Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”


In the evening of Thursday, after they left Westminster Cathedral, the relics of St Thérèse came to the Hospital of Saint John and Saint Elizabeth, and Saint John's Hospice.

The relics have been touring the country as part of their continuous mission around the world, following the Saint's wish to be a missionary, formally recognised by Pope John Paul II's declaration of her as Patron of Missions.

The visit to St John's Wood was planned to be for the benefit of the sick and dying, and several hundred pilgrims came to venerate the relics in the Conventual Church.

Many Hospice patients came to the church, and other pilgrims came from the local parish of Our Lady, Lisson Grove, and the neighbouring parishes of Swiss Cottage and the Rosary Church, Marylebone, and local convents and old-peoples' homes, including Barbara Brosnan Court.  We were also very pleased to welcome the Little Sisters of the Poor from St Anne's Home, Stoke Newington, where Canon McDonald is now Chaplain. Some of the Order of Malta Lourdes pilgrims were also present.

At the invitation of the Chairman of the Hospital, Bishop Alan Hopes, auxiliary of Westminster, celebrated a sung Mass at the close of the visit, which was attended by more than 200 people. The 18th century vestments worn had been restored by one of the patients present at the Mass.

We are very grateful to the many teams of carers and helpers who made the visit such a success.

As the relics left the church, a piper played "The Little Flower - St Thérèse of Lisieux" a new composition written specially for today's visit to the Hospital.

We pray that the many graces the visit of the relics have brought will renew the life and work of the Hospital and Hospice, and bring hope and faith to those who were present. (Click on the photographs to enlarge them.)

Loving Father, We thank you for the visit of the relics of St Thérèse to our country. We ask you to draw us more deeply into your love And to fill us with confidence in your mercy. Help us to become, like St Thérèse, love at the heart of the Church. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns, forever and ever. Amen.

Further updates and images will be added when they are available.

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face, pray for us.