Their bodies were frail, but their spirits were strong and pure. And now Saints Maria Goretti and Thérèse of Lisieux are connected to St. Polycarp Catholic Church in Stanton in both body and spirit. 

The physical connection to the two saints from the late 19th and early 20th centuries was made thanks to the donation of a relic from each saint from a parish family that chose to remain anonymous. The two relics had been family heirlooms that the donors decided to share with the congregation. 

On Saturday, Oct. 5, congregants at St. Polycarp got their first chance to view and venerate the two first-class relics, or relics that are actual body parts from the saints, as they were unveiled at a morning mass. 

“These are quite special,” said parish priest Father Michael St. Paul. 

The relics of St. Maria Goretti and St. Thérèse are the first for St. Polycarp. They will be kept in a secure place and made available for special occasions, such as the saints’ feast days, according to Fr. St. Paul. 

After the Mass, more than 100 congregants in two lines queued up to venerate the relics. Many knelt before the relics, some touched the reliquary with personal objects and, in a sign of the times, some took close-up photographs with their phones. 

Full story at OC Catholic.