Visit of St Rafka's Relics

For the first time in history, the remains of a Middle Eastern saint came to the United States of America: those of St. Rafka El-Shoboq El-Rayes, a Lebanese Maronite nun who was canonized in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. Earlier this year, on March 23, 2014 – the hundred-year anniversary of St Rafka’s death – Pope Francis I issued a special recognition for those faithful participating in her centennial celebrations.

St Rafka became renowned for spending the last 29 years of her life blind and almost completely crippled, after having prayed to experience the sufferings of Christ on the cross. Now her relics are coming to America, making a cross-country tour of churches named in her honor in 18 major cities. This includes St. Rafka Maronite Catholic Church, in Lakewood, Colorado. See the full schedule for St. Rafka's visit here.

This is an extraordinarily important historical, cultural, and spiritual event for several reasons. It highlights the existence of the vibrant Middle Eastern Christian community, and allows Denver’s Lebanese Catholic community to access an experience normally reserved for those still resident in the Holy Land. St Rafka’s hopes to raise awareness about the plight of Christian refugees in the war-torn areas of Iraq and Syria, and promote a message of peace and reconciliation.

View photos from this special event below.
 

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