Major Relic of St. John Vianney to Visit Cathedral, Make Other Stops in the Archdiocese


A national pilgrimage of the relic of the incorrupt heart of St. John Vianney, the famed Curé of Ars and patron saint of parish priests, will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7, as part of its tour of church venues in the archdiocese.

On that Sunday, Cardinal Dolan will offer the 10:15 a.m. Pontifical Mass at St. Patrick’s. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and the board of directors of the Knights of Columbus are expected to be in attendance.

The Knights of Columbus is sponsoring the relic pilgrimage. An honor guard of Fourth Degree Knights will be scheduled at all public events.

Other Masses at the cathedral that day will be celebrated at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 4 p.m. (Spanish).

The relic will be present at the cathedral from 6:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Veneration will take place in the cathedral’s Lady Chapel at all times, except for the 10:15 a.m. Sunday Mass, when the relic will be placed in the sanctuary. Ushers will guide people to the Lady Chapel. The relic is clearly visible in the reliquary, and people will be permitted to touch prayer cards and holy items on the reliquary.

On that Saturday, the relic will be present at the cathedral from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Masses will be offered at 8 a.m., noon and 5:30 p.m. vigil.

On Sunday, April 7, the relic will also travel to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 5371 Amboy Road, Staten Island, from 7 to 10 p.m. Mass will be offered at 7 p.m.

The next morning, the relic will remain at Our Lady Star of the Sea from 7 to 8:45 a.m.

St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, will also host the relic on Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5.

On Thursday evening, the relic will be venerated from 7 to 10 p.m. A special invitation is extended to Catholics in Westchester and the upper counties of the archdiocese to visit.

On Friday, there will be a special visitation for New York priests for morning prayer at 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. This veneration period is not open to the general public.

After his ordination to the priesthood in 1815, Father John Vianney was assigned to the small farming community of Ars, France, where the practice of the faith was poor before he arrived. His life of penance and prayer brought his parishioners closer to God. He would hear confessions up to 18 hours a day, as people came from across Europe to see him. A model of charity, he built an orphanage for homeless children and received beggars with an open heart.

Father Vianney died on Aug. 4, 1859, at age 73. A crowd of 1,000 people, including the bishop and priests of his diocese, attended his Funeral Mass.

Pope Piux XI canonized him in 1925, and four years later St. John Vianney was declared the patron saint of parish priests.

The Shrine of Ars, France, has entrusted the major relic of St. John Vianney’s incorrupt heart to the Knights of Columbus.

The U.S. tour of the relic began in Baltimore in November and will continue until early June. It will visit Catholic cathedrals, churches and seminaries in nearly 20 states.

In New York, the relics are also scheduled to visit the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre after the stops in the archdiocese.