We were blessed this past week when a friend let us know that the Apostolate for Holy Relics would be visiting our wider vicinity with their Call from the Crucified Heart program.
My children were introduced to relics two years ago when we visited a parish hosting the Treasures of the Church. That experience got them excited about relics and eager to learn more, so we, later, took advantage of opportunities to visit a church hosting St. Maximilian Kolbe's relics and, then, to go venerate Padre Pio's heart relic. As these experiences were all positive ones, I made sure to prioritize getting our family to the
Call from the Crucified Heart program.Our Experience
The Call from the Crucified Heart program, as we experienced it, lasted more than an hour and was presented in both English and Spanish, with every other meditation offered in English. (The church we went to for the program typically offers both English and Spanish Masses and, thus, provided a translator to read the Spanish meditations. I do not think every church that hosts the Relics of the Passion opts for a bilingual program.)
To help non-bilingual folks like me and mine follow along, booklets with the full text of each mediation were provided in both English and Spanish. Luckily, these had some black-and white images throughout them which helped my non-readers understand the story being told without me having to whisper-read the English versions of the Spanish meditations to them. (My children know the story of Jesus' passion well, and, so, the pictures effectively "cued" them to some degree about what was being spoken about in Spanish.)
During each meditation, a local Knights of Columbus member held up one of eight rare holy relics related to the Passion of Jesus:
- the relic of the True Cross
- a piece of stone from the table or room where the Last Supper was held
- a piece of the Column of Flagellation
- a piece of the Crown of Thorns
- the effigy of the Veil of Veronica (touched to the original veil)
- a replica of the holy nail which contains filings taken from the true nails that were imbedded in copies to make relics of a lower class
- a piece of bone from St. Longinus, the centurion that pierced the side of Jesus
- a thread from the cloth used as the wrapping for the Burial Shroud.
Between each meditation, musical selections were played and sung, and, throughout the entire program the Holy Eucharist was exposed to "underscore that time-transcending gift that connects us from His Passion to His Presence with us today," as the Apostolate for Holy Relics site explains.
At the conclusion of the narrated portion of the program, we were blessed with an opportunity for personal veneration of the relics.
I appreciated the experience, overall and plan to reread the meditations from the program when I have quiet time later this Lent, since I missed some of them "live" due to my kiddoes' needs for potty runs and reminders to focus.
At the end of a long, busy week - and with half of the the Call from the Crucified Heart program presented in a language my children not understand - my children, admittedly, had difficulty staying 100% engaged in the entirety of meditative portion of the program. However, they did fairly well throughout it and said they were happy to have been there. (As was I!) They were especially pleased with the opportunity to move through the line for personal veneration, touching their rosaries and other holy objects to the relics, and my daughter has since knelt down in prayer with the sacramentals she brought to the program set up on a chair in front of her (which was such a sweet vision for me to witness.)
Of course, my children also enjoyed sharing the experience with friends.
We are so grateful to have dear friends who share our faith and our desire to learn more about its rich history and traditions. We pray you and yours are surrounded by opportunities to grow in faith among friends as well and are thankful that the Apostolate of Holy Relics is working to preserve and present part of our Catholic heritage.
Learn More about the Relics of the Passion
You can donate to the Apostolate of Holy Relics, request to host their programs, find out if they will be in your area, and read more about the history of the relics program at the Apostolate of Holy Relics website.
|This post was shared at the 40 Days of Seeking Him Link up|