Archive for May 7th, 2008

You may have noticed a painting in the last picture of my previous post about Lourdes. The painting, which (as far as I remember) is from the 1860s, shows Saint Paul of the Cross and a companion walking beside some of the brigands whose unofficial chaplain he was. Here is a closer view; unfortunately the light is not very even in this photo.

And here is a detail of one of the brigands, which give a better idea of the quality and colours of the painting:

On the back wall of the chapel is a large painting of Saint Paul of the Cross in ecstasy. I have seen a similar painting in Rome, but much smaller; this one is about six feet by four feet.

According to Father Patrick, the two paintings were in earlier Passionist houses in France and were moved to Lourdes when this house, the Relais Nazareth, was bought.

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(Urna containing the Relics of Saint Gemma Galgani, Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin and Saint Maria Goretti)

In following Christ and imitating Mary, we must have the courage of humility; we must entrust ourselves humbly to the Lord, because only in this way will we be able to become docile instruments in his hands and allow him to do great things in us. The Lord worked great miracles in Mary and in the Saints! I am thinking, for example, of Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena, Patrons of Italy. I am thinking also of splendid young people like St Gemma Galgani, St Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, St Louis Gonzaga, St Dominic Savio, St Maria Goretti, born not far from here, and the Blesseds, Piergiorgio Frassati and Alberto Marvelli. And I am also thinking of numerous young men and women who belong to the ranks of the “anonymous” Saints, but who are not anonymous to God. For him, every individual person is unique, with his or her own name and face. All, and you know it, are called to be Saints!
(Pope Benedict XVI to young people at Loreto, 2 September 2007)

In listing some saints who were splendid young people last year, Pope Benedict highlighted five young Italians who have been canonised, three of whom are saints of the Passionist family. Today, in preparation for the World Youth Day, Father Tiernan Docherty C.P. received from the Passionist generalate in Rome the relics of those three young saints, Saint Gemma Galgani, Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin and Saint Maria Goretti. The relics will now begin a missionary journey around various dioceses of Australia in preparation for the World Youth Day. As part of this programme, they will be at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. On Sunday 3 June at 6.00 p.m., Cardinal Pell will receive the relics at the Cathedral and then celebrate Mass.

During the World Youth Day events, from 15 to 21 July, the relics will be exposed for veneration in the Passionist Church, Saint Brigid’s, Marrickville, Sydney. (E-mailed info and photo from Father Gary.)

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