Reliquary Stolen from Portuguese Church
Date of incident: June 11, 2019
Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance
Attack against: Faith
Area of case: Private
On June 11th, unknown thieves targeted the church of the convent of São Domingo in Viana do Castelo (Minho) and stole a gilt metal reliquary containing the bones of Blessed Bartholomew of Braga (Bartolomeu dos Mártires) who was a former Archbishop of Braga and is well known and greatly revered in Portugal. The bishop of Viana do Castelos called the theft an "attack on the feelings" of Catholics. The parish priest of Igreja de São Domingos said the stolen gold-plated reliquary "does not have great commercial value, but what was in it, the bones of Bartolomeu dos Mártires, is of incalculable value."
Earlier in the same week, the image of Nossa Senhora das Dores (Our Lady of Sorrows) in the same church was damaged by thieves who broke a sword from the image to attempt to steal from an alms box.
In an attempt to assault Monday, one of the seven swords of the image of Our Lady of Sorrows was torn out to be used in the opening of the box of alms and lamps and ended the match, forcing it to be restored.
On June 14th, police announced that the reliquary had been recovered and a 25-year-old man was arrested.