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Catholic Relics
Canuk the Lionheart


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Hi, I was trying to figure out how to obtain relics for private veneration, if anybody could give me some advice on this, it would be most appreciated.

Posted Mar 19, 2011, 3:08 am
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If you go through the legal process, you have to make a formal request to your local ordinary, and then he (or the vicar general or chancellor) has to know why you are requesting the relic. A typical diocesan bishop today though may feel that the veneration of relics (especially in a private home) is not in keeping with "the spirit of Vatican II".

Otherwise, if you are ever in Rome, you might be able to obtain a first class relic from the "official purveyors" of relics:  the Augustinian Sisters (mostly Filipino I am told) at the Monastero di Santa Lucia on the Via in Selci. However, they may be under greater scrutiny now - when the Holy See decided to restrict who could obtain relics nearly 10 years ago, they were not very happy with this decision because the donations they received for this service is what supported their community, so they essentially ignore the rule in some cases (or so I was told).

You of course can go on Ebay or possibly an antique shop to find a discarded relic, but you have to be careful here.

First, relics should not be sold; obviously if you are rescuing it though... well, consider it a high-priced donation!

Second, you need to know what to examine for authentication. Yes, there are faked relics out there, and currently the most notorious ones are those whose relic papers bear the signature of Redemptorist, Fr. Nicolas Ferrante (the only relics he was ever authorized to authenticate were those of St. John Newman; read more here:

Third, if the relic does not come with papers, you probably don't want to take the risk. Also, you could never publicly expose such a relic for veneration without its authenticating document.  Nevertheless, if the tecca (the small container) appears original, the red strings and wax seal intact untampered with, and the setting of the relic piece appears original, you could still take the chance for your private benefit (I have).

Hope this helps!

Posted May 26, 2011, 5:43 pm
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