Illinois has been chosen as the location for the 2013 U.S. Tour of the Relic of Saint Mary Magdalene, co-patroness of the Dominicans. A request was made by Debbie Pryor, co-founder of Our Sorrowful Mother’s Ministry in Vandalia, Illinois. Pryor heard of the 2011 California Tour of the Relic of Saint Mary Magdalene and sought to have the relic of St. Mary Magdalene brought to Vandalia.
Bishop Dominique Rey of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon in the South of France has given permission for the relic to leave the Cave of Saint Mary Magdalene and for it to be accompanied by a French Dominican priest from La Sainte-Baume for the one-month tour of Illinois.
With Cardinal George’s blessing, the tour will open Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in River Forest, Illinois, a ministry of the Dominican friars, Province of St. Albert the Great. Dominicans of the Province at Aquinas Institute of Theology and St. Dominic Priory, ministries of the Province in St. Louis will also be part of the celebration during the visit.
In 1295 Pope Boniface VIII published a pontifical bull for the establishment of the Dominicans at Sainte-Baume and St. Maximin. The Dominicans then chose Saint Mary Magdalene as their co-patroness and have been guarding her relic ever since. Fr. Bouchard said, “This is a great opportunity for us to honor our patroness and to foster devotion to the ‘Apostle to the Apostles’, the first person to preach the Risen Christ.”