Christians poured into Christ Church Cathedral this evening after the Garda revealed today they recovered the heart of Dublin’s patron Saint.
Six years after it was stolen, St Laurence O’Toole’s heart entered Dublin’s oldest cathedral once again: undamaged.
Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, the Dean of Christ Church, received laughs after asking the congregation to “forgive us if our celebration appears somewhat triumphant”.
He said that St Laurence’s day, on November 14, will be a time of great celebration in which all people of Dublin are welcome. A shrine to the relic will be created in the cathedral for people to visit. Regular security reviews will continue in reaction to the theft.
“I said at the time it was stolen that the relic has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links the cathedral’s present foundation with its founding father, St Laurence O’Toole. It gives joy to my heart that the heart has been returned…” the Dean said.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy presented the 800-year-old relic to the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson during a Choral Evensong.
Archbishop Jackson said the return of the heart “brings great joy to the people of Dublin”.
Laurence left the monastic city of Glendalough of which he was Abbot to become Archbishop of Dublin. This cemented a vibrant relationship that continues to this day.
Both clergy praised the Garda for their role in locating the relic. There is an ongoing investigation in relation to the crime. Sources say the relic was recovered in the Phoenix Park, but authorities are revealing little information.
Born in Co. Kildare, St Laurence played an important role in defending Dublin during the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169. He encouraged his congregation to resist the enemy while also helping the wounded. He died on November 14, 1180 and was declared a Saint in 1226.