Mother Teresa's bones

Without going into a controversial direction which would belong on the great debates page, I would like to know if anyone else finds the circusy, strip-mallish tour of Mother Teresa’s bones under plexiglass as stomach-turning as I do. A very nice guy was just extolling on the grand experience he had last night along with thousands of other “believers”, and I wanted to retch. Even if I were a lemming, I think that this atrocity would still come across as vile. Another thing, and I concede that I am not certain about this, is it sacreligious to cart this poor dead woman’s bones all over the world? Shouldn’t she have some sort of burial? I could go on and on…but, suffice it to say, this is SICK and WRONG. So, teeming millions, what do you think?

Yeah, it’s not like we don’t have pictures of her.

The only way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it–Oscar Wilde

Are you serious? There’s really a “Mother Teresa’s bones” tour? Whoa, that’s disturbing. That’s far worse than the reliquary in a catholic church.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Hey, we just had the bones of St. Therese of Lisieux (sp?) visit here. It’s an old custom, this relic viewing, so for once you can’t blame the 20th cen. publicity machine. My only thought would be whether MT is a suitable candidate, but like you said, that’s a whole 'nother discussion.

That may be so, but the fact remains (hehe)that it is barbaric and arcane. We no longer pee in the streets, ride chariots or crucify people for the religious beliefs. Time to hop into the twentieth century, all you holy-rollers! This is disgusting.

Hey, my area of specialty.Right in my back yard.I graduated from the High School and was married at the very place. Woo Hoo, I knew my mundane life would finally pay off.

It’s the bones of Saint Therese Liseaux (sp?) she is the patron saint of my home church, Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, MI.

Her bones were just there yesterday (11/3) from 4am - 9pm. My mom has had a special devotion to this saint her entire life and had to see them. She got there at 6am ( we use to live a 2 minute walk from the church.) she had to park in front of our old neighbor’s house and walk to the church. You have to know the area to know that that is just incredible to see such a crowd at this church.Not even Xmas or Easter service is there such a packed house or parking lot.

There were people lined up or there at 3am to see this. Over 20,000 people went to that church in one day.20,000. It blows my mind. It is a huge huge octogonal church with two floors.

My mom stood in line for the viewing of the casket for quite some time. There was a mass ( of many of the day) scheduled to start and the Monsignor (sp?) did not want people milling about on the altar at the casket during service. My mom, after waiting an hour or more, was the last person before that mass to get in.There was no place to sit for the mass and there was no way she could stand through the entire mass to then stand in line again, so she considered herself very very lucky to be on the cut off. She said it was one of the most spiritual moments of her life and ( this is a woman who rarely cries) cried the entire drive (40 minutes) home.Considering the crappy life she has had lately (the last 20 years), it’s nice to hear that she’s crying for a good reason.

Now, is it a lemming effect? It’s not my call to make, especially in the realm of religion. What is one persons faith is another folly. I am a lapse and fallen and runaway Catholic, but I do not doubt the seriousness and devotion of these followers.

This is not some poor third world country where the heathens have been converted. This is not some inner city church. It is not a place where people cling to religion because, well, they have nothing else in their lives and their neighborhoods are destroyed by drugs, violence and gangs. It’s a town that sprung to life really after WW2 with all the cookie cutter houses on tree lined streets. It use to be farming prior to that. It’s located about 20 miles or so from Detroit and use to be connected to that city by a trolley system, but that ended around WW2 or thereafter.(Well, the trolley went as far as Ferndale, the next closest town.)

Royal Oak use to be a nice blue collar town with nice blue collar values and people. Somewhere along the way since I’ve moved out ( 1980’s) it has exploded with jobs, atmosphere and mula. Much of it’s growth is attributed to the completion of a highway (don’t laugh) called 696 that makes Royal Oak THE place for Yuppies to live ( affordable, though none of the cookie cutter houses are worth more than $70,00, they sell up to twice that because of Location, location, location.) to their jobs across town. ( Our old house was bought for $25k in 1962/3, my mom sold it for 90k in 1979. It’s value now is about 275k or more. It’s a bigger house on an acre lot (very hard to find) in a prime neighborhood with excellent schools. To give you an idea of the value of the area.)

The church itself did not make any money from this one day gala event. It did not charge admission or parking, but I’m sure it has heavy donation coffers this morning.The local businesses must have made a mint.

Personally, I’ve never heard of a Saint’s bones ever being on tour before. It does sound a little morbid, but people bought swatches of Elvis’ clothing after he died, and look at the industry Priscilla now has with Graceland. Now, I ask you, who has the bigger following world wide? ( Probably Elvis, but to those who are into this kinda thing, I say: let them be. They are not harming anyone.)

If you ask me, the Catholic Church is not marketing this properly. I can see t-shirts, coffee mugs, foam fingers, micro-brewed beer and wine “Little Flower Beer. One drink and it’ll take a miracle to stop.” and a themed amusement park.

Then again, you are reading the words of a girl that rode her bike inside the very church that this sacred event occured. ( although 20 plus years ago) and played tag inside those hallowed grounds ( not during services) Not to forget the countless naps taken during the Mass, so it was apparent that I was a skeptic early on.


Gasoline: As an accompaniement to cereal it made a refreshing change. Glen Baxter

The reliquiary tour you’re describing is not the remains of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, but rather (as has been mentioned), the remains of St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897); who is herself not to be confused with St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582). If you’re going to mock and deride something, at least get your facts straight before you start; otherwise it (ahem) makes you look foolish and quite ignorant.

Veneration of relics is an old tradition in the Catholic and Orthodox faiths, which goes all the way back to the 1st century. The idea is that by contemplating these folks mortal remains, we can, A) appreciate and hopefully emulate the holy and good lives these people led, and B) be reminded of our own imminent demise, and that soon we’ll be standing before God as well. Ergo, reliquiaries are there to help the faithful live better, more holy lives. If you don’t agree with it, that’s fine, but don’t slam the people who do. Which would you rather have, people lining up to see a saint’s remains for the purposes I’ve described, or people lining up at pornographic movie theaters, houses of ill repute, opium dens, and illegal gun dealers for other, less savory, purposes? At least the pilgrims going to view a deceased saint are for the most part relatively harmless. These tours take place every so often, and when they are over, the remains of the saint are taken back to the tomb where they usually reside, and are once again carefully enshrined. The bones are encased in a special container which is usually beautifully decorated with sacred artwork in precious metals; it’s not like they’re carting around the bloodstained body of a dead criminal stretched out on a chunk of plywood for the morbid to gawk at, like Jesse James or John Dillinger.

As for the “holy rollers” jumping into the 20th century, considering that the 20th century gave us overpopulation, environmental pollution, deforestation, desertification, water shortages, species decimation, nuclear weapons, the Holocaust, totalitarianism, and horrific wars of an unprecedented scale, I’d say it would be a much better thing to jump out of the 20th century. We should all be glad that we are leaving the present Dark Age in a year or so. Let’s all hope the 2000’s will be much better than the 1900’s were.

So you’re saying this world tour has lasted over a century already ?


Rolling Stones, eat your heart out.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means mocking the people who attended. As I first said, the fella who let me in on the event is a great guy, nice and very normal. I do not personally see the point, is all, and find the idea horrifying. One other thing, the media covering the event mentioned that the attendees were walking by hoping for a miracle. I didn’t begin with that part, as it could very well be a media hyped angle. But if that is why people go, I have to say it is very sad. To say you are going to “venerate the relics”, or whatever, when really their is an underlying selfish (and asinine) personal motive. Blech.

Well, primarily I think everyone who visits a church/synagoge/Bones of the deceased, has an ulterior motive in mind, and that is to have some kind of prayer answered. I don’t think that is selfish, it’s human nature to want something.Sometimes for ourselves and sometimes for others. It’s called praying.

Pickman, nice job in clearing up the confusion of the Saint Theresa’s.I thought about clarifying it, but frankly, I didn’t feel like rummaging out my Saint’s book.

Mother Theresa ( of Calcutta) is not a Saint yet and probably won’t be for a few years.She has not been put on the fast track that I’ve heard of.

St. Therese of the Little Flower ( the one on Tour without a warm up band) was only a 24 year old nun when she died. She was not a mother superior that I recall. She is/was known for her writings of practicing kindness and patience, IIRC. I don’t think her bones have been on tour for a 100 years. I think it’s been only a year or less.

I had a web link to this very tour that she is on, but I think my son ate the paper it was scrawled on. Hmmm. If I happen to find it undigested, I’ll post it here.

Found it.

She’s/It’s/The remains are on tour from October 1999 - January 2000 in the USA.

See sight for more details and a picture. Not to many real life pictures of actual saints.

It is a bit of a lame sight. No information about St. Therese herself, more of " Send money to help defray the costs of her on tour." Typical Catholic marketing. God will provide …blah blah blah. Instead of planning head. How in the hell do they get mortgages on their churches with financial nitwits like this at the helm? No wonder they have to do bake sales to raise money for a new roof, etc. (ranting, sorry)

I shall rummage for my Saint’s book ( non-NFL edition) for the details of her life just to satisfy what in the hell was drummed into me (and subsequently forgotten) by the Sisters of Terror and Dread.

I grew up Methodist, whose logo is a cross with a stylized flame beside it. (Pretty cool looking, actually.)
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The first time I was at a Catholic friend’s house, they had a large crusifix (sp?) with a pretty gorey-looking figure of Jesus hanging from it. Man, I thought, that’s sick!

Ummm, Sqrl, that CelbrityMorgue link is disgusting! Shame shame! :wink:

“The world is not five hours old and evil has already entered it” - Aslan
The Magician’s Nephew

I thought I posted the one that had Mother Theresa directly. I laughed. :slight_smile:


Gasoline: As an accompaniement to cereal it made a refreshing change. Glen Baxter

Thanks, Pickman, for clearing up the confusion and writing so clearly about the real meaning of this Catholic devotional practice. And Shirley, I was baptized in the Shrine of the Little Flower; it’s a beautiful church. I was moved by your description of your mother’s reaction to the remains of this great saint.

St. Therese’s “Little Way” of everyday devotion in an ordinary, obscure life, as described in her diary, The Story of a Soul, has been a great help and comfort to many. Her work is of such value to the faithful that Pope John Paul II has named her a Doctor of the Church, a distinction she shares with such saints and scholars as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Theresa of Avila. St. Therese is also the patron of missionaries, so it is rather fitting that her relics should travel on a “mission” to the United States. Her feast day is Oct. 1.


Well, for starters, I’d take anything that you read in the secular media concerning Catholicism with five or six large, eleven-ton blocks of salt, especially if it contains the word “miracle” anywhere in the report. Media people are usually completely ignorant of Catholicism; they know even less than Loraine Boettner and Jack Chick, and they also couldn’t care less. Bones of a saint making rounds in northern Michigan do not sell papers----desperate people longing for miracles do. And, undoubtably, there are some folks like that. they have some debilitating disease or a nasty situation in their family that they have no hope of solving, and they’re too poor to go to Lourdes, so they go to see the relics which are on tour. So what? Other people do exactly the same things by going to psychiatrists or Hollywood gurus or from one doctor/hospital to another. “Tell me I’m normal, tell me I’m beautiful, tell me you can cure me.” Religious people aren’t the only ones out there looking for miracles.

That having been said, I’d also add that it may not be such a selfish motive as you think. The Catholic Church has a doctrine known as “the Communion of Saints”, and part of said doctrine is that saints in heaven can pray and intercede for we poor souls down here on earth. If any action does happen concerning the situation being presented, it doesn’t happen by the working of the saint; it happens by the working of God. The saint just helped out by presenting the request. People would naturally go to ask St. Therese for her intercession when visiting a temporary shrine containing her relics. And, if Therese should intercede and the situation should come to a happy conclusion, what’s wrong with that? You might think it’s pathetic; I think it shows a solid faith. And considering the number of crutches, wheelchairs, and artificial limbs left behind at places like Lourdes and Fatima by people who didn’t need them any more, (and these cases have been well-documented by competant medical authority----these are not hyped-up, self-deluded, temporary faith healings, but rather analyzed, multiply-examined, actual cures, for which there is no reasonable medical explanation) I’d say there’s a pretty strong suspicion that Somebody Else does, too.

Weighing in with tonight’s tangential-don’t-respond-and-hi-jack -the-thread comment:

Lemmings do not commit mass suicide. It is a myth. The video everyone has seen was faked by the people at Disney to match the popular concept. Lemmings are no more stupidly group-minded than migrating birds.

Thank you. The intelligent people may now continue.