are 240,000 Catholics in the diocese of Salford which extends into Lancashire. Whilst in the municipal area of Salford he estimates there are 25,000 Catholics divided between 28 parishes. The hosting of the remains of St Therese in Salford is likely to attract many non Catholics too, as she is venerated by Muslims as well as people from the Church of England.

The Relics of St Therese arrive at Salford Cathedral on Friday 25th of September and will be in situ until Sunday 27th.

Photos courtesy of www.catholicrelics.co.uk
 

gerry francis,Norwich. wrote
at 16:39:47 on 06 October 2009
I eagerly await the visit of the relics to Walsingham in October.My family admire this saint because of the simplicity of her life,and her unfailing love of our lord. Dear Lord,may we follow her exsample and by our actions be a witness to our Lord in this life,Amen
 
wrote
at 05:07:20 on 03 October 2009
more stories like this please.
 
tess wrote
at 05:07:12 on 03 October 2009
Thank you Liam for a very interesting article. It shows that faith and spirituality is alive and well in Salford. I've sent a copy to my sister who lives in Spain!
 
Phil wrote
at 20:44:36 on 27 September 2009
Is there a pun there, in "British leg' of the journey? Time for the thesaurus...
 
Mike Davidson wrote
at 21:54:25 on 24 September 2009
I was given a statue of St Therese as a child and told, "Always keep Her in your thoughts and you will overcome all hurdles and obstacles life throws your way. 50 years later and I can confirm this as fact.
 
Patricia Craxton wrote
at 12:33:21 on 24 September 2009
All my life I have been devoted to St Theresa, my mother is a devote Catholic and always had a small statue of St Theresa in our bedroom, this was kissed every morning before we left for school. I am 55 years now and those memories will always remain. I seem to turn to St. Theresa in times of trouble and she has always helped me. Mum and I will be attending Salford Cathedral on Saturday to pay our respects.
 
wrote
at 06:42:12 on 23 September 2009
I'm not a Catholic but I hope to attend Salford Cathedral whilst the Relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux are there this weekend. There is a statue in honour of Saint Therese in St. Mary's RC Church in Eccles (where the priest is Father Livesey). Thanks to the Salford Star for this excellent article.
 
Stephen Coen wrote
at 05:57:17 on 22 September 2009
Informative and sensitive article, well done for posting this and both respecting the relic and faith of the local Catholic community.
 
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