Armidale's Catholic Diocese is honoured to exhibit the relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, and those of her parents, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, throughout the region from Thursday, February 20 to Monday February 24.
This four-month, national tour of the relics is the first in 18-years.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is one of the most popular saints of the modern era.
She was born in France in 1873, and entered a Catholic convent after personally beseeching the Pope to allow her to become a nun at the unusually young age of 15.
Endeared for her dedication to small acts of charity and love, she is popularly known as The Little Flower of Jesus.
In 1925, she was canonised at the Vatican's Saint Peter's Basilica, in a ceremony attended by over 600,000 supporters. Thérèse of Lisieux is the patron saint of missions, aviators, illnesses and florists.
Bishop Michael Kennedy said Saint Thérèse was particularly inspiring because she served others through small, everyday acts of kindness and care.
"Her message was that we need not perform grand deeds to lead 'saintly' lives," he said.
"This message is still relevant to this day and acts as a reminder that in our often-overwhelming world, there are everyday opportunities to help others in small ways that will have a great impact."
Her parents, Louis and Zélie, became the first spouses to be canonised as a couple in 2015. They were recognised for living remarkable lives of devotion, austerity and charity.
Bishop Kennedy said the tour provided a rare opportunity to observe Saint Thérèse relics, along with those of her parents.
"They were known as a very tight knit family, who lived simple lives of service, but faced modern challenges, such as balancing owning their own business with having a large family," he said.
"We welcome the Armidale and surrounding district communities to visit the relics for veneration, or simply for a moment of reflection.
"We hope people will take inspiration from Saint Thérèse's legacy of ordinary acts of extraordinary compassion."
The relics will be displayed for public viewing at the following local churches around the Diocese of Armidale:
- Thursday, February 20 Saints Mary & Joseph's Cathedral Armidale Noon - 8.30pm
- Friday, February 21 Saint Mary's Catholic Church Tenterfield 9am - 10am
- Friday, February 21 Sacred Heart Catholic Parish Inverell 12.45pm - all-night vigil
- Saturday, February 22 Saint Francis Xavier's Catholic Parish Moree 10am - 1.45pm
- Saturday, February 22 Saint Nicholas Catholic Parish Tamworth 6pm - 9pm
- Sunday, February 23 Saint Patrick's Catholic Parish West Tamworth 8.45am - 4pm
- Sunday, February 23 Saint Nicholas' Catholic Parish Tamworth 5pm - all-night vigil
- Monday, February 24 Saint Nicholas' Catholic Parish Tamworth 7am - Noon
The pilgrimage is coordinated by Catholic Mission. All funds raised at each service will be donated to Saint Vincent de Paul Society's (Vinnies) Bushfire Appeal, to help Australians affected by the recent bushfires.
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