Monday, 28 May 2007

Relics of St. Claude

Bone fragments of St Claude de la Colombière, Apostle of the Sacred
Heart, are being brought to St Patrick's Church
for a special season of festivities in June!

A missionary and ascetical writer, St. Claude was born of noble parentage at
Saint-Symphorien-d'Ozon, between Lyons and Vienne, in 1641, and died
at Paray-le-Monial, 15th February 1682. He entered the Society of
Jesus in 1659. In 1674 Father de la Colombière was made superior at
the Jesuit house at Paray-le-Monial, where he became the spiritual
director of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, to whom Jesus gave the
revelation of His Sacred Heart, and was thereafter a zealous apostle
of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In 1676 he was sent to England as preacher to the Duchess of York,
later Queen of Great Britain. Although encountering many difficulties,
he was able to guide Margaret Mary by letter. While awaiting recall to
France due to ill health, he was suddenly arrested and thrown into
prison, denounced as a conspirator. Thanks to his connections to the
Duchess of York and to Louis XIV, he escaped death but was condemned
to exile in 1679.

He was canonised by Pope John Paul II on 31 May 1992. His relics are
usually preserved in the monastery of the Visitation nuns at
Paray-le-Monial. He is the patron of Saint Patrick's Evangelisation

"The past three centuries allow us to evaluate the importance of the
message which was entrusted to Claude. Devotion to the Heart of Christ
would be a source of balance and spiritual strengthening for Christian
communities so often faced with increasing unbelief over the coming
centuries." John Paul II, at St Claude's canonisation Mass

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