BBC Home
Explore the BBC

CBBC

UK

Last Updated: Tuesday September 29 2009 09:29 GMT

Ricky's been to meet a saint

Ricky inside Lancaster Cathedral

Watch Ricky's report

So far this week 45,000 people have turned out to see the remains of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

She's a nun that died many years ago. Some of her bones have arrived for their first time in England and Wales on a religious tour.

Ricky went to see why the young nun is so famous after dying over a century ago.


"When I first arrived at Lancaster Cathedral I spotted a large crowd.

The group of people, both young and old, began to grow as the clock on the tall tower chimed four o'clock.

Something very big was happening and lots of people wanted to witness exactly what was going on.

The casket arriving at Lancaster Cathedral
Her remains arriving at the Cathedral

Minutes later a car parked up in front of the cathedral. Inside lay the remains of a nun who died over 100 years ago.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is known to millions of people across the world. It's quite amazing how a small box of her bones can pull in crowds on the same scale as the fans who turn out to see Take That and Girls Aloud.

Why is St Thérèse so special?

The nun, from Lisieux in France, died aged 24 in 1897 from a disease called tuberculosis. Shortly after, her personal stories were released. Her book soon became a bestseller with millions of copies sold.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is now a holy figure for Catholics right across the globe.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Her remains are known as relics, and they're sealed inside a 21-stone silver container which took six grown men to carry into the cathedral.

Inside the casket are bones from her thigh, right leg and foot. They're touring churches, cathedrals and even a prison across England and Wales.

The remains have been touring the world since 1997, the Roman Catholic Church says the relics - which are said to promote healing - are likely to draw massive crowds.

And they're not wrong.

I met up with a group of school kids who got to see the remains for the first time. As they stood inside the packed cathedral it felt more like Christmas than a normal cold September evening.

Prayers and songs

Lots of people were singing hymns and going up to the casket to say a prayer and see the relics for themselves.

Some of the kids who visited Saint Therese of Lisieux
Some of the kids who saw the remains

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux has already toured over 40 countries including Australia, America and even Iraq. Last year an American astronaut took a relic from St Thérèse millions of miles into space and left it up there. She's now the first saint to orbit earth.

It's no wonder so many people want to see a piece of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux for themselves."

Ricky