- Published on 29 March 2012
The relic of the heart of St John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, will be taken to Manchester as part of a four-day visit to Britain, the Diocese of Shrewsbury can confirm.
The Church of St Anthony, Wythenshawe, will host the relic during the late afternoon and early evening of Thursday July 5th.
The public will also be able to venerate the relic. There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the opportunity for Confession.
The heart will go to Wythenshawe on the first stop of the first ever British tour of the major relic of the 19th century French saint between July 5th and July 8th.
It will be flown into Manchester from Ars, France, at the invitation of the Rt Rev. Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury.
Bishop Davies said: “The visit of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux to Manchester in 2009 had a great impact on the many thousands who spent time to pray and reflect on the life of the saint.
“The visit of the relics of St John Vianney will likewise be a moment for many to reflect on what should be at the heart of parish life, the heart of the priesthood – the same call to holiness and witness to the Gospel which was seen in the life of this great parish priest.”
The relic will also be taken to the Invocations Annual National Vocations Conference in Birmingham.
The vocations event, which this year will focus in a particular way on the priesthood and its role in the life of the Church, will be held at St Mary’s College, Oscott, Birmingham, from 6th to 8th July.
The relic will be present at the festival during the evening of Saturday July 7, when there will be an all-night prayer vigil, before the public is given the opportunity to venerate the relic at the college the following afternoon.
On Friday July 6th the relic will be taken to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool for a National Day of prayer for vocations and the renewal of parish life. In the evening the heart will be taken to the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Woodchurch, Wirral, for compline and veneration. Both events are open to the public.
On the morning of July 7th the relic will go to St Wilfrid’s Church, Northwich, Cheshire, for prayers for the renewal of parish life and vocations and that afternoon it will be taken to the Cathedral Church of Our Lady Help of Christians and St Peter of Alcantara, Shrewsbury, for prayers for priestly vocations. Both events will be open to the public.
The Diocese of Shrewsbury website has a dedicated section to the visit of the relic. Pages under this section, which will be found under “News”, will be regularly updated as details of the visit are finalised. Anyone interested in the tour of the relic is advised to check this section regularly.