Locals Celebrating Return of the True Cross of Christ
The relics of the True Cross of Christ stolen from Holycross Abbey a few months ago have been reconciled with the ancient place of worship after Gardai recovered them following an extensive investigation.
Locals, who had been left distraught by the actions of the thieves, were last night celebrating the news that the relics have been recovered and will make their way back to the historic and very popular Holycross Abbey – a very popular wedding venue for people from all over Ireland. Their prayers have been answered and their place of worship will once again be enhanced by the presence of the relics which are thought to contain a piece of the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified.
Rev Fr Tom Breen, PP of Holycross and Ballycahill described the sense of loss felt by locals at the theft of the relics. However, that sense of loss has now been replaced by celebrations and thanks for the efforts of An Garda Siochana which have unearthed the relics.
“We are absolutely thrilled and hugely relieved to be reunited with the relics. I cannot thank the Gardai enough for their efforts and the people of the parish and the wider community for their support,” Fr Breen said last night.
The Abbey had been promised another relic from the Urusline Convent in Blackrock, County Cork following the theft. This announcement was made at Mass on Christmas Eve and was warmly received by parishioners. However, news that the stolen relics have been returned resulted in great joy in the parish. They were recovered in the Midlands following a search and though they have been described as being “weather beaten”, they are still in good condition.
“Our prayers have been answered,” said one local, while another described the news as being “a fantastic start to the new year.”
The relics have been displayed in public for many years in Holycross Abbey, but it is now expected this will have to be reviewed in light of the theft. They have been seen and handled by thousands of pilgrims down through the years with the annual Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help resulting in flocks of people venerating the relics and blessing themselves with them.
The return of the relics will be greeted with great joy outside the parish also. Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly had called for the return of the relics also following their disappearance and is delighted that they have been returned to their rightful place in the heart of Holycross Abbey.
An on-going Garda investigation continues into the theft.