19 October 2009

Have relic, will travel

Because of his many years of service to the people of Hawaii, the Diocese of Honolulu is home to many second class relics of Saint Joseph Damien de Veuster, but when His Excellency the Most Reverend Clarence "Larry" Silva returns to the land of rainbows, the Diocese will be in possession of two first class relics of the Hero of Molokai.

There are three classes of relics. The first class is an actual piece of the saint, be it a piece of bone, flesh or a strand of hair. The second class is an object used by the saint, be it a piece of clothing, a pen, a prayer book, etc. The third class is a piece of cloth touched to a first class relic.

Since 1995, when the Servant of God Pope John Paul II beatified Father Damien, the Kalaupapa settlement has been the home of the right hand of the Leper Priest. It is in the grave of the priest on the island of Molokai.

When he was in Rome for the canonization of Father Damien, Bishop Silva was given an additional first class relic of the saint: his right heel bone:

Currently, Bishop Silva is stopping off in a few cathedrals on his way to Honolulu to allow the faithful to venerate the relic.

The relic will be enshrined in the Cathedral of Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Honolulu of the Solemnity of All Saints, November 1st. How I wish I could be there!

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