Public Relic Venerations throughout the Year
Why do we venerate relics?
…….“We do not worship relics, we do not adore them, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the creator. But we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are” (Saint Jerome, Ad Riparium, i, P.L., XXII, 907).
The word relic comes from the Latin relinquo, literally meaning I leave, or I abandon. A relic is a piece of the body of a saint, an item owned or used by the saint, or an object which has been touched to the tomb of a saint.
In a religion as spiritually centered as Christianity, the 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.
Schedule (subject to change, as more are added):
|Relic Venerations throughout the Year|
|(Veneration of 1st-class Relics – after Mass)|
|Saint John Neumann, CSsR (relic & icon)||January 5th|
|Saint Agnes||January 21st|
|Saint Francis de Sales||January 24th|
|Saint Thomas Aquinas||January 28th|
|Our Lady of Lourdes (Saint Bernadette relic)||February 11th|
|Saint Patrick of Ireland||March 17th|
|Saint Gemma Galgani||April 11th|
|Saint Bernadette||April 16th|
|Saint Mark, Evangelist||April 25th|
|Saint Gianna Beretta Molla||April 28th|
|Saint Peregrine||May 1st|
|Saints Philip & James the Less, Apostles||May 3rd|
|Saint Barnabas||June 11th|
|Saints Peter & Paul, Apostle||June 29th|
|Saint Maria Goretti||July 6th|
|Saint Kateri Tekakwitha||July 14th|
|Saint James the Greater, Apostle||July 25th|
|Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary||July 26th|
|Saint Alphonsus Liguori||August 1st|
|Saint John Vianney (relic & icon)||August 4th|
|Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot||August 24th|
|Saint Augustine||August 28th|
|Saint Gregory the Great||September 3rd|
|Saint Teresa of Calcutta||September 5th|
|True Cross||September 14th|
|Saint Robert Bellarmine||September 17th|
|Saint Therese of Lisieux||October 1st|
|Saint Francis of Assisi||October 4th|
|Saint Faustina Kowalska||October 5th|
|Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque||October 16th|
|Saint Luke the Evangelist||October 18th|
|Saint Anthony Claret||October 24th|
|Saints Simon & Jude, Apostles||October 28th|
|Saint Gertrude the Great||November 16th|
|Saint Elizabeth of Hungary||November 17th|
|Saint Cecilia||November 22nd|
|Blessed Miguel Pro||November 23rd|
|Saint Andrew, Apostle||November 30th|
|Saint Lucy||December 13th|
|Saint John of the Cross||December 14th|
|Saint John the Evangelist||December 27th|
Doctrine …..Fr. William Saunders, “Church Teaching on Relics,” Arlington Catholic Herald.
There are three classes of sacred relics.
- The first-class is a part of the saints body. (It is this type which is placed in an altar stone.)
- The second-class is a piece of the saints clothing or something used by the saint
- The third-class is an object which has been touched to a first-class relic.
The holy bodies of the holy martyrs and of the others who dwell with Christ . . . are to be honored by the faithful. (Council of Trent, 16th century)
There are several scriptural passages that support the veneration of relics. For example,
- The Israelites took Josephs bones when they departed Egypt (Ex. 13:19).
- The bones of Elisha came in contact with a dead person who then was raised to life (2 Kings 13:21).
- The same Elisha took the mantle of Elijah and fashioned a miracle with it (2 Kings 2:13).
- The Christians of Ephesus, by using handkerchiefs and cloths touched to St. Pauls skin, effected the healing of the sick (Acts 19:12).
Communion of saints
To venerate the relics of the saints is a profession of belief in several doctrines of the Catholic faith:
- the belief in everlasting life for those who have obediently witnessed to Christ and His Holy Gospel here on earth;
- the truth of the resurrection of the body for all persons on the last day;
- the doctrine of the splendor of the human body and the respect which all should show toward the bodies of both the living and the deceased;
- the belief in the special intercessory power which the saints enjoy in heaven because of their intimate relationship with Christ the King; and
- the truth of our closeness to the saints because of our connection in the communion of saints we as members of the Church militant or pilgrim Church, they as members of the Church triumphant.
The relics of the saints and their veneration is another in the long line of treasures which Jesus Christ has given to His chaste bride, the Church. These relics summon us to appreciate more profoundly not only the heroic men and women, boys and girls who have served the Master so selflessly and generously, but especially the love and mercy of the Almighty who called these His followers to the bliss of unending life in His eternal kingdom.