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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Visiting the Exhibit of Relics of over 300 Saints

After Sunday mass, Marti and I visited the month-long exhibit of Holy Relics of over 300 Saints at our parish church, the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in San Antonio Village, Makati City.

The display was already fascinating but when the curator (forgot her name) told the story of how the relics came to Manila, we and all of the visitors there were utterly amazed!

According to the curator:
Back in early 2000, Filipino Clifford Chua joined the World Youth Day in Rome. One very cold night while preparing to sleep at their camp, Clifford saw another camper shivering near him. Out of pity, he offered a beach towel and 3 pieces of "Skyflakes" crackers. Eventually, the shivering slowly disappeared and the camper was grateful.
The following morning, the camper returned the towel to Clifford and expressed his thanks for his help. Turned out the camper was a Frenchman and they exchanged addresses, promising to keep in touch. The young men started corresponding to each other after they returned to their respective countries and eventually the Frenchman invited Clifford visit him one day in France.
Five years later, on his way to the 2005 World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, Clifford decided to visit his friend in France. He expected to be toured around the Frenchman's parish but to his surprise, his friend was living in a 17th century château. It turned out Clifford's friend was a French nobleman belonging to a royal family! So as they toured around the chateau, Clifford noticed a chapel being renovated and saw two small frames embedded on the wall about to be demolished. Upon closer look, the frames contained the very rare relics of ancient 365 Saints! He asked his French friend what would be done to the relics but did not get an outright answer.
Upon his return to the Philippines, Clifford could not get the relics out of his mind: wondering and feeling sorry if those relics just ended up in a storage somewhere.
 A few weeks later, Clifford received a parcel from France and upon opening same, he could not believe that it contained the 365 relics, given to him by his French friend as a gift!

Marti infront of the relics from the Italian Church freighted to Manila
The latest update is that when His Eminence Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales visited the exhibit this month, Clifford decided to donate all the relics to the Archdiocese of Manila where it would now have a permanent home and where people can view and venerate them.

Relic of the Holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ

Relic from the Cincture of the Blessed Virgin Mary and
from the Cloak of St. Joseph

One of the frames containing over 100 relics
embedded in the wall of the chapel in the French château 
Relics of the Children of Fatima

St. Marie Eugenie,
Patroness of Assumptionists

St. Magdalene

St. Martin de Porres
The 12 Apostles
(Judas was replaced by St. Paul)

Here's a video of the exhibit and I hope you could visit before it ends on Sunday, November 28 2010:

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