Friday, September 16, 2011

Holy Cross Novena

The annual Solemn Novena in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is under way in Holycross, Co. Tipperary.

Thousands of worshippers are attending the sessions of the Novena, which runs from September 8 to 16 this year.  

They have a choice of five separate liturgies on weekdays between 7:30am and 9.30pm, and an extra session on Sundays.

In the course of the Novena, special liturgies include an Anointing of the Sick, a Special Mass for Young People and a Blessing of Infants. 

The novena is manned by Holycross parish priest Fr Tom Breen, aided by Fr Celsus Tierney and Fr Michael Mullaney, as well as scores of volunteer helpers.

These include stewards, caterers, cantors, readers and Eucharistic ministers who have been drafted in for the event.  

Some of the Novena sessions are being attended by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dr Dermot Clifford.

Holy Cross Abbey is a restored Cistercian monastery named after a relic of the True Cross, which was reputedly brought to Ireland and bestowed on it by the French Plantagenet Queen Isabella of Angouleme in 1233.

Following the dissolution of the monasteries and the invasion of Cromwell, the abbey slowly fell into ruins but was restored as a place of worship in the 1960s.  

When it reopened, an authenticated relic of the Holy Cross was provided to it by the Sacristan of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

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