St. John Vianney parish to host namesake's relic

April 10, 2018

HOUSTON — The incorrupt heart of St. John Marie Vianney will visit the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for a three-day period. 

Father Patrice Antoine Chocholski, rector of The Shrine at Ars in France where St. John Vianney served, will accompany the relic.

The first-class relic, which is typically kept with the saint's incorrupt body in France, will be available on April 14 to April 16 at the St. John Vianney Catholic Church, located at 625 Nottingham Oaks Trail in Houston.

According to organizers, beginning Saturday, April 14 at 4 p.m. and continuing throughout the weekend and into Monday, faithful are invited to pray during Exposition of the Relic and also participate in public veneration during the times before and after scheduled events.

Scheduled activities include Mass with the relic in the church, confessions, Eucharistic Adoration with Benediction, morning prayer and other devotions, and a reception. 

The relic is enclosed within a gold reliquary. The heart of the French saint was found incorrupt and was removed from his body 45 years after his death in 1859.

Relic Schedule

Saturday - April 14
4 p.m. - Exposition of the relic in the church with confessions in the Chapel
5:30 p.m. - Vigil Mass in the Church
Reception follows in the Activity Center

Sunday - April 15
6 a.m. - Church opens with relic in the church
Regularly scheduled Masses
8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. in Spanish, 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Spanish
9 p.m. - The relic is transferred to the chapel for vigil, with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament  and Eucharistic Adoration in the nighttime

Monday - April 16
6:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer
8:30 a.m. - Benediction
9 a.m. - Transfer of the relic to Church/Mass
10 a.m. - Public veneration of the relic begins until 10 p.m.
12 p.m.  -Angelus / Novena of St. John Vianney
12:10 p.m. - Mass
3 p.m. - Chaplet of Divine Mercy / Novena of St. John Vianney
6 p.m. - Angelus & Rosary
7 p.m. - Mass with choir
9 p.m. - Novena of St. John Vianney
10 p.m. - Public veneration closes

For the latest information, call 281-497-1500 or visit

About St. John Vianney

Born near Lyon, France in 1786, St. John Vianney was a farmer’s son and studied for the priesthood for many years, and eventually was ordained more for his devoutness and good will than for other qualities.

But he became a model parish priest in Arsen-Dombes, where he served for 40 years. He was devoted to his parishioners, and became famous for rigorous preaching and insights in the confessional.

The Cure of Ars, as he was known, spent up to 18 hours a day hearing the confessions of pilgrims who sought him out. He is the patron of parish priests. He died in 1859, and his feast day is Aug. 4.

What is a relic?

The word ‘relic’ comes from the Latin “reliquiae,” literally meaning “remains.” In the strict sense, they are in fact remains of canonized or beatified saints.

According to Treasures of the Church, a ministry known for touring relics for encounters with the faithful, relics are physical objects that have a direct association with the saints or with Jesus Christ. They are usually broken down into three classes.

First class relics are the body or fragments of the body of a saint, such as pieces of bone or flesh. Second class relics are something that a saint personally owned, such as a shirt or book (or fragments of those items). Third class relics are those items that a saint touched or that have been touched to a first, second, or another third class relic of a saint.

In his address to the young on the occasion of the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI said, “Relics direct us towards God himself: it is He who, by the power of His grace, grants to weak human beings the courage to bear witness to Him before the world. By inviting us to venerate the mortal remains of the martyrs and saints, the Church does not forget that, in the end, these are indeed just human bones, but they are bones that belonged to individuals touched by the living power of God.”

For the latest information, call 281-497-1500 or visit