Page last updated at 06:39 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 07:39 UK

Nun relics arrive on 28-date tour

Statue of St Therese Picture: Mazur/
The Catholic Church said the relics of St Therese had attracted huge crowds

The relics of a Roman Catholic nun described as the "greatest saint of modern times" are due to arrive in Kent before touring England and Wales.

A casket containing part of the remains of St Therese of Lisieux will arrive in Folkestone via the Channel Tunnel before a private ceremony of welcome.

The relics will then go on a month-long tour of 28 venues, starting on Wednesday at Portsmouth Cathedral.

The casket will also visit York Minster and Wormwood Scrubs prison in London.

The tour will include the Catholic cathedrals of Plymouth, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Salford, Lancaster, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Nottingham and Westminster.

The Catholic Church said huge crowds had flocked to see the casket, which contains portions of bones of St Therese, in the 42 countries it had visited.

St Therese, a French Carmelite nun, widely known throughout the Catholic world as the Little Flower, was born in Alencon, Normandy, and entered a Carmelite convent in Lisieux aged 15-years-old.

She became famous after her death from tuberculosis in 1897, at the age of 24, following the publication of her autobiography The Story of a Soul.

The autobiography has sold millions of copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 50 languages.

She was declared a saint in 1925 by the Catholic Church.


The casket containing portions of bones of St Therese of Lisieux has already visited 42 countries

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