relics are the material remains of a deceased saint or martyr and objects closely associated with those remains. Relics can be entire skeletons, but more usually they consist of a part such as a bone, hair or tooth. Pieces of clothing worn by the deceased saint or even an object that has come in contact with a relic is also considered a relic. Relics have played an important role in Christian ritual since the earliest centuries of the church and were a major part of popular religion in the Middle Ages. Until 1969, relics were placed under the altar stones of all Roman Catholic churches.
As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i, 13): "If a father's coat or ring, or
anything else of that kind, is so much more cherished by his children, as
love for one's parents is greater, in no way are the bodies themselves to
be despised, which are much more intimately and closely united to us than
any garment; for they belong to man's very nature." It is clear from
this that he who has a certain affection for anyone, venerates whatever of
his is left after his death, not only his body and the parts thereof, but
even external things, such as his clothes, and such like. Now it is manifest
that we should show honor to the saints of God, as being members of Christ,
the children and friends of God, and our intercessors. Wherefore in memory
of them we ought to honor any relics of theirs in a fitting manner: principally
their bodies, which were temples, and organs of the Holy Ghost dwelling and
operating in them, and are destined to be likened to the body of Christ by
the glory of the Resurrection. Hence God Himself fittingly honors such relics
by working miracles at their presence.
(St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica)
Sacred Relics Of The Saints:
A teaching and exposition
of Sacred Relics. Father Carlos Martins of the Companions
of the Cross with his very special ministry to teach about these holy
objects.Over 150 relics, some as old as 2000 years.
Visit the website Treasures of The Church
Download and read a Companions of the Cross Newsletter article on the Treasures of the Church Ministry.
Download and read a National Catholic Register feature article on the Treasures of the Church Ministry.
Download and read a follow-up article by the National Catholic Register.
Download a copy of the list of the Saints on Display at the Treasures of the Church Exposition.
Download an interview of Fr. Carlos Martins by journalist Robert Brennen
(contains the account of Fr. Carlos' conversion from atheism).
Download an excellent biography of St. Philip Neri.
The Saints information cards posted by each relic (acrobate pdf file)
See Father Carlos Martins On youtube
or on the Catholic TV network