In the spring of 1287, she appeared in a vision to John Novelan of Eppa, a lay brother of the Crosier Order in Paris. She told him that God had appointed her patron and protectress of members of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosier Fathers). She also explained where her relics could be found, and asked that he fetch them. Brother John was initially refused, but when she had appeared twice more to him, his Prior relented, and sent John and a Crosier priest to retrieve them from Cologne, Germany. They found them where she had said they would be, buried in an urn at the foot of a pear tree in the garden of a man named Arnulph; there were also urns for Saint Ida and Saint Emma.
Odilia had instructed John to take them to the Motherhouse of the Order at Huy, Belgium. In Cologne, Germany and en route to Huy, the presence of the relics effected many cures, including blindness and paralysis. The monastery was destroyed in 1797 during the French Revolution, but the relics were saved, and in 1949 they were returned to the Order.
Odilia promised graces on the Crosier Fathers and those who invoke her aid. For centuries, the Fathers have blessed water in honor of Odilia, dipping her relic in it, and asking God to give it “power against all diseases and bodily infirmities”. Many cures, especially of the eyes, have been obtained through her intercession.
- 1001 Patron Saints and Their Feast Days, Australian Catholic Truth Society
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- New Catholic Dictionary
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
I have chosen the Cross. – Saint Odilia
- “Saint Odilia“. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 March 2013. Web. 28 April 2015. <>