Archbishop Clifford welcomes return of Relics to Holy Cross Abbey

18 Jan 2012

Archbishop Clifford welcomes the return of the Relics of the One True Cross to Holy Cross Abbey

Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, has expressed his delight by the return of the Relics of the One True Cross to Holy Cross Abbey.  Archbishop Clifford said: “It is truly wonderful that the precious Relics of the One True Cross from Holy Cross Abbey have been found, relatively unharmed, through the sterling efforts of An Garda Síochána.  On behalf of the people of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly may I express our thanks to the Gardaí.  This is a joyous day and one for which thousands of people had been praying for since the Relics were stolen last October.”

“It is still a mystery to us all as to why the Relics were stolen as they had little monetary value.  However we must now find measures to protect the Relics.  In the meantime the thousands of people who annually travel to Holy Cross to pray and show their devotion to the Lord Jesus will be very happy and thankful that the Relics are to be returned to their proper home”, Archbishop Clifford said.

Last night (Monday) Fr Breen, the Parish Priest of Holy Cross, was shown to Relics by the Gardaí and he was able to positively identify them.  The Relics were brought to Holy Cross today and while undamaged they will need to be examined and properly cleaned.  Commenting on the return of the Relics Fr Breen said: “The people and clergy of Holy Cross, and the thousands of pilgrims who come to pray at the Abbey will be overjoyed at the news that the precious relics of the Cross have been found.  It is wonderful that the relics have been recovered and have not been seriously damaged.  The finding of the relics is a true answer to the enormous prayerful response to their theft.  The thousands of prayers to the Lord by people all over Ireland and beyond, for their safe return, have been answered.  It is brilliant news and once again demonstrates the power of prayer.

“On behalf of all here in Holy Cross, and the thousands of friends of the Abbey, I wish to express my wholehearted thanks to, and admiration for, An Garda Síochána who have worked so hard and have been successful in retrieving the Relics. They have been absolutely superb from the moment the Relics were stolen last October.  Their professionalism was outstanding and they have worked tirelessly to retrieve the Relics. I cannot praise them highly enough.

“We must now, unfortunately, devise a method of putting the Relics on display at Holy Cross but in a secure a manner as possible. Even though the Relics have no monetary value, they are of enormous devotional importance and must be protected.”

In conclusion Fr Breen said: “Might I also once again express my thanks to the Ursuline Nuns in Cork City who offered to donate their portion of the one True Cross that had been donated to them by the former Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Archbishop Tom Morris. He had donated the portion of the relic to the convent in the as a gesture of gratitude to the Sisters for providing a home for the Relics during refurbishment of the Holy Cross Abbey in the 1960s.”


  • The Relics of the Holy Cross were stolen from Holy Cross Abbey in Co Tipperary last October and were today returned to the Abbey undamaged following a successful Garda Síochána operation.  Queries in relation to the recovery of the Relics should be directed to the Garda Press Office, Phoenix Park, Dublin: 00 353 1 666 2032.
  • For further information contact:

Father Tom Breen PP, Holy Cross, Co Tipperary, 0504  43124

Michael Keane, Insight Consultants: 086 824 4500

Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444