Saturday 31 October 2009

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Monday 26 October 2009

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!

Thursday 8 October 2009

Made by human hands?

Father Z posted a link yesterday to a news story about some Italian scientists who claim to have successfully replicated the image on the Holy Shroud of Turin using materials available to medieval artists. I did some digging around and found the negative image they had produced. Despite some obvious criticisms one could make- the image is relatively crude, blood imaging is superimposed on the "body" image etc., I feel I have to agree that this appears to be the most plausible attempt yet made. One thing the experiment demonstrates quite clearly is the likelihood of the original image resulting from contact with a real human body. Significantly, in neither case, is there any obvious distortion of the kind one might expect to result from the "contact printing" process. Nevertheless, while the question of the relationship of "blood" and "body" images by no means rules out the possibility of its being a forgery I am still not persuaded. Some indication of my reasoning may be found here.

Monday 5 October 2009

Thursday 1 October 2009