Pilgrimage of Mercy: Church’s Youngest Saint on Display in Dallas

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DALLAS - Seeing dead people is usually bad news, but it was a saintly Tuesday for a crowd of North Texans at St. Monica Catholic Church. That's where the veneration of St. Maria Goretti's relics took place.

St. Maria Goretti is the youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church; she died as a martyr at the age of 11. This is only the second time her relics have left Italy and the first time they've been on display in the United States, which was the reason for the large crowd.

The Director of the Pilgrimage of Mercy tour, Father Carlos Martins, said the experience goes beyond religious denominations. “Behind me is an outpouring of faith of local Catholics, local Christians, and even people of all faiths are here today to be part of this.”

And believe it or not, touching is permitted. “We highly encourage the touching because in scripture every time relics are mentioned two things occur; there is always a healing, always, and touch is the vehicle by which that healing manifests itself," Father Martin said.

The tour covers 54 cities in 55 days, but once the tour is completed in 2016 it could be quite a while before the relics are brought stateside again. So if you`re looking to get a peek, you have until 11pm because as Father Martins says, “After that, God only knows.”