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Basilica of St. Mary in Alexandria to host St. John Vianney relic

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The Basilica of St. Mary in Alexandria will host the incorruptible heart of St. John Vianney, Curé of Ars and patron saint of priests, Jan. 15-16 as part of its national tour, and its only stop in the Diocese of Arlington.

“It is a great honor for our parish to be part of the national tour,” said Father Edward C. Hathaway, rector. “We invite everyone to visit the basilica and spend time in prayer with this relic.”

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, said in a statement that St. John Vianney offers an example to help the church heal and rebuild.

"We now welcome as providential this opportunity to invoke the intercession of the patron saint of parish priests, whose holiness and integrity is a singular model for clergy," Anderson said in his statement.

The relic will be displayed Jan. 15 in the basilica beginning with the 6:30 a.m. Mass and will be available until 9 a.m. From 9:15 to 11:15 a.m., the relic will be venerated by students and staff at the Basilica School of St. Mary. The relic again will be displayed in the basilica 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. A Holy Hour will take place at 7 p.m. to pray for clergy and an increase in priestly vocations.

The relic will be displayed in the basilica Jan. 16 from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Father Patrice Chocholski, rector of the Shrine of St. Jean Marie Vianney in Ars, France, will speak at 7 p.m.

Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. on both Jan. 15 and 16.

The U.S. tour, which is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, began in November and will continue through early June. The relic was on display earlier at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. 

If you go

Basilica of St. Mary, 310 South Royal St., Alexandria, Jan. 15-16.

Go to stmaryoldtown.org/vianneyheart or call 703/836-4100.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019