900-Year-Old Heart: Relic Preserved from Saint Stolen from Dublin Church

on March 05 2012 12:14 PM
Irish police are looking for the person who allegedly stole a 900-year-old heart relic preserved in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. The 900-year-old heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, the patron saint of Dublin, was taken from a display case where it
Irish police are looking for the person who allegedly stole a 900-year-old heart relic preserved in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. The 900-year-old heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, the patron saint of Dublin, was taken from a display case where it is usually held in Christ Church Cathedral. Facebook/Christ Church Cathedr

Irish police are looking for the person who allegedly stole a 900-year-old heart relic preserved in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.

According to CNN, the 900-year-old heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, the patron saint of Dublin, was taken from a display case where it is usually held in Christ Church Cathedral. The iron cage case in Saint Lauds Chapel where the preserved heart is typically held was found pried open on Saturday.

Police believe the heart was snatched from the heart-shaped wooden box bolted to the wall between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

I am devastated that one of the treasured artifacts of the cathedral is stolen, Rev. Dermot Dunne, the cathedral's dean, told CBS. It has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation with its founding father.

Christ Church Cathedral told CNN the theft was truly awful and strange and are shocked and saddened.

It's completely bizarre, Nuala Kavanagh, the cathedral's director of operations, told CBS. They didn't touch anything else. They wanted the heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, adding that gold chalices and candlesticks were not stolen.

So far, there have been no suspects as police view the footage. However, there are only surveillance cameras over the welcome desk at the cathedral and no cameras where the robbery took place inside the chapel. The Garda Siochana is currently reviewing footage to identify the 40 or so people who were at the Cathedral on Saturday morning.

Nothing else besides the heart and the box containing the heart was stolen, according to the report, and there were no signs of breaking and entering.

Thank you all so much for your messages of support, a message on the Facebook account for the Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin read. We're still in shock here but we'll keep you updated about any developments.

St. Laurence O'Toole was the archbishop of Dublin through the 12th century, being made a saint in 1225, according to CNN. It is common for the Catholic faith to preserve body parts from saints as a form of respect.

Similar thefts have occurred in Ireland in the past few years. In 2011, three relics from the cross used to crucify Jesus were taken from the Holy Cross Abbey in County Tipperary. Similarly a reliquary holding the jawbone of St. Brigid was stolen from a northside Dublin church in January.

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