Catholic Reliquary: Meet Two Wondrous Catholic Relics
Relics represent objects preserved in memory of the earthly life of saints, martyrs, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus Christ. They include the bodies and bones of the venerated biblical figures, their belongings, or things that were exposed to them. Relics are kept in reliquaries and, in this way, are often sold at many online relics stores.
In Catholic and Orthodox traditions, relics serve both as a reminder of those who lived and died for the sake of faith and as a means of communicating with them, asking them for help, healing, and protection. It is believed that a part of the holy grace that filled the lives of these saints resides in such objects and is manifested by the miracles associated with them. Thus, the Catholic reliquary is considered a highly revered religious item, which is deeply valued by any Catholic believer.
With a significant number of antique relics for sale available today, there are still remarkable examples of miraculous holy pieces worthy of your attention. These are legendary Catholic reliquaries devotedly worshipped today.
St. Francis relics
Francis Xavier of Assisi was a scholar and a traveling preacher. Two years after his death – in July 1228 – Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis. Right the next day, the construction of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi was initiated on the territory of the Sacro Convento monastery.
The relics of St. Francis are scattered around the world, attracting faithful people hoping for a miracle. The well-preserved skull, both legs, left arm, bones, and vertebrae of the saint are contained in a Catholic reliquary in the form of a crystal urn in a marble mausoleum in Goa. Since the early 17th century, the right hand of Saint Francis has been kept in Rome while his left forearm is in the Chapel of St. Joseph on the Coloane Island.
Every decade, all parts of the imperishable relics of the saint become accessible for the public for six weeks. There are numerous disputes on how St. Francis relics remain intact for such a long time.
St. Bernadette relic
Another crucial Catholic reliquary is that of Bernadette Soubirous, a Catholic saint who is known for having visions of the Heavenly Mother.
One day, a 14-year-old Bernadette was collecting firewood and noticed that a magical light illuminated the cave located nearby. The girl saw there the white figure of the Holy Virgin who later appeared to Bernadette 17 more times in the same place. During the first encounters, the Mother of God was silent but then began to call for repentance of sinners and told to build a chapel on the site of the cave. After a long period of disbelief, the Catholic Church recognized Bernadette’s statement as truthful.
In the late 18th century, Bernadette took vows in one of the monasteries of the city of Nevers. She lived there for the rest of her life, doing needlework and caring for the sick. At the age of 35, Bernadette died of tuberculosis. Her body was exhumed three times after her death, with the first procedure performed at the beginning of the 20th century. To the surprise of many, her remains that would later become the revered St. Bernadette relic were intact. However, she was canonized only in 1933.
After a decade, the body of the saint was exhumed once again, and already in 1925, the Catholic reliquary with the relics of Bernadette Soubirous was moved to the chapel in Nevers. They are preserved in a separate storage container for sacred objects of high religious significance.