Relics: A Treasure of Holy Mother Church

by Fr. Dismas Sayre, O.P. Relics related to Our Lord's Passion on Display

“We took up the bones, which are more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold, and laid them in a suitable place, where the Lord will permit us to gather ourselves together as we are able, in gladness and joy, and celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom.” -from the witnesses to the martyrdom of St. Polycarp, 156 AD

Relics are a timeless Tradition and treasure of Holy Mother Church, and we are blessed to house and guard several relics, including some relics relating to the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which are displayed for Passiontide for the veneration of the faithful.  Usually we have on our altar relics of various saints, especially Dominican ones, but during Passiontide it is customary to cover statues and images and repose all other relics.  

As we see from these witnesses to the martyrdom of St. Polycarp, these relics of the life of Our Lord or Our Lady, and also the saints, our heroes of our faith, have always served as a potent and visible reminder of Christ working through the weak and frail flesh of man, using His saints, mere “earthen vessels,” to manifest His glory.

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