Rehoused heart of St Laurence O’Toole to be unveiled at Christ Church

New enclosure for relic stolen in 2012 to be blessed in ecumenical service

The once-lost but recently-found heart of Dublin’s patron saint, St Laurence O’Toole, is to go on permanent public display in Christ Church Cathedral from Wednesday.

The relic was stolen from the cathedral in March 2012. It had been in an iron-barred cage on the wall of the chapel of St Laud in Christ Church, its resting place for years.

The heart was recovered, undamaged, by gardaí earlier this year and officially handed over by Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy to Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson at a service in the cathedral on April 26th last.

Born in Castledermot, Co Kildare, in 1132, Laurence O’Toole became archbishop of Dublin in 1161 and was consecrated the following year at Christ Church Cathedral. He died in France at the Abbey of St Victor at Eu on November 14th, 1180, and was canonised in 1226.


Some of his relics were returned to Dublin, where they lay in the cathedral until the Reformation, with the heart on display in its chapel of St Laud until stolen in 2012. It will now be housed in a specially designed art piece by Cork’s Eoin Turner.

At 5.45pm on Wednesday a special ecumenical service of dedication and thanksgiving marking the occasion will be held in the cathedral. Archbishop Jackson will bless and dedicate the redesigned cathedral grounds incorporating the new stone labyrinth.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times