Disclaimer

NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church and our Holy Father. This "little work" is purely a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Holy Relics: Spiritual Treasures of the Church


"We took up his bones, which are more valuable than
precious stones and finer than refined gold, and laid them in a seemly place
where the Lord will permit us to gather in gladness and joy."

 
~ An early Christian's written account of the martyrdom
of St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (155AD)

The public veneration of St. Padre Pio's body in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy

In orthodox Christian terminology, "relics" (from the Latin word "reliquia") are the remains of the Saints: bodily remains, clothing, personal effects, etc.  From the earliest history of the Church, relics have been honored as a way of paying our respects to our spiritual heroes - the Martyrs and the Saints.  This is evidenced by the writings of early Christians, including many of the illustrious Church Fathers.  An example is given below: 
 
"We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to
the creature rather than to the creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs
in order the better to adore Him (God) whose martyrs they are."
 
~ Words of St. Jerome (d. 420)
 
Furthermore, Sacred Relics serve as tangible reminders of our virtuous forerunners and they also help us in physically identifying with their earthly lives.  Holy Relics are divided into three categories:
 
 
1ST CLASS RELICS
 
Instruments of torture used during the Passion of Our Lord, Jesus Christ (e.g. pieces from the True Cross, the Holy Nails, the Column of Flagellation, etc.), or remains taken from the body of a Saint or Blessed (e.g. bones, hair, blood, etc.).
 
1st Class Relics of several Saints in this ministry's custody
 
 
2ND CLASS RELICS
 
Articles sanctified through close contact with a Saint or Blessed during his/her life (e.g. clothing or personal belongings). This term could also be used to describe articles of torture applied to Martyrs, as well as wood from the original coffins that once held the earthly remains of the Saints and Blesseds.

 
A few examples of 2nd Class Relics, enclosed in Holy Cards
 
 
3RD CLASS RELICS
 
Devotional items, usually small pieces of cloth or holycards, that are touched to 1st and/or 2nd Class Relics. This class of relic is easily obtainable from many religious congregations who generally distribute them to interested parties to promote devotion to their Saints and Blesseds.
 
"Meanwhile, God worked extraordinary miracles at the hands of Paul.
When handkerchiefs or cloths which had touched his skin were applied to the sick,
their diseases were cured and evil spirits departed from them."

~ Acts 19:11-12

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My certificate of membership with the ICHR

The Holy Relics in my custody were primarily received from an elderly lady friend (now deceased) who bequeathed her large collection to me, and others were shared with me by co-members of a global association aimed at promoting a healthy devotion to the Saints and their respective relics: the International Crusade for Holy Relics (ICHR). Still, other relics in my custody were sent to me by priests-friends from a few religious congregations with whom I have developed trusted relationships.
 
Me, venerating the miraculously incorrupt body of St. Paola Frassinetti,
at the motherhouse of her congregation in Rome, Italy.

As a Custodian of Holy Relics, I use the relics in my care to spread knowledge about the lives of their respective Saints and Blesseds, and to educate people about the relevance of these special sacramentals in our Catholic faith-life. Having also experienced the help and intercession of the Saints through many remarkable instances in my personal life, I can relay first-hand how the Saints can truly assist us in our spiritual growth and with our various needs. In the last 15 years I have also seen many, many people positively touched and blessed by the influence of the Saints through prayer meetings, pilgrim visitations, and speaking presentations that I've conducted; all thanks and praises be to God, Almighty!

For information concerning this ministry's relic visitation program and/or the speaking presentations, click on one of the following links:  Pilgrim Visits, Speaking Presentations
 
   
Additional Holy Relics in the custody of my Guadalupe House Ministry:
St. Anthony of Padua (bone), St. Philomena (clothing), & Bl. Margaret of Castello (bone)
(Click on each photo to view larger images)

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"I saw the blessing and the blessed object (relic) endowed
with a healing and helping power."
 
~ Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich, Mystic & Stigmatist (d. 1824)


IMPORTANT: The relics pictured in this blogsite are not for sale or general distribution.
Email-requests for relics or postulator contact information will not be responded to.
 

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