Relic Tour ~ Our Lady of the Cross (Holyoke, MA)

Our Lady of the Cross Parish, Holyoke, MA
Information taken from the June 5, 2016 parish bulletin:

doc02001820160608112604To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s martyrdom, the Franciscan Friars Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province is sponsoring a 2016 Pilgrimage of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. Relic. The largest tour of his relic ever mounted in the United States, this pilgrimage began on January 15 at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, Maryland, and will visit over 40 ministry sites along the East Coast of North America, concluding with a Weekend Closing Ceremony at the Shrine of St. Anthony on St. Maximilian’s feast day, August 14, 2016.
St. Maximilian was born in Poland as Raymond Kolbe on January 8, 1894. As a young man he was interested in the military, but St. Maximilian did not join the army. Instead he was called to serve the Lord, joining the Conventual Franciscan Friars. Fr. Kolbe was taken prisoner by the Nazi’s and in 1941 he was sent to a concentration camp in Auschwitz. As punishment for the escape of one prisoner, the commandant ordered 10 individuals be put to death. When Franciszek Gajowniczek, a man with a family cried out after being selected, Fr. Kolbe volunteered to take his place. The commandant, stunned by Fr. Kolbe’s act, allowed the exchange and placed him in confinement to starve. Because Fr. Kolbe was still alive after two weeks, he was injected with a lethal dose of phenol on August 14, 1941. In 1982, Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian Kolbe as a “Martyr of Charity” and “patron saint of this difficult century.”
St. Maximilian was cremated at Auschwitz, and the relic contains hairs from his beard that had been kept by his barber. Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. stated “Relics remind us that saints were real human beings with hair, skin, bones, and blood. We venerate relics to connect with the real person behind them – now proclaimed by the Church to be in Heaven, from where he or she remains involved in our lives.”

Friday, June 17, 2016
7:00 p.m. Arrival of Relic at Our Lady of the Cross, Prayer Service & Veneration
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Veneration of Relic after 8:30 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. Masses
Sunday , June 19, 2016
Veneration of Relic after 7:30, 9:00 & 10:30 a.m. Masses
2:00 p.m. Adoration of Blessed Sacrament
2:30 p.m. Rosary
3:00 p.m. Benediction; Veneration of Relic

Events are subject to change, so please contact the parish to verify details
(413) 532-5661 | online article about the relic stops in the Diocese of Springfield.


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