Relic of St Teresa of Calcutta to tour Ireland

A relic of St Teresa of Calcutta is to tour Ireland
Marie Louise McConville

A RELIC of St Teresa of Calcutta is to begin touring Ireland tomorrow before it takes up a permanent home at Newry Cathedral.

The Knights of Columbanus announced today that the organisation had received the relic from the Sisters of Charity and had arranged for it to tour Ireland to facilitate its veneration.

Born in 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu - who would later become known as Mother Teresa - moved to Ireland at the age of 18 and joined the Loreto Order.

In 1929 she moved to India to work with the poor and those most in need.

In 1950 she founded the Missionaries of Charity. By 2012, the order had 4,500 sisters working in 133 countries.

Mother Teresa died in September 1997 and in September 2016 was canonised in Rome, becoming St Teresa of Calcutta.

Now, less than a year on, a relic of St Teresa will arrive to tour Ireland.

The relic - a muslin cloth bearing the blood of St Teresa, encased in a cross - will first visit St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, arriving at 7.30pm tomorrow.

A relic of St Teresa of Calcutta is to tour Ireland

It will leave the cathedral on Saturday to arrive at St Patrick and Colman’s Cathedral in Newry at 3pm.

It will depart for Belfast on Monday and is due to arrive at St Patricks Church on Donegall Street at 7.15pm for 7.30pm Mass.

Here, the relic will be received by Bishop Anthony Farquhar and Fr Eugene O'Neill, the Administrator of St Patrick’s.

During its time in Belfast, the relic will also visit Corpus Christ Church in the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast where St Teresa once worked in the community, alongside four other nuns from her Missionaries of Charity order.

Departing Belfast on Wednesday June 14, the relic will then make stops in Enniskillen, Strabane, Derry and Coleraine.

Faithful and pilgrims wait to enter in St Peter's Square at the Vatican before a canonization ceremony on Sunday September 4 2016

It will also visit the Archdiocese of Tuam at Knock Shrine and in the Archdiocese' of Cashel and Emly and then Dublin.

Pat Doyle, Provision Grand Knight of the Knights of St. Columbanus, said the order felt that it was important to bring the relic to Ireland, "as her life embodied the very essence of God's mercy through her work with the poor and homeless".

"In St Patrick's Church Belfast, the order part sponsored the newly opened `soup kitchen', located in the Door of Mercy and so, we see this relic being venerated in St Patrick's providing a wonderful link to St. Teresa of Calcutta by the mercy shown to the poor and homeless of Belfast".

He added: "St Teresa also visited the parish of Corpus Christi in Belfast in the past and so again it's appropriate to bring her relic back to that parish church".

Following the tour, the relic will take up a permanent home in Newry Cathedral.



Thursday June 8 - Saturday June 10

St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh

Saturday June 10 - Monday June 12

St Patrick and Colman’s Cathedral, Newry

Monday June 12

St. Patrick's Church, Donegall Street, Belfast

Tuesday June 13

Corpus Christ Church, Ballymurphy, Belfast

Wednesday June 14 - Thursday June 15

St Michael's Church, Enniskillen

Thursday June 15

Sacred Heart Church, Strabane

Friday June 16

St Eugene' Cathedral, Derry

Saturday June 17 - Sunday June 18

St Malachy's Church, Coleraine

Sunday June 18 and Friday August 11

Locations in Sligo, Ballaghadreen, Tuam, Ballina, Galway, Knock, Loughrea, Ennis, Limerick, Killarney, Skibbereen, Cork, Cobh, Thurles, Kilkenny, Waterford, Enniscorthy, Carlow, Mullingar, Dublin, Longford, Cavan, Monaghan, Drogheda and Letterkenny

Friday August 11

Newry Cathedral where it will take up permanent residence

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