September 17, 2009

Nun’s remains to tour England and Wales

by Benjamin Graham

The remains of a 19th century Catholic nun have arrived in the UK for a tour of England and Wales.

St Thérèse of Lisieux, who died of tuberculosis aged 24 in 1897, was described by Pope Pius X as “the greatest saint of modern times”.

Her relics – a casket containing bones from her thigh and foot – will visit 28 sites in England and Wales including Anglican York Minster and Wormwood Scrubs prison.

The Catholic Church claims people who have visited the relics whilst they’ve been on tour in other countries have experienced conversion, healing, answers to their prayers, and a renewed sense of purpose.

The relics began their UK tour at St John’s Catholic Cathedral in Portsmouth.

Canon Dave Hopgood, spokesperson for the Cathedral, said: “It’s a great honour, not just for Catholics and Christians but it’s a great honour for the city, too.”

Monsignor Keith Barltrop, who organised the tour, said Catholics believe relics help them come closer to God.

“St Thérèse has always been popular, I suppose for her simplicity and the very direct, almost childlike relationship she had with God and the fact that she was very ordinary and full of love for God and other people teaches us that everyone can be holy,” he said.

“In such a complicated age people value the kind of direct approach she has.”

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