Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In Good Company

Andrea and Monica brought some very special items for Fr. Peter:

Fr. Peter had inquired with a small parish in Italy about obtaining some relics, and he knew that Andrea and Monica would be bringing them.  What Fr. Peter didn't know was that his friends brought WAY more than he expected....

Here's Fr. Peter reading the letter from Fr. Giuseppe from
Saint Zenone parish in Castano Primo, Italy.
Explaining to us about the relics, which are tiny pieces of a
saint or something that a saint owned.  Relics are a way to
show/strengthen our devotion to the saints, who are our examples
and whom we ask to intercede for us.

And now the surprise...many more relics, which
St. Zenone parish had acquired in 1609 and is
now sharing with St. Matthew.

I was just speechless seeing all these very very holy items in my house!!!!!  This collection of church treasures, dare I say, rivals any collection in the whole country.  What is normal for Italian churches is most certainly unusual and extra-special for an American church, especially one on the West coast.  Bunny knew intellectually what we were seeing, but none of us, I think, have fully grasped what was in our home that beautiful July day.  We were in the company of: St. Ambrose, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Gianna Molla, Bl. Carlo Gnocchi, Bl. Serafino Morazzone, St. John Newmann, St. Francis of Sales, St. Peter, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Juliana Falconieri, St. Bernadine of Siena, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare of Assisi, St. Pius V, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Francis of Paola, St. Paschal Baylon, St. Blaise, St. Venantius, St. Agatha, St. Thecla, St. Louis Guanella, St. Flavius, and St. Fidelius of Como.  WOW!!!!!

All these saints, along with some others from other sources, now reside at St. Matthew.  Fr. Peter has plans to bring them out on their feast days (St. Blaise and the blessing of the throats is a big one in February for St. Matthew) and on other holy days.  What a rich treasure for our parish!

Fr. Peter explained later in the church bulletin:
It was in the Year 1609 that a nobleman from the city of Milan by the name of Giovanni Giacomo Castoldi obtained relics from Rome and from Cologne (Germany).  On the 28th of May of that year the Most Reverend Archbishop Federico Borromeo in company with several other bishops brought some of these relics to the parish church of Saint Zenone.  It was on the second Sunday of the month of July that the town celebrated the arrival with a big solemnity, including fireworks, cannon and rifle shooting and Church bells ringing (Ricordi storici di Carlo Casati 1878).  
404 years later, 24 of these relics started a new pilgrimage.  Their new destination was a young and fervent parish dedicated to St. Matthew in the town of Hillsboro in Oregon.  A devout couple by the name of Andrew and Monica S., together iwth their 6-year-old daughter Chiara went on a long journey to bring these relics to their new home.  They arrived on Sunday July 7th. 
This is an expression of our communion as Christ's Church. Some relics date all the way back to the first centuries, other are more recent dating 1962.

1 comment:

  1. I am in awe with the holy relics that were in your house! I have chills. Your whole home is blessed by having had these relics there.