Wednesday, 30 September 2009

'St Therese in Space...'

'With 28 venues in a single month, it's a punishing schedule. This week, her fans will be queueing round the block in Newcastle and Leeds before she starts heading south- via a prison- to take central London by storm in mid-October.

It's an itinerary to make Madonna or the Stones look positively idle. And you won't hear any absurd diva-style demands from this travelling star.

... This has to be one of the most unusual travelling shows in this country since the Middle Ages. I have certainly never witnessed anything quite like the St Therese of Lisieux tour.

... In life, she had written of her desire to be a missionary 'on all five continents simultaneously', yet her travels never extended beyond a teenage pilgrimage to Rome. In death, however, she would get to travel.

... Most of Therese's body is in the Basilica in Lisieux, while her head is in the neighbouring Carmelite convent, one foot is on permanent tour in France, a vertebra is also housed in another travelling reliquary and the rest of her bones - those now touring Britain - are on international duty.

There is also a small bone fragment somewhere in outer space. In 2008, a U.S. astronaut took a tiny relic with him on the Discovery space shuttle and left it up there, making St Therese the first saint to orbit the earth.

The plan is to take another tiny relic up there in 2011 and spread the poor girl even farther afield.'

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