Reliquaries in Our Polish Shrine

 

       According to tradition, the Church venerates the Saints, and has great regard for their authentic relics and images. (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy # 111)

       Besides sacramental liturgy and sacramentals, catechesis must take into account the forms of piety and popular devotions among the faithful.  The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church’s sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals, etc. (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1674)

       Through the worship of the relics of Saints, we worship God, who is the source of all holiness.  The adoration of saints and their relics is present in the Church from its very beginning.  It is an extension of the mystery of the Incarnation, and at the same time, the fruit of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

       Relics remind us of the Communion of Saints, which already enjoy the glory of Heaven, bringing the intentions and prayers of the members of the Pilgrim Church before the throne of God.

       The presence of the relics, as well as the worship of those who have been beatified and canonized, should build Christians’ faith in the resurrection, which has been promised by Christ himself.

       To our great joy, the Polish Church in Los Angeles houses within its walls a tremendous gift from God, the relics of these Polish Saints: St. Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński, St. Faustina Kowalska, Blessed Michael Sopoćko, and Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, and Blessed Pope John Paul II.  We would therefore like to call upon their intercession in our everyday life, but also take inspiration from them to pursue the vocation to holiness and to be faithful to God, our Fatherland, to the Church, and to the traditions of our Fathers.

Reliquary of St. Faustina Kowalska, virgin

       Thanks to the efforts of Fr. Bogdan Molenda, the holy relics of St. Faustina have come to our shrine.  The Certificate of Authenticity is dated the first March 2004.  A formal introduction of the reliquary of the holy Apostle of the Divine Mercy took place on October 8, 2006, coinciding with the celebration of the decade of the existence of the Parish Rosary Rose.  The ceremony was presided over by our Pastor.  The liturgical memorial of Saint Faustina is celebrated on Oct. 4.

Reliquary of St. Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński, Bishop

       Our Parish was blessed to receive the reliquary of St. Zygmunt in response to the personal request of Fr. Raphael Dyguła from the late Monsignor Matthew Cholewa, a friend of our parish, the legendary vicar of Zoliborz from the time of Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko, a personal friend of the chaplain of Solidarity.  The Certificate no. 405 is dated October 11, 2009, and signed by Monsignor Grzegorz Kalwarczyk, chancellor of the Warsaw Metropolitan Curia.  Formal introduction of the reliquary to our temple took place on October 24, 2010, and the ceremony was presided over by Father Bartholomew Marciniak, Pauline of the American Czestochowa. The liturgical memorial of Saint Zygmunt is celebrated on September 17.

Reliquary of Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko, priest and martyr

       In response to the personal request of Fr. Raphael Dyguła TChr addressed to the Metropolitan of Warsaw, Fr. Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz bestowed upon us a reliquary of the Polish Martyr in the year of his canonization.  The Certificate is dated June 6, 2010, and is signed by the Chancellor of the Warsaw Metropolitan Curia, Monsignor Grzegorz Kalwarczyk. Formal introduction of the reliquary to our church took place on October 24, 2010, and the ceremony was presided over by Father Bartholomew Marciniak, Pauline of the American Czestochowa.  The liturgical memorial of Bl. Jerzy is celebrated on October 19.

Reliquary of Bl. John Paul II, Pope

       Again, in response to the personal request addressed to the Metropolitan of Lviv Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, Fr. Raphael received words of assurance from him promising the reliquary of the Blessed Polish Pope.  In a letter dated June 1, 2011, the Pope's personal secretary informed Fr. Raphael: Thank you for your letter of the 18th of May, with the request for relics of Blessed John Paul II for the Polish Parish Our Lady of Czestochowa in Los Angeles.  It is with great joy that I am willing to give relics of the 1st degree of ex Capillis Beati Joannis Pauli II.  Certificate n º 17 is dated June 1, 2011, less than one month after the memorable beatification ceremony at the Vatican, where our parish was represented by our Pastor.  The relics were given to him personally at Jasna Gora on July 10, 2011 by the hands of Fr. Archbishop Mokrzycki.  The formal introduction ceremony of the relics to our temple took place on August 26, 2011, which coincided with the 35th anniversary of the pastoral visit of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla.  This time, the new Blessed came to us forever.  This was the first and only reliquary of his on the American continent.  The ceremony was presided over by Fr . Zbigniew Pieńkos, Redemptorist, director of the Office of Radio Maria in Chicago.  The liturgical memorial of Bl. John Paul is celebrated on October 22.

Reliquary of Bl. Michael Sopoćko, presbyter

       On behalf of the Archbishop Edward Ozorowski of Białystok, our Pastor received a letter from Monsignor Adam Krasinski, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Bialystok, Custodian of the Relics of Blessed Michael Sopoćko, dated December 3, 2010: In response to the magnanimous request of Reverend Father of November 25, 2010, (...) we hereby present relics of Blessed Michael Sopocko, together with the relevant document.  Certificate 513/ 08 is signed by Monsignor Krzysztof Nitkiewicz.  Formal introduction of the relics of Bl. Michael took place at the end of the Parish Mission on March 31, 2012.  The ceremony was presided over by Fr. Boguslaw Jaworowski.  The liturgical memorial of Bl. Michael Sopoćko is celebrated on February 15.

Reliquary of the Holy Land "MONTE TABOR"

       Our parish community received an extremely unique endowment of God in the Year of Faith in the form of relics from the Holy Land.  Certificate dated April 28, 2013 notes: The Guardian of the Shrine of the Transfiguration certifies that this stone was cut from the Holy Mountain of the holy place where Jesus was with his disciples.  It is signed by Father Kazimierz Antoni Dudek, OFM, guardian on the Tabor, in the presence of Sister Dr. Czesława Maćkała ASC.  Formal introduction of the relics of Mount Tabor to our temple took place on June 2, 2013, on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, but its installation in altar took place in the Year of Faith, on October 22, 2013, on the liturgical memorial of Bl. Pope John Paul II.

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