Please join us for a special meetup the week before Christmas as we attend Mass at the historic Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in the East Village.
The parish was established in 1844 by the Redemptorist Fathers to serve the growing German community in this part of the city, then known as Kleindeutschland (Little Germany). By 1852, a new permanent church had been built, a German baroque-style cathedral with a 250-foot bell tower (below).
In 1913, the church was renovated, its Baroque facade simplified and bell tower shortened. That church design remains in place today (below)
While this remains one of New York's grandest churches today, Most Holy Redeemer is better known for its famous Relic Chapel. The Relic Chapel (below) contains the relics of more than 150 saints plus wood said to be from Jesus' manger and the Holy Family's home as well as stone from the tomb of the Blessed Mother. They were donated from the private chapel of a wealthy Italian woman in 1892 and shipped to the parish. She had feared the relics would be seized by the Italian government at the time.
One of the relics is a wax effigy containing the complete remains of an obscure Roman martyr named St. Datian. Local legend was that St. Datian was actually the incorrupt body of New York police officer Frederick Smith, who was shot and killed while attempting to break up a burglary at the church in 1897.
Today Most Holy Redeemer serves a largely Latino community, who know it as Santisimo Redentor. It's a pilgrimage shrine to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Mass is at 5:30. Social to follow at a nearby pub to be named.
This will also mark Richard's first event as organizer. Please come out and support him. If anyone else would like to organize events in the future, please let me know.