Skip to comments.Saint's heart to go on display
Posted on 09/15/2006 7:50:37 AM PDT by murphE
Catholics throughout the metropolitan area are expected to pray next month at the Curé of Ars Church in Merrick, L.I., where the "incorrupt" heart of St. John Vianney will be on display for five days of veneration.
The heart, which has not left France since Vianney was canonized a saint in 1925, will be on display at various times Oct. 7-11 to celebrate the Merrick Ave. church's 80th anniversary.
Vianney's chalice will also be used during all Masses, beginning with one at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. The closing Mass will be at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
"It's an historic moment for our diocese," said the Rev. Charles Mangano, the Cure of Ars pastor. "It's very, very exciting."
At least 1,000 people are expected to journey to Merrick to see the heart, which will be in a rounded reliquary with gold edges and under close watch by security guards, Mangano said.
Born in France in 1786, Vianney began training for the priesthood at 18 but twice failed his exams before being ordained 11 years later.
In 1818, he began his tenure as parish priest of Ars, Mangano said.
There, Vianney quickly gained fame for his ability to heal others and read the hearts of those who came to him to confess their sins, said the Rev. Jean-Pierre Ruiz, a theology professor at St. John's University in Jamaica.
As he entered old age, Vianney was still faithful to his flock and spent between 13 and 17 hours a day in cramped confessionals.
He died in 1859 at age 73.
Vianney was beatified in 1905 and canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925. His body - which, like his heart, is considered incorrupt by the Catholic Church, meaning that it is believed to be miraculously free from decay - now lies in a basilica attached to the original Parish of Ars Church in France. A special chapel was erected nearby to receive the heart. "In some sense, his physical heart symbolizes the care and compassion that characterized his life and his ministry as a parish priest," Ruiz said.
While attending an international priests' conference in Ars last September, Mangano asked the Bellay-Ars bishop if the heart could come to Merrick for the church's 80th anniversary.
Two weeks later, he received an e-mail saying the heart would come to Long Island - and leave France for the first time since the 1925 canonization ceremony in Rome.
The popularity of relics began during the persecution of Catholics by the Roman Empire in the first three centuries, when martyrs' bodies were venerated, Ruiz said.
Although Catholics in Europe regularly use relics in asking saints to pray to God on their behalf, Americans are not familiar with the custom, Mangano said.
"As Americans, we're not used to seeing body parts; we're not into relics," he said. "Some of our parishioners are like, 'Eww, why would you want to see the heart?'"
There is an excellent book titled the "Incorruptibles" that outline several saints whose bodies are intact and on display in churches throughout Europe.
This is from memory so the actual details are fuzzy but one is a female Saint sitting in a chair with absolutely no sign of decomposition since the 13th-14th century.....skin still soft... Reportedly, on occasions her eyelids open stay that way for several days then close....
I'll find the book and look the direct reference but the topic is fascinating.
Body parts of saints have been shipped around the world by the catholic church for years.....One saints finger with a ring was sent to my kids school several years ago here in Georgia. (Catholic school of course)It was not an incorruptable though....
Ping your lists please. Isn't this awesome?
Geez, I can't WAIT to see this. Not.
Who are you to forgive anything?
Forgive was the wrong word. accept was closer to what I meant.
I wish the psycho, ignorant, God haters would stay away from these threads.
One of the French trad priests I know has a relic of St. John Vianney which I held. I've also seen and touched relics of St. Blaise, St. Maria Goretti, and the biggie, an actual piece of the Cross of Christ.
Why is it sick? The Church has always venerated relics of saints who were temples of the Holy Spirit during their earthly life. Their bodies were tabernacles of Christ when they partook of Christ's Body and Blood. Their relics are holy because Christ made them holy. They lived their vocation to be the image of Christ...and now they are in the presence of the Holy One.
so go away and don't accept it. your loss.
"The Holy Church encloses relics of the Saints in the altar because from the time of the Catacombs she used to offer the divine Martyr of Golgotha as close as possible to the remains of those who were martyred for Him. In the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass, all Christians, as members of His Mystical Body, are offered up by Christ and with His physical body to the Holy Trinity. Moreover, they have to continue His Bloody Sacrifice: Jesus has finished suffering in His flesh; but His mystical members in their turn should offer their sufferings to God in union with those of Christ."
You may not understand, nor necessarily appreciate these practices and beliefs, but do recognize why we do and why the Roman Church has practiced these rites for tens of centuries...
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God, and not of us. 8 In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute; 9 We suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not: 10 Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake; that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
(2nd Cor. 4)
Do you find this strange, too?
Acts, Chapter 19:
11 ¶ And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12 so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
God manifests His power in many ways, and uses material things, including the bodies of His saints, to show forth His Glory and Majesty.
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