People Rejoiced as Stolen Religious Relic Recovered
Residents, patrons and visitors were overjoyed as the True Cross religious relics were recovered by Gardai and returned safe to the Holy Cross Abbey in Co Tipperary. According to Gardai, the religious items are recovered during their search operation on yesterday, January 19, 2011. Despite the recovery of the items, authorities refused to confirm the location where the relics were recovered due to operational reasons, but they affirmed that the object is found in an undisclosed field in the rural area. According to parish priest Father Tom J. Breen, a number of religious artifacts and relics of the True Cross were stolen by three men in October 11, 2011. The burglars used a portable grinder to cut open the steel cabinet where the relics were stored. Breen said, “The return and recovery of the relics clearly proves the power of prayers.” Breen said that the True Cross relics are part of the whole crucifix where Jesus Christ died and which have been subject of pilgrimage and devotion for about 900 years ago. History According to history, the True Cross was brought to Ireland in 1233 by Isabella of Angouleme, the Plantagenet Queen. She was King John’s widow who bestowed and gave the relic to the Cistercian Monastery in Thurles. The monastery was rebuilt by her and renamed Holy Cross Abbey. One of the stolen relics contained twelve-inch high bronze and gold cross with glass center piece which was presented to the Holy Cross Abbey in 1977 by the Vatican. Ancient raiders took the twelve-inch silver cross hung from a chain. It was also found that the silver chain contain two other holy crosses and two dark stones. These religious relics had been kept and protected by the Holy Cross Abbey since 1180. The loss of True Cross saddened not only the people in the parish, but the whole Catholic community. It has devastated and saddened the people, thus Breen appealed to the public to return the relic. The people prayed earnestly for the recovery and return of the religious object. With the extensive search and investigative efforts of the Gardai, the relics were found unharmed, safe, intact and returned to Father Tom Breen. Archbishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly states, “It is truly delightful and wonderful that the precious True Cross relics from the Holly Cross Abbey are found through the efforts of Garda Siochana. On behalf of the Cashel and Emly diocese and the people, we express our heartfelt thanks to Gardai ” Clifford and Breen wondered why the burglars stole the relics as they only have little market value. Because of the incident, the Holy Cross Abbey will find additional security measures to protect the Relics. Gardai investigation Results of the investigation of the Gardai reveal that the burglary was correlated with the three sets of keys stolen from the sacristy while Father Tom Breen was busy celebrating a wedding several months ago. Undisclosed witnesses saw the perpetrators leaving the church and boarding a red Volkswagen Touareg.