Dublin Recovers the Heart of Its Patron Saint
The reliquary containing the heart of St. Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of the Irish capital, has been found by the police six years after it was stolen from the cathedral.
It is “a priceless treasure” for the Church, declared Dermot Dunne, the cathedral’s dean.
The Anglican archbishop of Dublin has thanked all those who helped recover the precious reliquary, adding that “the return of the heart of Laurence O'Toole to Christ Church Cathedral brings great joy to the people of Dublin as Dubliners.”
The reliquary containing the preserved heart of the saint is of little monetary value, as it is simply composed of a wooden heart-shaped box placed within a small iron-barred cage. But it is “priceless” because it “links the cathedral's present foundation with its founding father”, explained the dean.
From now on, the reliquary will be kept in a safe place in the cathedral of which St. Laurence O’Toole became the archbishop in 1162. He had to leave the monastery of Glendalough he directed and became the first Irishman to occupy this see founded by the Viking King Sitgtryggr Silkisberg. He died in 1180 in France, at the abbey of Eu, in the odor of sanctity. His body was venerated due to the many miracles worked at his tomb. St. Laurence O’Toole – Lorcán Uí Tuatail in Gaelic – was canonized by Pope Honorius III in 1225.
Most of the relics in Ireland and England disappeared at the time of the Anglican schism under the reign of King Henry VIII (1509-1547). The cathedral itself, where the precious relic once again lies, is in the hands of the “Anglican communion,” while remaining a beautiful reminder of the depths of the Faith in the Isles.