Catholics in Albuquerque got a once-in-a-lifetime experience Thursday. They were able to view a relic dating back 160 years, a fully intact heart belonging to a saint.
Men, women, and children lined up at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Downtown Albuquerque to see the Patron Saint of Parish Priests’ once-beating heart.
“We came by the spirit, the Holy Spirit brought us,” said Susan Fuentes, a parishioner at Immaculate Conception.
Saint John Vianney died 160 years ago. He was known for his generosity and purity. For over a century, his heart has remained fully intact, avoiding decay.
“He’s probably the equivalent of Mother Theresa,” said Father Jonathan Kalisch.
Priests have looked at Saint John Vianney as a model of what it is to be a humble servant of God.
“Today in the Catholic Church, he’s venerated as the example for all priests,” said Father Kalisch.
Now his actual heart is on a nationwide tour, this week making multiple stops in New Mexico.
Father Kalisch says the tour couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I think especially today, in this era, when sadly we know in our own Catholic Church in this country, there’s been a lot of corruption,” said Father Kalisch.
He says the tour is a reminder of what holiness looks like, the first step in healing for Catholics across the U.S.
“I think we can look at it as maybe this is one of God’s remedies,” said Father Kalisch.
Those in attendance were moved. “I feel like I’ve gone to heaven,” said Mary Ann Arthur.
The heart has already been to Las Cruces and Gallup, after Thursday’s service at Immaculate Conception it was taken to Rio Rancho, then Santa Fe.