A member of the Knights of Columbus touches a holy card to the relic Pope St. John Paul II on display in the chapel of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June 22.
SOUTH END -- Hundreds of Catholic faithful came to venerate the relic of Pope St. John Paul II at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June 21 and 22 as the first stop on a national tour being sponsored by St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. and the Knights of Columbus.
Boston was the first city in the United States in which St. John Paul II celebrated Mass as pope, when he visited in October 1979 with 400,000 people gathering for his Mass on Boston Common. He was declared a saint on April 27 of this year.
During its time in Boston, the relic was available for public veneration Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday following the 11:30 a.m. Mass celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, during which he honored couples celebrating their 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries.
During the Mass, the golden reliquary and a portrait of Pope St. John Paul II were displayed next to the main altar of the cathedral.
In his homily, the cardinal thanked the Knights of Columbus for their support of the tour and spoke of the significance of the relic's presence in Boston.
"We are very, very privileged to have here in our cathedral these wonderful relics that have been lent to us by the Knights of Columbus from their shrine of St. John Paul II in Washington D.C. From the first days of Christianity, we have always had a special devotion to the relics of our saints," Cardinal O'Malley said.