Friday, October 13, 2006

The heart of the Cure' of Ars

Did you see the news stories about the relic of the heart of St. John Vianney? It has been brought to New York and is in St. Mary's Church in Waltham, Ma, today, and will be in the Boston cathedral tomorow.

I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this, because the idea of taking hearts or other bodily organs for relics can be taken to extremes sometimes. But it does have to do with the incarnational reality that is at the heart of Catholicism. Some of the sisters are going tonight to see it in Waltham and if I'm able I would like to go too.
The priest at Mass this morning said that the bishop of the diocese where Ars is located is accompanying the relic. The vocation office here is sponsoring this as an invitation to pray for vocations to the priesthood and for the holiness of priests. Father said that when the bishop was first asked to allow the relic to be brought here, his first reply was "no." But then he said, "For Boston....yes!" as if to say that the only way out of the terrible scandal is for priests to be holy.

How do you feel about these kinds of relics?


Anonymous said...

Hi Sister,
I didn't get the chance to venerate the relic, but wish I had. I see relics as a miraculous connection to our faith and the past. And a physical remembrance of holy souls such as Saint John Vianney. I do agree that the seperating of heart from body is a bit disconcerting, but suspect it has to do with a tradition established by the church centuries ago.

xaipe said...

I have a tiny first-class relic of St. Ignatius of Loyola, which I treasure. Relics make it possible, in a way, for us to pay our respects at the "tomb" of the saint, and there is that human need of physical proximity even to our loved one's remains... That said, some of the relics you find in Europe just go beyond the pale. Like finding Catherine of Siena's "santa testa" (holy head) in a box-like reliquary in her home town, while the rest of her body is in Rome where she died. How that was not thought of as a desecration is beyond me. Who on earth did that? And the story of Thomas Aquinas!!! (As Sr. Julia says, "If I'm a saint when I die, don't do that to me!"