Liverpool Cathedral to host St Bernadette’s relic
Liverpool Cathedral will become the only Anglican church to host St Bernadette’s Relics as they journey to England, Scotland and Wales for the first time. The relics will be with us on September 17th.
The relics are due to arrive from Chorley at 10 am We will then host them during the day when pilgrims and visitors will be able to see them in our main space from 10:30 am. Access to the relics will conclude at 2:30 pm and we will hold a simple, 15-minute service at 3 pm before they leave for Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Our midday service will happen as normal in the Lady Chapel but we will reflect the relic’s presence in our community.
St Bernadette was born in 1844 in a small town in France. Bernadette Soubirous was one of eight children born into a very poor family. Although initially unremarkable, Bernadette’s life was to inspire generations of people to journey in faith on pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Between 11 February and 16 July 1858, Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary eighteen times in a series of Apparitions that took place in a cave on the outskirts of Lourdes, a place now known as the Grotto of Massabielle. In the course of these miraculous encounters, Bernadette, then aged just 14, became the friend and confidante of Our Lady, the mother of Jesus.
The Apparitions of Lourdes were authenticated in 1866 by the Bishop of Tarbes. In that same year, Bernadette left Lourdes to live out her religious vocation within the community of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers. She died in 1879, was proclaimed blessed in 1925, and became a saint in 1933.
Today, the Catholic Church recognises 70 miracles as a result of the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, with people across the world journeying in prayer with Our Lady and St Bernadette, on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary.
In September and October this year, the relics of St Bernadette will journey on pilgrimage to England, Scotland, and Wales for the very first time. This very special once-in-a-lifetime event will provide an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the special gifts and charisms of Lourdes, in a church or cathedral near them.
The Very Rvd Dr Sue Jones said “we are truly honoured to be receiving the relics of St Bernadette. This act shows the deep friendship that has blossomed and grown between the Anglican and Roman Catholic church since the days of Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock. We know this will be a spiritually moving occasion for Christians across our region.
Canon Anthony O'Brien, Dean of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral added ‘Both our Cathedrals in Liverpool are looking forward to hosting the relics of St Bernadette when they visit us in September. Many people of different Christian denominations on Merseyside have visited the shrine of Lourdes on pilgrimage and to have the relics visit Liverpool Anglican Cathedral as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral is a striking witness to our ecumenical partnership and cooperation. We hope the visit of the relics will be a real experience of Lourdes at home for so many people on Merseyside and further afield.’
We will have more details about how you can visit the relics in due course.
For more information about the tour then go to their website