Relics in Paris, France
Christ’s Crown of Thorns, relics of St. Helen, Equal-to-the-Apostles and St. Genevieve of Paris
Christ’s Crown of Thorns
Notre Dame Cathedral
The Crown of Thorns worn by Christ during His Crucifixion is kept in the treasury of Notre Dame cathedral. The Crown, in it’s reliquary, is brought out for veneration by the faithful the first Friday of every month and every Friday during (Roman Catholic) Lent.
Notre Dame Cathedral is on the Ile de la Cite and may be accessed by the Saint Michel metro station. From the Saint-Michel metro station head east on Rue de l’Hirondelle toward Boulevard Saint-Michel. Turn left onto Boulevard Saint-Michel. Turn right onto Quai Saint-Michel. Turn left onto Rue de la Cite. Proceed across the Parvis Notre-Dame-Place Jean-Paul IINotre Dame Cathedral
6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II
75004 Paris, France
St. Genevieve of Paris
Church of St. Etienne du Mont
Until the French Revolution the relics of St. Genevieve were housed in a large stone reliquary. During the revolution the relics were pulled out, burned, and dumped in the Seine. However, a piece of the relics was saved. When you go into the church you can find the relics towards the back of the church, on the right-hand side. The large stone reliquary is what used to house St. Genevieve’s relics. Beyond the stand holding the votive candles is another, smaller, reliquary containing all that remains of St. Genevieve’s relics.
Her life may be found here: http://www.allsaintsbrookline.org/celtic_saints/genevieve.html
As is to be expected, there are no icons of St. Genevieve for sale in this church. If you want to bless an icon on the relics you must bring it with you.
Another interesting thing about this church is that it the only church in Paris (at least according to Lonely Planet) that still has a rood screen. If you don’t know what a rood screen is, it is similar in concept to an iconostasis, something to separate the altar area from the rest of the church, and it is upon the top of the rood screen that the rood – the figure of the crucified Christ – would be affixed.
The church is open from 8:45am-7:30pm, Tuesday-Sunday, and closed on Monday.
To reach the church take the metro to the Cardinal Lemoine station. Head up the hill (away from the Arab World Institute) along the Rue de Cardinal Lemoine. Turn left at Rue Clovis. The church will be on your left at the end of the second block.
75005 Paris, France
St. Helen, Equal-to-the-Apostles
Church of Saint-Leu-Saint-Giles
It turns out that the relics of St. Helen, Equal-to-the-Apostles are in the church of Saint-Leu-Saint-Giles on Rue Saint Denis. The relics are located in a sort of chapel area underneath the main altar.
A photograph of the icon may be purchased at the church. If the veneration area is closed the very nice lady who sells the postcards and things will happily open it for you. Also, periodically there are akathists read by local (Russian) Orthodox priests at the relics. A schedule (in Russian) is next to the door leading to the relics.
To get to the church of Saint-Leu-Saint-Giles take the metro to the Les Halles station. Head north towards Rue Rambuteau, turn left on Rue Rambuteau, turn left onto Rue Saint Denis.Church of Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles
92 Rue Saint-Denis
75001 Paris, France
Saints Genevieve and Helen pray to God for us!