Saturday, October 1, 2011

St. Therese in England and Wales, 2009

On her feast day, it seems only right that I should highlight the great tour of her relics in England and Wales: thousands of Catholics visited churches from mid-September until mid-October, including of course her feast day. I mentioned this pilgrimage in my book as one of the events leading to a revival of Catholicism in Great Britain. After the tour of her relics came the announcement of Anglicanorum Coetibus, the announcement of the beatification of John Henry Newman and the Pope Benedict's visit to Scotland and England (in the second printing of Supremacy and Survival in 2010).

The Carmelites in England highlight their participation in this event on their website:

A large reliquary containing some of her bones came to England and Wales for the first time between mid-September and mid-October 2009. Among the locations visited were Carmelite communities of friars and nuns, including Aylesford Priory in Kent, where the relics were venerated by pilgrims 9th -11th October, and the Priory of the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Kensington the following day (12th October). Communities of Carmelite religious and laity across England and Wales were involved in welcoming the relics of our sister in Carmel, including the visit to Birmingham Cathedral (19th-21st September) and to York Minster on her feast day, 1st October.

The website for the Bishops of England and Wales have their site for the visit archived here. This page on why the bishops of England and Wales wanted the relics to tour England is particularly good:

What is it all about?

The purpose of the visit is to deepen our relationship with God and each other. Catholics believe in something called the “Communion of Saints”, which means that holy people who have died and are now in heaven can be experienced as caring for us and helping us by their prayers. We, in our turn, show our thankfulness to God for giving them to us by honouring them and asking them to pray for us.

A new outreach

It is our experience as Catholics that when this sense of the Communion of Saints is deepened, we also find a new energy to go out and share our faith with others. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 850) says: “The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make people share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love."

St. Thérèse is a much loved saint whose example of faith and love and whose prayers can help us to do this in a very practical way.

EWTN is broadcasting a special about this visit later tonight.


  1. Hi Stephanie,
    I was baptized at Little Flower RC Church. It
    was founded in 1925(yr St Therese was canonized).
    It's located in Richmond Heights(St Louis)
    below is there website,Best,Kevin Brooks-Kelly,St Louis

  2. Thanks for the comment! God bless you.