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October 26, 2014 Issue

In what Bishop Jenky terms an "exciting and historic event," a first class relic of Blessed John Paul II will be coming to Peoria and Normal next month.

CNS photo/Michael Okoniewski



Relic of Blessed John Paul II coming to diocese Nov. 18-19

Catholics in the Diocese of Peoria will have a special way to share the joy of the canonization of Blessed John Paul II months before the scheduled April 27, 2014, ceremonies in Rome.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has announced that Peoria is one of only three dioceses in the United States that will host a first class relic of Blessed John Paul II in November.

The relic, a vial of the late pope’s blood encased in a gold Book of the Gospels, will be on display at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria on Monday, Nov. 18. Bishop Jenky will celebrate a Votive Mass of Blessed John Paul II at 7:15 p.m., followed by an opportunity for private veneration. Holy cards with Blessed John Paul II’s image will be distributed to those attending.

The following evening, Nov. 19, the relic will be displayed at the John Paul II Catholic Newman Center at Illinois State University. Traveling with the relic will be Mother Adela Galindo, foundress and superior of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

The two-hour event at the Newman Center begins at 6:30 p.m. and will include veneration of the relic, a talk by Mother Adela, recitation of the rosary, meditations, and praise music.

Bishop Jenky had special words of gratitude for the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary in a letter inviting all Catholics to join him at the cathedral for the Mass and public veneration on Nov. 18.

“It is due to their dedication to Blessed John Paul II and connection to his cause that this event is possible,” said the bishop. See the full text of his letter below.

The relic is the official one used in advancing his cause for canonization, according to Bishop Jenky.

“I know that all of us have fond memories of Blessed John Paul II and the many great things he did for the church,” wrote Bishop Jenky. “Our celebration with his relic not only honors the memory of this great man, but also prepares our local church to celebrate his future canonization.”

Meanwhile, Msgr. James Kruse, vicar general of the Diocese of Peoria, called relics “a way for us to be connected to our holy brothers and sisters.”

In a column accompanying Bishop Jenky’s letter, Msgr. Kruse explained the importance of relics, comparing them with family heirlooms such as keeping a photograph, jewelry, or a lock of hair of a loved one after their death.

“Catholics have always held dear to their heart relics of saints,” said Msgr. Kruse, explaining the differences in the “classes” of relics. He noted that throughout history relics have been a source of miraculous healing and inspiration of faith.

“Of course, not every veneration of a relic results in miraculous healings,” Msgr. Kruse wrote. “But, it always connects the person with the saint, and therefore God.”

Defining veneration as “an expression of our friendship and love for the saints,” Msgr. Kruse explained appropriate prayerful practices for doing so. At the veneration of Blessed John Paul II’s relic at the cathedral on Nov. 18, for example, the holy cards distributed could be touched to the reliquary, becoming a new third class relic taken home for future veneration.

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FULL TEXT OF BISHOP JENKY'S LETTER

Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Peoria:

It is with great joy that I share with you an exciting and historic event in the Diocese of Peoria. Under the direction of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a first class relic of Blessed John Paul II will be brought to our diocese. This relic is a vial of his blood encased in a gold Gospel book. It is the official relic used in advancing his cause for canonization.

We are grateful that Mother Adela, foundress of the Pierced Heart Sisters, has not only graciously allowed her Sisters to work in our diocese but has also included the diocese in this historic event. It is due to their dedication to Blessed John Paul II and connection to his cause that this event is possible. Peoria is one of only three dioceses to receive his relic, and the only diocese outside of the state of Florida.

Please join me for public veneration of this relic on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, at 7:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception. We will celebrate Holy Mass using the Votive Mass of Blessed John Paul II. Immediately after Mass there will be the opportunity for private veneration. Holy cards with Blessed John Paul II’s image will be given out to be touched to the relic. I encourage you to attend this Mass.

I know that all of us have fond memories of Blessed John Paul II and the many great things he did for the Church. Our celebration with his relic not only honors the memory of this great man, but also prepares our local church to celebrate his future canonization.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
Bishop of Peoria


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