Biblical Relic Visits Berkeley Church

A piece of Biblical history will be making a stop at a Berkeley parish Thursday as part of a month-long California tour, says the Merc News.

What is believed to be a partial tibia of St. Mary Magdalene has already made stops at churches in Oakland and Antioch will be on display at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Berkeley.

"It's not something that happens every day, so it's a rather extraordinary experience to view something like that," said the Rev. David Farrugia, pastor of Berkeley's St. Mary Magdalen Parish. "Mary Magdalene is not only the patron saint of our parish, but also considered the second patron of the Dominican order. So this is very special."

Tour coordinator Paula Lawlor says it was a letter from Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon that spoke of such relics being hidden at the time of the Saracen invasion and then rediscovered in 1279. Shortly after the discovery, Pope Boniface VIII published the pontifical document for the establishment of the Dominicans at Sainte Baum and St. Maximin. This is why the guarded relics' tour will be centered on Dominican parishes.

The relic will be on display for parish school children at 1:30 p.m. Viewing and prayer before the relic will continue until 9 p.m. with special masses in between.

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