The silver Holy Cross containing the relic was taken from a display case in Holycross Abbey in Thurles, Co Tipperary in October.
masked men armed with an angle grinder, a hammer and a screwdriver took
the crucifix, along with a separate 14th-century silver cross
containing two crosses and two dark stones in what is understood to have
been a planned robbery.
Both have now been returned and neither were seriously damaged.
Father Tom Breen said he had been optimistic that the crosses would find their way back home.
"The finding of the relics is a true answer to the enormous prayerful response to their theft," said Fr Breen.
thousands of prayers to the Lord by people all over Ireland and beyond,
for their safe return, have been answered. It is brilliant news and
once again demonstrates the power of prayer."
The relic had been
in the abbey since 1180 and attracts 250,000 visitors each year. It is
believed to have been a gift from the King of Munster.
The relic was found in a search of a property in the Midlands area on Monday.
Breen paid tribute to the investigating officers, saying: "Their
professionalism was outstanding and they have worked tirelessly to
retrieve the Relics. I cannot praise them highly enough."
at the abbey is now being revised to protect the relics, owing to what
Fr Breen described as their enormous devotional importance.
Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Most Reverend Dermot Clifford also thanked Gardai for the return of the artefacts.
is a joyous day and one for which thousands of people had been praying
for since the relics were stolen last October," the Archbishop added.
"It is still a mystery to us all as to why the relics were stolen as they had little monetary value.
"However we must now find measures to protect the relics.
the meantime the thousands of people who annually travel to Holycross
to pray and show their devotion to the Lord Jesus will be very happy and
thankful that the Relics are to be returned to their proper home," he