Sunday, July 04, 2010

Heart Relic of St. John Vianney to Visit Diocese of Oakland

St. John Vianney Stained Glass Window - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The Catholic Voice - An Online publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland

The following excerpt is from The Catholic Voice:

The heart of St. John Vianney, among the most renowned relics of the Catholic Church, will visit the Diocese of Oakland, CA, July 16 – 18, as part of a global tour during the Year for Priests which was proclaimed last summer by Pope Benedict XVI to mark the 150th anniversary of the acclaimed saint known as the patron of parish priests.

The relic will arrive from the Diocese of Stockton on July 16 for the first of three stops in the diocese. St. John Vianney Church, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek, will host the relic with Vespers at 7 p.m., a talk on the life of St. John Vianney at 8 p.m., followed by veneration until midnight. At 8:30 a.m. the following morning (July 17) Mass will be celebrated in the presence of the relic.

Then the relic will be transferred to Holy Spirit Church, 37588 Fremont Blvd. in Fremont, where prayers will be offered at noon, confessions at 3:30 p.m., Mass in the presence of the heart at 5 p.m. and a talk about the relic at 6:30 p.m. with veneration until midnight.

The relic’s third stop will be at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St. in Oakland, on July 18. Mass will be celebrated in the presence of the relic at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Bishop Emeritus John Cummins will be the principal celebrant at the 10 a.m. liturgy. A talk on the priesthood is scheduled at 7 p.m., followed by veneration until midnight. The relic will depart for France, the homeland of the saint, on July 19.

Jean-Marie Vianney was born near Lyons, France, in 1786, the son of a farmer.

He died on Aug. 4, 1859, at the age of 73 and was canonized in 1925. Pope Pius X proposed St. John Vianney as a model for parish priests in 1929.

When his body was exhumed in 1904 as part of the process of canonization it was found to be incorrupt, meaning that his remains did not show signs of typical decay despite not being artificially preserved.

His body rests above the altar at the basilica in Ars. His heart is enclosed in a gold reliquary that is normally kept in a separate building called the Shrine of the Cure’s Heart.


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