October 1, 2009

Archdiocese to host Relic of Saint Damien of Molokai Oct. 13-14

DETROIT - The Archdiocese of Detroit will host a relic of Saint Damien of Molokai on Oct. 13-14 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. Damien of Molokai was a Belgian-born priest who was known for his compassionate ministry to those with Hansen's disease (leprosy) amid a quarantined Hawaiian community in the 19th century. He will be canonized a saint at the Vatican on Oct. 11 by Pope Benedict XVI. The relic to be hosted at the Cathedral is a bone from Saint Damien's heel. Veneration of relics is a church custom that dates back to the time of the apostles, when early Christians would show reverence to the remains of martyrs.

The following is a schedule of events. All prayer services are open to the public:

Tuesday, Oct. 13

7 p.m. Reception of Saint Damien's relic into the Cathedral

7:30 p.m. Vespers service in presence of the relic

7:50–9 p.m. Relic will be on display for silent veneration

9 p.m. Cathedral doors close

Wednesday, Oct. 14

The Cathedral doors will be open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. for silent veneration of the relic. Please note that veneration will be suspended during the following services.

7:15 a.m. Mass with His Excellency, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron

1 p.m. Scripture service for priests and religious (open to the public), celebrated by Bishop Moses Anderson, SSE

3 p.m. Healing Mass, with the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, to be celebrated by Bishop Francis Reiss

7 p.m. Mass for the faithful of the Archdiocese, to be celebrated by Bishop Daniel Flores

The Cathedral is located at 9844 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, one mile north of West Grand Boulevard and one mile south of the Davison Freeway. For more information about Saint Damien, and the latest information on the relic visit, please visit the Archdiocese of Detroit Web site at www.aodonline.org/stdamien. If you would like to schedule a group visit to the Cathedral for the relic visit, call (313) 883-2080.

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