The heart of Dublin City itself has been returned to its rightful spot.
The stolen heart of the patron saint of Dublin, St Laurence O’Toole, has been returned to its home in Christ Church Cathedral after six years. The relic of the Irish saint was discovered in Phoenix Park as Gardaí (Irish police) ended an investigation which started up on March 12, 2012, the fateful Saturday morning when the famous cathedral discovered it had lost a vital organ.
It had been believed that a religious fanatic had secreted themselves away in the Church overnight in order to steal the heart from the wooden heart-shaped container sealed within a small iron-barred box where it had been held.
The 800-year-old relic was proudly now handed back, however, to the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Reverend Dr. Michael Jackson, by Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy.
“The return of the heart of Laurence O’Toole to Christ Church Cathedral brings great joy to the people of Dublin as Dubliners. For those of us associated with the life of the dioceses, it brings again to the fore the close relationship between Glendalough and Dublin, a relationship of more than 800 years,” Dr. Jackson told TheJournal.ie.
Read more: Who is your patron saint?
“Laurence left the monastic city of Glendalough of which he was Abbot to become Archbishop of Dublin, hence cementing a vibrant relationship that continues unabated to this day.”
While the cathedral’s Dean, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, had said on the relic’s theft that they never expected it to be stolen with a large amount of silver available in other parts of the building for a prospective robber, he admitted on its return that the 800-year-old was priceless.
“I said at the time it was stolen that the relic has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links the cathedral’s present foundation with its founding father, St Laurence O’Toole. It gives joy to my heart that the heart has been returned to the city,” he commented.
The heart of St Laurence O'Toole returned to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, this evening. The preserved heart of the patron saint of the city was stolen in March 2012. pic.twitter.com/16OAMbsTM5— Dublin & Glendalough (@UnitedDioceses) April 26, 2018
Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy said it gave him “enormous pleasure” to hand back over the heart to Christ Church.
“It is appropriate to acknowledge the great work of individual gardaí who kept their radars on and their minds open in this ongoing investigation, and I commend them for their commitment and diligence on this matter,” he added.
“I am personally delighted to return the relic to Christ Church Cathedral where it can again provide a most important and tangible link to our past.”
Heart of Dublin’s patron saint Laurence O’Toole returned to Christ Church Cathedral six years after it was stolen pic.twitter.com/ZQNJheepM0— Conor Humphries (@conorhumphries) April 26, 2018
St Laurence O'Toole was the second Archbishop of Dublin and founded Christ Church Cathedral in the 12th century with Richard 'Strongbow' de Clare. He was born Lorcán Ua Tuathail in Kildare in 1132. While traveling to Rome on a pilgrimage, he died in Eu in northern France. His body was buried in Normandy but his heart was returned to Ireland. He was canonized by Pope Honorius III in 1226.