Church turns 100: Celebration unfolds Aug. 9

Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church has been a La Grande institution for more than a century. The church celebrated its 100th birthday in 2014.

LA GRANDE — An exposition that will not soon be forgotten is coming Friday, June 4, to Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in La Grande.

A collection of 150 relics from Vatican City, some believed to be up to 2,000 years old, will be displayed at La Grande’s Catholic Church, 1002 L Ave., during a program that will start at 6 p.m.

The relics to be displayed will include those of St. Joseph, St. Maria Goretti, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Faustina Kowalska and St. Therese of Lisieux, known to many as the Little Flower.

There will also be a portion of what is believed to be a veil St. Mary wore and a piece of wood reported to be a part of the cross Jesus was crucified on. It may be one of the largest pieces of the “True Cross” in the world, according to a press release from Father Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross, a Catholic Church organization based in Ottawa, Canada. Martins will be conducting the June 4 exposition.

Relics are physical objects that have a direct association with the saints or with Our Lord. They are usually broken down into three classes. First-class relics are the body or fragments of the body of a saint, such as pieces of bone or flesh. Second-class relics are something that a saint personally owned, such as a shirt or book (or fragments of those items). Third-class relics are items that a saint touched or that have been touched to a first-, second- or another third-class relic of a saint.

Throughout history, many healings and blessings have been reported in the presence of relics, according to Martins.

A convert from atheism, Martins discovered Jesus Christ and the Christian faith while he was an undergraduate, according to the Catholic Answers website ( Martins currently serves as the regional coordinator of evangelization for the Archdiocese of Detroit. He travels internationally as an itinerant preacher.

Everyone attending the June 4 exposition will be able to examine the relics following a presentation by Martins.

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