Rapid City hosts veneration of St. Jean Vianney’s relic
RAPID CITY, S.D. -In the Catholic Faith Saint Jean Vianney is a symbol of devotion and purity.
The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring the “Heart of a Priest” tour featuring the relic of St. Jean Vianney’s heart.
A relic is similar to an heirloom. In the Catholic Church, a relic is a valuable object that was owned or worn by a saint. It can also be a significant body part of a saint, such a heart.
The tour touched down in South Dakota on Saturday starting in Ft. Pierre. Sunday morning the relic was brought to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, here in Rapid City.
Many waited in line to touch the relic and pray in front of it. Taking time to do so is a form of veneration or display of respect. Visitors remember and respect the saint but do not worship the saint or the relic.
“He was a real model of priestly zeal and priestly holiness. The way that he preached, the way that he celebrated mass, celebrated the sacrament of reconciliation. They say that he was in the confessional from 14 to 16 sometimes 18 hours a day. People would come from all over France and Europe and even the United States to come to this holy priest for confession,” said Father Brian Christensen, of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The church hopes that Vianney’s legacy helps the Catholic community heal from the recent sexual abuse crisis.