Visit of the Relics of St John Vianney to Ireland

16 Apr 2010

16 April 2010

Visit of the Relics of St John Vianney to Ireland

As part of the Year for Priests, the Bishops of Ireland have arranged for a visit of the relics of St John Vianney, Patron Saint of Parish Priests, from 25 to 29 April 2010.  The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has expressed his hope that the Year for Priests will support the faithfulness and holiness of priests, and deepen their commitment to “interior renewal for the sake of a more forceful and incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world”.  The Year for Priests is also an opportunity for the whole Church to seek a holier and renewed priesthood.

Each day of this special four-day visit of the relics will have a different theme. These key themes are central to both the life and mission of St John Vianney and this Year for Priests.  The faithful are invited to pray at the relics in the following churches based in each of the four ecclesiastical provinces of Ireland:

  • Cork – Sunday, 25 April in St Francis Church, Liberty Street on the theme ‘Vocations to the Priesthood’
  • Dublin – Monday, 26 April Church of St John Vianney in Ardlea, on the theme ‘Social Outreach of the Curé of Ars’
  • Knock – Tuesday, 27 April in Our Lady’s Shrine, Knock, on the theme ‘The Sacrament of Reconciliation’
  • Armagh – Wednesday, 28 April in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, on the theme ‘The Eucharist and Pastoral Leadership’. Arrival of relics for Mass at 12.30 pm. A drama presentation will take place after Mass and this has been prepared by the children of Mount St Catherine’s Primary School Armagh. From 2.00 pm to 7.00 pm a short prayer service will take place on the hour. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available throughout this period. At 7.30 pm Mass will be celebrated and all concelebrants are welcome.The farewell ceremony for the relics will take place at  9.00 pm.

Further details can be found on, including:

An introduction to the Year for Priests and the Visit of the Relics of St John Vianney from Bishop Philip Boyce, Bishop of Raphoe.
A short video interview with Rev Professor Thomas Norris, Lecturer in Systematic Theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, who talks about the life and message of St John Vianney.
A brochure is available to download with full details of the visit of the relics to Ireland and containing background information on the Year for Priests.

Notes to Editors

  • This Year for Priests was declared by Pope Benedict to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, St John Mary Vianney, patron of parish priests worldwide. This special year began on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Friday 19 June 2009 – a day traditionally devoted to prayer for the sanctification of the clergy.
  • Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the Year by presiding at Vespers (evening prayer) in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, where the relics of the Curé of Ars were brought for the occasion by Bishop Guy Bagnard of Belley-Ars, France.
  • The purpose of the Year for Priests is to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal for the sake of a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world.
  • ‘The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus’ was an expression of St John Vianney.
  • For further information on the Year for Priests both in Ireland and internationally, see and

Further information:
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer, 087 310 4444