Major Relic of Blessed John Paul II Coming to St. Mary’s Cathedral on November 18, 2013
November 5, 2013
Monsignor James Kruse, Vicar General
(PEORIA, IL) In what Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, calls an “exciting and historic event,” a first class relic of Blessed John Paul II is coming to the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria for public and private veneration on the evening of Monday, November 18, 2013.
Pope John Paul II guided the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was the second longest serving pope in history, the first non-Italian pope in 450 years, and is considered one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. He will be canonized a saint by Pope Francis during ceremonies in Rome on April 27, 2014.
The Catholic Diocese of Peoria is one of only three dioceses in the United States, and the only one outside of Florida, which will host this important relic – a vial of the late pope’s blood encased in a gold Book of the Gospels. It is the official relic used in advancing Blessed John
Paul II’s sainthood cause.
Bishop Jenky credited the dedication to Blessed John Paul II of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary for the relic’s appearance in central Illinois. The religious community is active in the Diocese of Peoria, including at the John Paul II Newman Center serving students at Illinois State University in Normal. Mother Adela Galindo, foundress of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts, is accompanying the relic.
The celebration with Blessed John Paul II’s relic “not only honors the memory of this great man, but also prepares our local church to celebrate his future canonization,” wrote Bishop Jenky in a letter inviting all Catholics of the diocese to the Nov. 18 ceremonies. Bishop Jenky will celebrate a Mass at 7:15 p.m. Time for private veneration will follow. Holy cards with Blessed John Paul II’s image will be given to those in attendance.
Similar to how heirlooms such as photographs, jewelry, or a lock of hair from a departed loved one are treasured by families, relics help connect Catholics to “our holy brothers and sisters,” said Msgr. James Kruse, vicar general of the Diocese of Peoria. In a column (What are Relics…and, Why are they important – text below, include a link to direct reader to this article) accompanying Bishop Jenky’s letter, he explained the different classes of relics and how throughout history they have helped to increase faith. While the veneration of relics sometimes leads to miraculous healings, wrote Msgr. Kruse, it “always connects the person with the saint, and therefore God.”