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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

Press Releases

Heart of St John Vianney to be taken to Liverpool

11th March 2012

For immediate release:

It is with immense gratitude that the Diocese of Shrewsbury can announce that the relic of the heart of St John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, will be taken to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, on Friday July 6.

The National Day in the Catholic cathedral will form part of the first ever British tour of the major relic of the 19th century French saint between July 5 and July 8.

The heart will be flown from Ars, France, at the invitation of the Rt Rev. Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, in the hope that its presence will represent a “moment of grace” for the Diocese of Shrewsbury, which incorporates nearly all of Cheshire, all of Shropshire, the Wirral, and parts of Greater Manchester and Derbyshire.

The purpose of the visit is to provide an occasion of prayer for the renewal of the ministerial priesthood in the diocese, to inspire new and generous vocations, and to spur the renewal of the missions and life of the parishes.

The National Day in Liverpool will be dedicated to praying for renewal of parish life and vocations generally.

The relic will be shown between 10am and 4pm. There will be a Mass concelebrated by the bishops of Liverpool and Shrewsbury as well as Divine Office, Confessions, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Veneration.

The Most Rev. Patrick Kelly, the Archbishop of Liverpool, who this year celebrates the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood, welcomed this opportunity to be one in prayer with St John Vianney.

Archbishop Kelly said: “The visit of the relics of St Terese of Lisieux to the Metropolitan Cathedral was an occasion of deep prayer and renewal for thousands of people; this visit, when between 10 am and 4 pm prayer in the presence of the relic of St John Vianney will be open to all, shall most surely be blest.”

Bishop Davies said: “The visit of this relic of St John Vianney to the Shrewsbury Diocese has attracted national interest and many inquiries from around the country.

“I am grateful to Archbishop Kelly for offering to host a national day at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King so that many more may be able to accept the invitation to prayer for priests, for vocations and for the renewal of parish life.”

It has been previously confirmed that 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 6-8 July.

The relic will be present at the festival during the morning of Sunday July 8 before the public is given the opportunity to venerate the relic at the college in the afternoon.

The relic will be accompanied throughout the visit by the Rt Rev. Guy Bagnard, the Bishop of Belley-Ars, France, along with two priests of the Ars Diocese, where three seminarians for the Shrewsbury diocese are in training.