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Saint's Relic Stolen from Dublin Church

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Saint's Relic Stolen from Dublin Church

Post  columba on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:02 pm

Somewhere in Ireland, a burglar has the heart of a saint.

Officials at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin said Sunday they're distraught and perplexed over the theft of the church's most precious relic: the preserved heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, patron saint of Dublin.

O'Toole's heart had been displayed in the cathedral since the 13th century. It was stored in a heart-shaped wooden box and secured in a small, square iron cage on the wall of a chapel dedicated to his memory. On Saturday someone cut through two bars, pried the cage loose, and made off with the relic.

"I am devastated that one of the treasured artifacts of the cathedral is stolen," said the Most Rev. Dermot Dunne, the cathedral's dean. "It has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation with its founding father."

Ireland's national police force, the Garda Siochana, said detectives were studying hours of closed-circuit TV footage to try to identify the approximately 40 people who walked out the cathedral's front doors Saturday morning.

The force said the thief may have hidden overnight in the cathedral and fled with the heart when its doors opened Saturday. Worshippers didn't spot that the relic was missing until Saturday afternoon. Nobody was arrested.

Nuala Kavanagh, the cathedral's director of operations, said whoever stole it appeared to have no interest in financial gain, since several nearby objects made of gold and other precious materials were not touched.

"It's completely bizarre," she said. "They didn't touch anything else. They wanted the heart of St. Laurence O'Toole."

Church services went ahead as normal Sunday. The trickle of tourists visiting the Viking-era cathedral weren't told of the theft. Many approached the O'Toole chapel and spent much time looking, confusedly, between their guide books and the pried-open box.

Ireland's churches have suffered a spate of such robberies of irreplaceable, but also hard to sell, religious artifacts.

Last year three relics believed to be fragments of the cross used to crucify Jesus were stolen from Holy Cross Abbey in County Tipperary. Police safely recovered those relics in January but arrested nobody.

Also in January, a thief stole the ornate container housing the jawbone of St. Brigid in a northside Dublin church. The container, called a reliquary, was bolted down to the altar. However, it had just been cleaned and so the jawbone of St. Brigid, one of Ireland's earliest and most venerated saints, wasn't inside.

O'Toole was Dublin's archbishop from 1162 to 1180 and gained a reputation as a skillful mediator between rival Gaelic and Norman factions then fighting for power in Ireland. He died aged 58 while traveling in Normandy on another peace mission. On his death bed he was said to have declined to make a will, claiming not to have a penny to his name.

Pope Honorius III canonized O'Toole in 1225 on the weight of many claims of miracles at his original grave site.

O'Toole's heart had been the last surviving part of his remains. His bones were re-interred in an English church yard in 1442 but were dug up and disappeared during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

Although O'Toole is mainly revered by Roman Catholics, Christ Church Cathedral has been a center of worship for the Anglican-affiliated Church of Ireland since the Reformation.

http://news.yahoo.com/saints-ancient-heart-stolen-dublin-cathedral-102028913.html?ugc_c=ckeS8n_12QBTyw_py1_2hJ3a7yAxkkz773.AB3hRsHUAjET22ZBcA1XFbEWj7jyw0UQyH2Vn73UbdHzuMhcAv3vS3XHqChHAmv0lWfuX6gU6RgtI7kZs43yJsGVsJ7mXCiUiCuDO.Ze90f.sG5aZT5DK5VcMN_b_qF0R8paAeAyQ_h2bLHmKSgIuK5BpPB.prG8DyYm4HMgin3vuFXlTwEeD22dkvmprGiddvM.DYInBVA96xtBQGccZjRc-&bcnv_s=e&ugc_scnv=1&ll=2

columba

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Re: Saint's Relic Stolen from Dublin Church

Post  DeSelby on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:49 am

columba wrote: Somewhere in Ireland, a burglar has the heart of a saint.

Officials at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin said Sunday they're distraught and perplexed over the theft of the church's most precious relic: the preserved heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, patron saint of Dublin.

O'Toole's heart had been displayed in the cathedral since the 13th century. It was stored in a heart-shaped wooden box and secured in a small, square iron cage on the wall of a chapel dedicated to his memory. On Saturday someone cut through two bars, pried the cage loose, and made off with the relic.

"I am devastated that one of the treasured artifacts of the cathedral is stolen," said the Most Rev. Dermot Dunne, the cathedral's dean. "It has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation with its founding father."

Ireland's national police force, the Garda Siochana, said detectives were studying hours of closed-circuit TV footage to try to identify the approximately 40 people who walked out the cathedral's front doors Saturday morning.

The force said the thief may have hidden overnight in the cathedral and fled with the heart when its doors opened Saturday. Worshippers didn't spot that the relic was missing until Saturday afternoon. Nobody was arrested.

Nuala Kavanagh, the cathedral's director of operations, said whoever stole it appeared to have no interest in financial gain, since several nearby objects made of gold and other precious materials were not touched.

"It's completely bizarre," she said. "They didn't touch anything else. They wanted the heart of St. Laurence O'Toole."

Church services went ahead as normal Sunday. The trickle of tourists visiting the Viking-era cathedral weren't told of the theft. Many approached the O'Toole chapel and spent much time looking, confusedly, between their guide books and the pried-open box.

Ireland's churches have suffered a spate of such robberies of irreplaceable, but also hard to sell, religious artifacts.

Last year three relics believed to be fragments of the cross used to crucify Jesus were stolen from Holy Cross Abbey in County Tipperary. Police safely recovered those relics in January but arrested nobody.

Also in January, a thief stole the ornate container housing the jawbone of St. Brigid in a northside Dublin church. The container, called a reliquary, was bolted down to the altar. However, it had just been cleaned and so the jawbone of St. Brigid, one of Ireland's earliest and most venerated saints, wasn't inside.

O'Toole was Dublin's archbishop from 1162 to 1180 and gained a reputation as a skillful mediator between rival Gaelic and Norman factions then fighting for power in Ireland. He died aged 58 while traveling in Normandy on another peace mission. On his death bed he was said to have declined to make a will, claiming not to have a penny to his name.

Pope Honorius III canonized O'Toole in 1225 on the weight of many claims of miracles at his original grave site.

O'Toole's heart had been the last surviving part of his remains. His bones were re-interred in an English church yard in 1442 but were dug up and disappeared during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

Although O'Toole is mainly revered by Roman Catholics, Christ Church Cathedral has been a center of worship for the Anglican-affiliated Church of Ireland since the Reformation.

Very sad and sick.

The article said:
Last year three relics believed to be fragments of the cross used to crucify Jesus were stolen from Holy Cross Abbey in County Tipperary. Police safely recovered those relics in January but arrested nobody.

Why?

DeSelby

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Re: Saint's Relic Stolen from Dublin Church

Post  columba on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:01 pm

DeSelby wrote:
The article said:

Last year three relics believed to be fragments of the cross used to crucify Jesus were stolen from Holy Cross Abbey in County Tipperary. Police safely recovered those relics in January but arrested nobody.



Why?

Maybe the Irish police had been studying the CCC and didn't wish to violate the liberty of conscience rights and right to fredom of religion of those poor thieves. After all , they have as much rights to those relics as any cardinal.
(Sorry DeSelby. Sometimes I just can't help it)

columba

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Re: Saint's Relic Stolen from Dublin Church

Post  MRyan on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:59 pm

What a travesty.

Speaking or relics, I was totally unprepared when suddenly finding myself standing in front of a class case with the inscription “Christendom's Most Precious Relics", and seeing the arm and hand of St. John the Baptist, which is located in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul (which also contains part of his skull). I am not certain how genuine the relics are, but from historical records there is some evidence that they may in fact be the genuine articles. The arm and hand is encased in gold, but there is a cut-out for viewing part of the bones of the hand.

I was actually visibly shaken to where my native Istanbul friend and business associate) asked if something was wrong (or perhaps it was my silence :-). He understood - once I explained the true significance of the relics. Funny, but the Muslims have traditionally had a great reverence for John the Baptist … hmmm.

And yes, we went round and round over dinner burning the midnight oil reenacting the Crusades and giving our respective views of history on the one true religion. While Muslim, my friend was more secular than “devout” (as are most Turks), though he was also very humble and respectful. Our discussion of the Blessed Virgin was most (and always) edifying; and I left him in our Mother’s hands by giving him my Miraculous Medal.

But, concerning the relics of St. John, it would be a huge generosity and a token of good will to return the relics to their rightful owners, the one true Church of Christ (though the Eastern Orthodox might make a good case for claiming them). Either that -- or St. John is once again a voice calling in the wilderness.

Anyway, let’s hope and pray the Dublin thief comes to his senses and returns the relic.

http://www.mgr.org/JdBRelics.jpg

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Re: Saint's Relic Stolen from Dublin Church

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