Page last updated at 18:36 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 19:36 UK

Nun's relics come to York Minster

St Therese of Lisieux
St Therese was declared a saint in 1925 by the Catholic Church

Hundreds of people have gathered at York Minster to view the relics of a 19th Century French saint which have arrived in the city.

A casket containing the bones of St Therese of Lisieux went on display at the church on Thursday, as part of a visit to England and Wales.

York Minster is the only Anglican Church in the programme of venues.

It will open continuously for 18 hours so visitors can see the relics, which some believe have healing properties.

St Therese is one of the major saints of the Roman Catholic Church, and was described by Pope Pius X as "the greatest saint of modern times".

Influential writings

Many Christians of other traditions and denominations are influenced by her writings and her life.

The youngest of nine children, St Therese was admitted to a Carmelite convent in 1888 at the age of 15 after petitioning her local bishop and then Pope Leo XIII.

She died of tuberculosis in 1897 at the age of 24, and was declared a saint in 1925.

The arrival of the remains have already drawn crowds of thousands at churches across Britain.

The dean of York Minster, the Very Reverend Keith Jones, said it was "a great thrill" to have the relics of the saint in the minster.

"York Minster is the cradle of Christianity for the northern half of Britain," he said. "We believe this is one of the ways in which Christians of all kinds can come together and simply be in the presence of this holy life."

They will be on display at York Minster until 1200 BST on Friday.

The relics will also be shown in Leeds and Sheffield.

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St Therese of Lisieux was a French nun who died in the 19th Century



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