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Reuniting the relics of St Thomas Becket at Mass and Vespers

On Monday 23 May, the beginning of a pilgrimage of the Hungarian relics of St Thomas Becket began at Westminster Cathedral with Vespers and Mass celebrated by Cardinal Peter Erdö and Cardinal Vincent. The Hungarian relics were processed to the Cathedral and were reunited with relics of St Thomas Becket from around the UK and displayed in the sanctuary.

These included relics from Westminster Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, Stonyhurst College, and St Magnus the Martyr Church.

The two Cardinals greeted the President of Hungary János Áder and the First Lady. Guests also included the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK, Peter Szabadhegy, and Prince Carlo and Princess Camilla, Duke and Duchess of Castro. The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, and ecumenical guests including the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres were also in attendance.

Representatives from Stonyhurst College, St Thomas of Canterbury church in Fulham, St Magnus the Martyr church and St Joseph and the English Martyrs in Bishops Stortford, who all contributed relics to this great occasion, joined hundreds of people in the Cathedral to make the most of this unique opportunity to venerate the relics of St Thomas Becket.

Cardinal Erdö preached the homily, remarking on the importance of ecumenical relations, and giving the packed Cathedral a brief history of the great St Thomas Becket. The full text of the homily is available to read here

On 24 May the Hungarian relics was transferred to Westminster Abbey where Evensong was sung by the Abbey choir. The following day the relic was taken to the Houses of Parliament were Mass was celebrated in the chapel there, Our Lady of the Undercroft. The relic will be received at Rochester Cathedral, and finally at Canterbury Cathedral where the pilgrimage will close with Mass in the Cathedral crypt.