Heart of St Laurence O’Toole returned to Dublin

16 November 2018

CHURCH OF IRELAND

The reliquary containing the heart of St Laurence O’Toole

The reliquary containing the heart of St Laurence O’Toole

THE reliquary containing the heart of St Laurence O’Toole was restored to public view in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on Wednesday, after it was stolen in 2012 and recovered six years later (News, 9 March 2012).

The heart relic was for many years held in an iron-barred cage on the wall of the chapel of St Laud, and the thief is believed to have hidden in the cathedral overnight. After a long-running investigation, the heart was recovered, undamaged, by the Gardai.

It was officially handed over by Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy to the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, on 26 April (News, 4 May).

Dr Jackson and the Dean, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, welcomed the people of Dublin to a day-long free viewing of the relic of their patron saint on Wednesday, followed by choral evensong, before the blessing and dedication of the new location for the city’s patron saint.

It is now housed in a specially designed art piece, crafted by the Cork-based artist Eoin Turner.

St Laurence was born in Co. Kildare in 1128. He became known as an ascetic, wore a hair shirt, never ate meat, and fasted regularly. He become Abbot of Glendalough at the age of 26, and, in 1162, he was elected Archbishop of Dublin. He was canonised by Pope Honorius III in 1225. His heart has been preserved in the cathedral since the 13th century.

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