Incorrupt heart of St. John Vianney to be in Diocese of Knoxville

The incorrupt heart of St. John (Jean) Vianney, a major relic of the patron saint of parish priests, is coming to the Diocese of Knoxville on May 23 as part of its pilgrimage to the United States.

The Knights of Columbus, who are entrusted with the relic on its national tour, have worked with Bishop Richard F. Stika to bring the incorrupt heart of St. John Vianney to the diocese.

The relic will arrive at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus at 7:30 a.m. on May 23, with a Mass with students and faculty of Sacred Heart Cathedral School following at 8:05 a.m.

At 9 a.m. on May 23, public veneration of the relic will begin at the cathedral followed by daily Mass at noon.

Following Mass, public veneration will commence again. Then at 7 p.m., evening prayer and recitation of the rosary with clergy, religious, and laity will take place. Veneration will end at 8 p.m. Confession will be available throughout the day.

The Shrine of Ars, France, entrusted to the Knights of Columbus the relic for the national tour from November through early June.

The Knights of Columbus has said it welcomes the special opportunity to offer for veneration the major relic of the patron saint of parish priests, whose holiness and integrity is a model for clergy and laity.

St. John Vianney is internationally known for his priestly and pastoral work in his parish in Ars.

He died in 1859. When his body was exhumed, it was found to be incorrupt, and it is enshrined in Ars. His still intact heart was later removed.

Pope Pius XI canonized him in 1925 and proclaimed him patron saint of parish priests in 1929. His incorrupt body and heart are displayed at his shrine in Ars.

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