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Shrewsbury Cathedral: Bishop welcomes relics of St Bernadette

  • Simon Caldwell

Saint Bernadette

Saint Bernadette

Bishop Mark Davies has today welcomed the relics of St Bernadette of Lourdes to Shrewsbury Cathedral.

The relics were brought to the Cathedral on the Town Walls as part of a national pilgrimage.

In a homily due to be preached at a 7pm Mass in the presence of the relics, Bishop Davies will make a comparison between the progress of the saint's remains across the country and the journey of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Scotland to London following Her Majesty's death at the age of 96 at Balmoral on Thursday.

Bishop Davies will say: "In our time of national mourning, we have witnessed the reverence and love with which the mortal remains of our departed Queen Elizabeth have been received on their last journey across our land.

"Her Majesty's mortal remains are a tangible connection with our late Monarch, recalling the memory of her dedicated life and inviting prayer among the many who have stood along the roadways or passed before them.

"These scenes might help us appreciate how the Church, from the beginning treated the bodies of the Saints with great reverence, as those who had lived united with Christ who left for us the memory of their witness and are now forever united with Christ in Heaven.

"And while we pray for our beloved Queen, as we pray for each other in the hour of death, the Church has always invited us to ask the Saints to pray for us.

"And so it is, with the pilgrimage of the relics of Saint Bernadette across our country, they provide us with a tangible connection with the heroic life of this young woman; and as we venerate them with reverence, we are invited to ask her prayers in Heaven as we continue our journey on earth."

Bishop Davies will say that the relics will connect the faithful with a saint who was frail and poor and who might challenge contemporary society on its attitudes to "the frailest and weakest from the unborn to the sick and to the aged".

The relics might also inspire the faithful to recognise more fully their own calling to holiness and to their own particular Christian vocations.

The relics of St Bernadette arrived in England at the beginning of September and have so far passed through the Archdiocese of Westminster and the dioceses of Portsmouth, Plymouth, Clifton, Cardiff and Menevia.

They arrived at Shrewsbury Cathedral at 2.30pm today (Tuesday) where they will remain until 9am tomorrow.

On departing from Shrewsbury Cathedral, the relics will be driven to St Werburgh's Church in Chester city centre where they will be made available for public veneration.

Members of the public will be invited to enter both venues to venerate the relics and offer silent prayers in their presence.

Overall, the relics of St Bernadette will be in England, Scotland and Wales, until November 1 as they continue their tour through all of the dioceses.

LINKS

Read more about the tour of the Relics: www.indcatholicnews.com/news/45207
For the full itinerary see: www.indcatholicnews.com/news/45315
Diocese of Shrewsbury: www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org

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