The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is hosting a relic of Saint Damien de Veuster (the Leper Priest of Molokai) on October 13-14.
The Archdiocese of Detroit will be the first in the United States to display a relic of the Rev. Damien de Veuster, the unofficial patron saint of HIV and AIDS patients.
Pope Benedict XVI will name Damien a saint on Oct. 11 at the Vatican.
The relic, a heel of the soon-to-be saint, will be displayed at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on Oct. 13-14, said archdiocese spokesman Joe Kohn.
In Catholicism, a relic is anything associated with a saint, including a body part or something used or touched by the saint. Damien's heel was selected because it was kept out of his tomb when his body was transferred from Hawaii to Belgium in 1936, according to the Most Rev. Clarence Silva, bishop of Honolulu.
The relic will stop in Detroit and San Francisco on its way back to Hawaii, where Damien served in a settlement for patients with Hansen's disease on the Molokai peninsula of Kalaupapa. He is already considered the unofficial patron saint of sufferers of Hansen's disease, or leprosy.
The Detroit stop is a favor to Archbishop Allen Vigneron, who while serving as the bishop of Oakland, Calif., worked closely with Silva, who at the time was Oakland's vicar general.
The public is invited to attend the Detroit veneration at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13.
Try to avoid the comments box at the story--it's guaranteed to be a cavalcade of monumental ignorance and tired fundamentalist thundering at the paganized Roman Whore (a quick refutation here). In other words, a gassy reprise of the same blather that accompanied the visit of the relics of St. Therese to Royal Oak a few years back.
I know that won't stop some of you, but hey--I warned you.