Disclaimer

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

~ Peter, Ministry & Blog Administrator


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" ("remains") - are the physical remains of the Saints: body, clothing, personal effects, etc.  From the earliest history of the Church, relics have been honored as a way of memorializing and expressing our respect for our spiritual heroes - the Martyrs and the Saints.  This is evidenced by the writings of early Christians, including many of the illustrious Church Fathers, as exemplified in the quotes above and 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 bonds to our virtuous forerunners and, as such, aid us in identifying with their earthly lives, which could make it a little easier to emulate their goodness.  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.  The concept of 3rd Class Relics has its origin in the following scriptural passage:

"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

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The Holy Relics in this ministry's custody were received by me - Peter, Ministry Administrator - primarily from an elderly lady friend (now deceased) who bequeathed her large collection to me, while others were shared by members of a global association aimed at promoting a healthy devotion to the Saints and their respective relics called the International Crusade for Holy Relics (ICHR).  Still, other relics were sent to me by priest-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 Guadalupe House Ministry 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 assist us in our spiritual growth and with our various needs.

Moreover, in the past 25+ years I've witnessed extraordinary graces in connection with relics - healings, floral fragrances, escarchas, etc. - and have also observed many people being uplifted and inspired by the faith-example of our Saints through prayer meetings, pilgrim visitations, and speaking presentations conducted by this ministry - all credit and thanks go to God!  It all just falls in line with a marvelous revelation described in one of the enlightened visions of the great German stigmatist, Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (d. 1824):

"... After this I saw multitudes of well-dressed people thronging around the church with marks of deep veneration.  They wore the various costumes of their times; of the present day, I saw but a few.   They were people who honored the Saints and the relics as they ought to be honored, as members of the Body of Jesus Christ, as holy vessels of divine grace through Jesus, in Jesus.  On them I saw falling like a celestial dew the beneficent influence of those saints; prosperity crowned all their undertakings.  I rejoiced to see here and there, in these our days, some good souls (some of whom I know) still honoring relics in all simplicity."

The message of Bl. Anne Catherine's vision still applies in our present times - God works and blesses us through the agency of his Saints and their relics, among other mysterious ways!  For information concerning this ministry's Relic Speaking Presentations, click here.

        
Additional Holy Relics in the custody of my Guadalupe House Ministry:

* * * * * * * * * * * * 


"I saw the blessing and the blessed object (relic) endowed
with a healing and helping power."

~ Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

Representative Relics of Christ's Passion (Veronica's Veil,
the Holy Nails, & the Sacred Lance), along with a splinter from
the Crown of Thorns in this ministry's custody.

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

5 comments:

  1. May I humbly request a relics of St. Francis, St. Clare, St. John Vianney,St.Joseph and St. Anthony of Padua for my devotion.

    Thank you!
    You're brother in Christ,
    Vincent Darang Tadena
    From Casili,Sto.Domingo 2729,Ilocos Sur
    Philippines

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God bless you, Brother, for your devotion to the Saints. However, my ministry does not distribute relics.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
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