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Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux’s parents arrive in England

Bishop Mark O'Toole of Plymouth prays over the relics (Mazur/

Bishop Mark O’Toole has welcomed the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux’s parents to the Diocese of Plymouth at the start of their tour of southern England.

Shortly after he became Bishop of Plymouth in January 2014, Bishop O’Toole wrote to Lisieux to request that the relics of Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin visit his diocese.

He received the relics on Friday night at the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Boniface in Plymouth. A Holy Hour with Evening Prayer was followed by Mass with anointing of the sick. The cathedral then remained open for private veneration of the relics, with Night Prayer at 9pm (photo gallery).

The relics will remain in the cathedral until Monday, May 18, when they will be transferred to Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Dorchester, where they will stay until Wednesday, May 20 (full schedule).

On Wednesday, the relics will move to the Diocese of Portsmouth. They will be received at St Theresa’s in Totton, Southampton. The next day, May 21, there will be a day of veneration at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth. On Friday, May 22, the relics will visit Christ the King in Reading (full schedule).

Louis and Zélie Martin were beatified in 2008, becoming the second beatified married couple in history after Luigi and Maria Quattrocchi who were beatified in 2001.

Pope Francis is expected to canonise the Martins during the family synod in Rome in October.