Friday, 16 October 2009


Total number of pilgrims who have visited the relics of St Thérèse in England and Wales:

Portsmouth 4,500
Plymouth 3,000
Taunton 1,800
Birmingham 11,000
Coleshill 3,000
Cardiff 4,400
Filton 6,000
Liverpool 17,000
Salford 30,000
Manchester University Catholic Chaplaincy 2,000
Preston Carmel 2,000
Lancaster 8,000
Newcastle 5,000
Darlington Carmel
York Minster 10,000
Middlesbrough 15,000
Leeds 14,000
Kirk Edge Carmel (Sheffield) 3,000
Nottingham 8,000
Walsingham 5,000
Oxford 6,200
Gerrards Cross 2,000
Aylesford 17,000
Kensington Carmelite Church 10,000
Notting Hill Carmel 3,500
Wormwood Scrubs 250
Westminster Cathedral 95,000

286,650 pilgrims

I was at Liverpool but I didn't see anyone counting. I wouldn't be surprised to learn there were more.

I can't remember how or when I first learned that there was to be a visit of the relics since little was made of it in my parish. I was, nevertheless, determined not to miss it having been a St Therese fan these many years. I first visited Lisieux twenty-five years ago with my fiancee and have returned many times with my wife. Is there a connection? Perhaps. Recently I looked inside my copy of St Therese's book and saw the date I had acquired it- 20th October 1982- exactly two years to the day before we were married.

Somewhere I read someone questioning the veneration of St. Therese's relics. Perhaps what is too easily forgotten is that in the saints the image of Christ is reflected anew in each generation. I like particularly the fact that St Therese was not only "of the Child Jesus" but also "of the Holy Face". May we, too, with unveiled faces, reflect like mirrors the brightness of the Lord!

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