The visit of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents Sts Louis and Zélie Martin to Sydney next year will be a “time of grace” for families, couples and those with special needs says Stephen Buhagiar.
The team leader of the archdiocese’s Life, Family and Outreach office said that the support of Bishop Richard Umbers and the collaboration of parishes and Sydney Catholic Schools meant that the major relics of the three saints will be accessible to all in Sydney who wish to pray with them during the pilgrimage.
Catholic Mission have partnered with InvoCare to bring the relics to 17 Australian dioceses in Queensland, New South Wales and ACT, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia from February to May.
They will be in Sydney from 1-4 February and then from 10-18 March visiting several parishes, schools, university campuses and St Mary’s Cathedral with full details of the Archdiocese of Sydney itinerary to be published in the next edition of The Catholic Weekly.
“We have worked to provide access to as many parishes as possible and Sydney Catholic Schools has developed age-appropriate resources for students to learn about these wonderful saints,” Mr Buhagiar said.
Up half a million Australians turned out to parishes to venerable the relics of St Thérèse when they were last brought here in 2002.
St Thérèse is widely known and loved for her ‘little way’ of spiritual childhood. Born in 1873 she entered the Discalced Carmelite order at age 15, died at the age of 24 and was canonised in 1925.
Her parents, Louis and Zélie, were the first spouses to be canonised as a couple in 2015.
National director of Catholic Mission Father Brian Lucas said that the pilgrimage of the family members’ relics “gives us an opportunity to consider the importance of relationships and family life”.
“I think the great legacy of St Thérèse of Lisieux is the example she gave through her writings of her connectedness to God,” he said.
“Her struggle with weakness but her fierce determination to be loyal and faithful to God’s will is a legacy that everyone can participate in.”
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