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Buy Catholic Relics



slivers of which have been distributed all over the world ever since the Christian Emperor Constantine the Great first obtained it in the fourth century.) The term second-class relic refers to the clothing of a saint, or other personal effects like a pair of glasses or a rosary. Third-class relics also exist; these are ordinarily pieces of cloth which were touched to either a first- or a second-class relic.




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On Dec. 16, 2017, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued new instructions on the handling and authentication of relics. The new instructions cover the handling of relics during the process that leads to beatification and canonization. They also delineate rules for the exposition of relics for the veneration of the faithful.


For those who are still unconvinced as to the dubious nature of these internet relics, one should ask first an as-of-yet unspoken question: Who are the people who are eager to unload these sacred objects and why would anyone want to trust those who profit from simony?


When a lay person without much experience, or even interest, in assisting others, collects a sackful of unidentifiable human body parts purchased on the internet, those may or may not be saintly relics.


But, even if we could be assured of the provenance of every single relic put up sale to the highest bidder on eBay, these relics were once parts of humans who are destined for resurrection. While on Earth, they were the living temple of the Holy Spirit and the instruments of their sanctity. After death, these relics belonged to people of such sanctity that they are singled out as models and recognized by the Church through the processes of canonization.


The largest collection of relics belongs to the Vatican and is kept at a convent adjacent to the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. The practice of making relics generally available to the public, particularly first-class relics, ended about 20 years ago at the insistence of the Vatican.


Occasionally, second- or third-class relics can be obtained by contacting the religious order or shrine of a particular saint. (The national shrine of St. Rita of Cascia is in Philadelphia, and the shrine of St. John Mary Vianney is in Ars-sur-Formans in France). If these shrines are unable to provide you with relics, they can at least offer you devotional material on the saints and information about their lives.


In religion, a relic is an object or article of religious significance from the past.[1] It usually consists of the physical remains or personal effects of a saint or other person preserved for the purpose of veneration as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, shamanism, and many other religions. Relic derives from the Latin reliquiae, meaning "remains", and a form of the Latin verb relinquere, to "leave behind, or abandon". A reliquary is a shrine that houses one or more religious relics.


The bones of Orestes and Theseus were supposed to have been stolen or removed from their original resting place and reburied.[4] On the advice of the Delphic Oracle, the Spartans searched for the bones of Orestes and brought them home, without which they had been told they could not expect victory in their war against the neighboring Tegeans.[5] Plutarch says that the Athenians were likewise instructed by the oracle to locate and steal the relics of Theseus from the Dolopians.[6]


As with the relics of Theseus, the bones are sometimes described in literary sources as gigantic, an indication of the hero's "larger than life" status. On the basis of their reported size, it has been conjectured that such bones were those of prehistoric creatures, the startling discovery of which may have prompted the sanctifying of the site.[2]


The head of the poet-prophet Orpheus was supposed to have been transported to Lesbos, where it was enshrined and visited as an oracle.[10] The 2nd-century geographer Pausanias reported that the bones of Orpheus were kept in a stone vase displayed on a pillar near Dion, his place of death and a major religious center. These too were regarded as having oracular power, which might be accessed through dreaming in a ritual of incubation. The accidental exposure of the bones brought a disaster upon the town of Libretha, whence the people of Dion had transferred the relics to their own keeping.[11]


In Buddhism, relics of the Buddha and various sages are venerated. After the Buddha's death, his remains were divided into eight portions. Afterward, these relics were enshrined in stupas wherever Buddhism was spread.


A stupa is a building created specifically for the relics. Many Buddhist temples have stupas and historically, the placement of relics in a stupa often became the initial structure around which the whole temple would be based. Today, many stupas also hold the cremated remains or ringsel of prominent Buddhists. In rare cases, the whole body is conserved, as in the case of Dudjom Rinpoche. A year after his death in 1987, his physical body was moved from France and placed in a stupa in one of his monasteries near Boudhanath, Nepal. Pilgrims may view his body through a glass window in the stupa.


The practice of venerating relics seems to have been taken for granted by writers like Augustine, St. Ambrose, Gregory of Nyssa, St. Chrysostom, and St. Gregory Nazianzen. Dom Bernardo Cignitti, O.S.B., wrote, "[T]he remains of certain dead are surrounded with special care and veneration. This is because the mortal remains of the deceased are associated in some manner with the holiness of their souls which await reunion with their bodies in the resurrection."[15] Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) pointed out that it was natural that people should treasure what is associated with the dead, much like the personal effects of a relative.[16] In an interview with Catholic News Service, Fr. Mario Conte, executive editor of the Messenger of St. Anthony magazine in Padua, Italy, said, "Saints' relics help people overcome the abstract and make a connection with the holy. ... Saints do not perform miracles. Only God performs miracles, but saints are intercessors."[17]


The Second Council of Nicaea in 787 drew on the teaching of St. John Damascene[23] that homage or respect is not really paid to an inanimate object, but to the holy person, the veneration of a holy person is itself honour paid to God.[16] The Council decreed that every altar should contain a relic, making it clear that this was already the norm, as it remains to the present day in Catholic and Orthodox churches. The veneration of the relics of the saints reflects a belief that the saints in heaven intercede for those on earth. A number of cures and miracles have been attributed to relics, not because of their own power, but because of the holiness of the saint they represent.[24]


Many tales of miracles and other marvels were attributed to relics beginning in the early centuries of the church. These became popular during the Middle Ages. They were collected in books of hagiography such as the Golden Legend or the works of Caesarius of Heisterbach. These miracle tales made relics much sought-after during the period. By the Late Middle Ages, the collecting of, and dealing in, relics had reached enormous proportions, and had spread from the church to royalty, and then to the nobility and merchant classes.


The Council of Trent of 1563 enjoined bishops to instruct their flocks that "the holy bodies of holy martyrs ... are to be venerated by the faithful, for through these [bodies] many benefits are bestowed by God on men". The Council further insisted that "in the invocation of saints, the veneration of relics and the sacred use of images, every superstition shall be removed and all filthy lucre abolished."[18] There are also many relics associated with Jesus.


In his introduction to Gregory's History of the Franks, Ernest Brehaut analyzed the Romano-Christian concepts that gave relics such a powerful draw. He distinguished Gregory's constant usage of sanctus and virtus, the first with its familiar meaning of "sacred" or "holy", and the second as "the mystic potency emanating from the person or thing that is sacred. ... In a practical way the second word [virtus] ... describes the uncanny, mysterious power emanating from the supernatural and affecting the natural. ... These points of contact and yielding are the miracles we continually hear of".[19]


Rome became a major destination for Christian pilgrims as it was easier to access for European pilgrims than the Holy Land. Constantine the Great erected great basilicas over the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul. A distinction of these sites was the presence of holy relics. Over the course of the Middle Ages, other religious structures acquired relics and became destinations for pilgrimage. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, substantial numbers of pilgrims flocked to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, in which the supposed relics of the apostle James, son of Zebedee, discovered c. 830, are housed.[25] Santiago de Compostela remains a significant pilgrimage site, with around 200,000 pilgrims, both secular and Christian, completing the numerous pilgrimage routes to the cathedral in 2012 alone.[26][27]


By venerating relics through visitation, gifts, and providing services, medieval Christians believed that they would acquire the protection and intercession of the sanctified dead.[14] Relics of local saints drew visitors to sites like Saint Frideswide's in Oxford, and San Nicola Peregrino in Trani.[25]


As holy relics attracted pilgrims and these religious tourists needed to be housed, fed, and provided with souvenirs, relics became a source of income not only for the destinations that held them, but for the abbeys, churches, and towns en route. Relics were prized as they were portable.[28] They could be possessed, inventoried, bequeathed, stolen, counterfeited, and smuggled.[29] They could add value to an established site or confer significance on a new location.[30] Offerings made at a site of pilgrimage were an important source of revenue for the community who received them on behalf of the saint.[31] 041b061a72


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