BY SCO Admin | October 23 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


St Patrick’s welcomes John Paul II relic

Scottish and Polish devotees of St John Paul II gathered at St Patrick’s, Shieldmuir, on Sunday for the reception of a relic of the late Pope in the Church ahead of his feast day on Thursday.

Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell (above left), the main celebrant at the installation Mass, referred to St John Paul’s visit to Scotland in 1982 and his rapturous reception from the young people of Scotland at Murrayfield; his moving sermons there and at the Bellahouston Mass where he departed to the congregation singing Will Ye No Come Back Again.

“It was a very special occasion to welcome the relic of St John Paul II to St Patrick’s, Shieldmuir and to recall his great Pontificate and to seek his intercession and blessing on the local community and the Polish community spread throughout Scotland now, to entitle us to recognise his holiness and his saintliness, as we look to the future together in our country and the Diocese of Motherwell,” Bishop Toal said.

The relic, a small piece of cloth soaked in the saint’s blood, was brought to the Church last Sunday in procession from the parish hall, accompanied by the St Francis Pipe Band from the Gorbals and with a guard of honour formed by members of the Knights of St Columba.

Parish Priest Fr Krzysztof Garwolinski, spoke of how the late Pontiff had worked tirelessly to create unity between nations and religions. He welcomed all who attended, particularly Bishop Wieslaw Lechowic (above right), official Delegate from the Polish Conference of Bishops; teaching staff from local primary and secondary schools; Jolanta Srebrakowska, the Polish Consul from Edinburgh; local MSP John Pentland, Past Supreme Knight Pat Leyden of the Knights of St Columba; present Supreme Knight Charlie McCluskey and the past chancellor of the Diocese of Motherwell, Frank Cassidy.

“John Paul II is such a significant person for both the Polish and Scottish communities so I hope we can bring the communities together,” the priest said. “I hope that we can become a centre of devotion for John Paul II for the whole of Scotland.

“In the hospital in Italy they kept some of his blood just in case he needed a transfusion. When he died they didn’t need it in stock so it was taken from the hospital and now it is used as a relic.”

Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005. On May 9, a month after his funeral, Pope Benedict XVI began the Beatification process for his predecessor, setting aside the precedent that five years must pass after a person’s death before the Beatification process can begin.

The Beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul II was held on May 1, 2011.

On Sunday St Patrick’s was filled to capacity, with many members of the Polish community and parishioners of St Patrick’s and elsewhere in the diocese.

Yesterday, Bishop Toal installed at second relic of the late Pope at St John the Baptist in Uddingston.





—This story ran in full in the October 23 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.


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