The pilgrim relics of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus is once again in the Philippines, its fourth time, until May 31.
A concelebrated Mass was held to welcome the relics at the Shrine of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus in Villamor, Pasay City, on January 12 at 12 noon.
It was followed by veneration of the relics and a concert, titled Salamat, Saint Thérèse Musical Tribute, by the Philippine Madrigal Singers was held at the shrine at 8 p.m. Veneration of the relics was held on January 13.
On January 14 Masses are scheduled starting at 5 a.m., with the last one on 8:15 p.m. at the shrine. Veneration of the relics is at 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.
A departure Mass is scheduled at 6 a.m. on Monday before the relics proceed to Laoag, Ilocos Norte, and to over 40 dioceses from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao until May 31.
The pilgrim relics of Saint Thérèse have visited the Philippines in 2000, 2008 and 2013.
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, also called Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, was born on January 2, 1873, in Alençon, France. She died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24.
She is one of the most popular Catholic saints. As a doctor of the church, she is the subject of much theological comment and study, and as an appealing young woman, whose message has touched the lives of millions, she remains the focus of much-popular devotion, the primer on the pilgrim relics’ visit said.
Relics are the material remains of a saint or holy person after death, as well as objects sanctified by contact with his or her body.
Real or first-class relics include the skin and bones, clothing, objects used for penance and instruments of a martyr’s imprisonment or passion, while representative relics are objects placed in contact with the body or grave of a saint.
The Catholic faithful venerate the relics of saints because as intercessors with God for the living, through their relics—a record of the saint—God manifests his presence.
“To welcome the relics of Saint Thérèse is to welcome the saint herself,” the primer said. “In the presence of and contact with her [Saint Thérèse] mortal remains, God, who had received from her so many acts of love when she was alive here on Earth, is pleased to manifest His love through the remains of her humanity.”