Feast of the Holy Relics – 5 November

Feast of the Holy Relics – 5 November

By relics of the Saints we mean all that remains of them after their death — their bones, their ashes, their clothing and other objects used by them.   Enemies of the Church have condemned the cult of the relics of the Saints as being borrowed from pagan customs and without apostolic origin.   The decision of the Council of Trent suffices to show the falsehood and bad faith of their reasoning.   That Council, in effect, decreed quite otherwise, that the bodies of the martyrs and other Saints, who were the living members of Jesus Christ and the temples of the Holy Spirit, must be honoured by the faithful and that through them God grants a great many benefits to the living.   Its decision was based on the usage already established in the first century and which has remained constant in the Church, as well as on the teaching of the Fathers and Councils.

The cult of holy relics is therefore not only permitted but commanded;   it is not only a right, but a duty.   Let us note well that the cult of holy relics diverges from pagan practices in that it is supernatural.   We do not honour what remains of the Saints for any motive derived from naturebut from motives based on the Faith.  If one honours the memory and remains of great men worthy of that appellation, it is regarded as justice but when one honours the memory and remains of the Saints, it is more than justice, it is the virtue of religion.   The final object of the cult of the holy relics is God who sanctifies the Saints; it is Jesus Christ, whose members the Saints are.   This cult is so legitimate that God Himself sometimes glorifies the relics of His Saints by heavenly perfumes, by other marvelous privileges, by countless miracles.   Let us add that the cult of holy relics also has its foundation in the glorious resurrection which is awaiting the bodies of the Saints. God Himself will reassemble these remains at the end of the world and will give them all the brilliance and beauty of which they are capable.

Relic of Hand of St. Stephen
Reliquary of St Stephen’s Hand
relics 2
Various Relics
Reliquary of the crib
Holy Crib Reliquary at St Mary Major
Crown of Thorns Reliquary

Let us then venerate, with respect, devotion and confidence, these precious relics which once were animated by such great souls, were the instruments of beautiful and holy works and of astonishing virtues and which will some day be honoured by a brilliant and immortal glory.   Let us value pilgrimages made to the tombs of the Saints and celebrate religiously the feast of the holy relics, which appropriately follows closely upon All Saints Day, the feast day of the splendid holy souls who are in heaven.

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Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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