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CURRENT ISSUE:  August 9, 2010
VOL. 48, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA
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Relic of St. John Vianney
venerated in Oakland Diocese

The incorrupt heart of St. John Vianney, known as the Cure of Ars, came to the Oakland Diocese July 16-18, with visits to St. John Vianney Parish in Walnut Creek, Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont and the Cathedral of Christ the Light. Thousands of Catholics participated in prayer services, vigils and Masses in the relic’s presence. Bishop Emeritus John Cummins celebrated Sunday Mass at the cathedral while the relic was enshrined there.

At all three sites, Father Vincent Siret, associate pastor of a parish in Ars, France, spoke about the saint who is known as the patron of parish priests because of his reputation as a spiritual director and confessor. The relic was on a global tour during the Year for Priests, proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI to mark the 10th anniversary of the saint’s death.

Parishioners crowd into Holy Spirit Church in Fremont, July 17, to pray in front of the relic of St. John Vianney.

A member of the Knights of Columbus watches over the relic of St. John Vianney at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont, July 17.

The incorrupt heart of St. John Vianney is enclosed in a gold reliquary that is usually kept in a special building in Ars, France, where the saint served as a parish priest. Born in 1786, he was ordained in 1815 and lived to be 73. When his body was exhumed in 1904 as part of a process of canonization, it was found to be without the usual signs of decay. He was canonized in 1925.

LEFT: Catholics from parishes throughout the Oakland Diocese sing during a Vespers service at St. John Vianney Church in Walnut Creek during the July 16 visit of the acclaimed saint’s incorrupt heart. ABOVE: A child prays in front of the relic of St. John Vianney during its visit to the Oakland Diocese.

A man venerates the relic of St. John Vianney during a prayer service at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont, July 17.

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