A thief has ripped the heart of Dublin's patron saint out of one of the city's cathedrals. The preserved heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, which had been on display in Christ Church Cathedral for 800 years, was stolen over the weekend, reports AP. The relic was kept in a heart-shaped wooden box in a chapel dedicated to the saint, and the thief had to break into an iron cage to make off with it. Police believe the thief hid overnight in the cathedral, and fled with the heart when it opened its doors the following morning.
Money boxes and other valuables in the cathedral were untouched, leading its dean to believe the heart was stolen by a religious fanatic, or somebody working for one. "Nobody has ever attempted to steal the heart in the past, he tells the Irish Times. "It was just there and it never crossed my mind that it might be stolen. It has no monetary value, but we have loads of silver. It’s the last thing we thought would be stolen." Earlier this year, a container that usually houses the jawbone of St. Brigid was stolen from another Dublin church, but the bone had been temporarily removed.