relic

 

  • Since it was considered beneficial to the soul to be buried close to the remains of saints, several large “funerary halls” were built over the sites of martyr’s graves, including
    Old Saint Peter’s Basilica.

  • [citation needed] The earliest recorded removal, or translation of saintly remains was that of Saint Babylas at Antioch in 354, but, partly perhaps because Constantinople
    lacked the many saintly graves of Rome, they soon became common in the Eastern Empire, though still prohibited in the West.

  • “[42] Until 2017, the Catholic Church divided relics into three classes: • First-class relics: items directly associated with the events of Christ’s life (manger, cross, etc.)

  • List of claimed relics[edit] The Seamless robe of Jesus in Trier Cathedral Detail of the Girdle of Mary in the Basilica of Our Lady in Maastricht The Shrine of the Three Kings
    in Cologne Cathedral • Relics of the True Cross of Jesus are claimed by many churches around the world.

  • [16] The Council decreed that every altar should contain a relic, making it clear that this was already the norm, as it remains to the present day in Catholic and Orthodox
    churches.

  • By the middle of the 16th century, the number of relics in Christian churches became enormous, and there was practically no possibility to distinguish the authentic from the
    falsification, since both of them had been in the temples for centuries and were objects for worship.

  • Sometimes, one of the signs of sanctification is the condition of the relics of the saint.

  • The relics of saints (traditionally, always those of a martyr) are also sewn into the antimension which is given to a priest by his bishop as a means of bestowing faculties
    upon him (i.e., granting him permission to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries).

  • [citation needed] Believers would make pilgrimages to places believed to have been sanctified by the physical presence of Christ or prominent saints, such as the site of the
    Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

  • “[18] There are also many relics associated with Jesus.

  • The consecrating bishop will place the relics on a diskos (paten) in a church near the church that is to be consecrated, they will then be taken in a cross procession to the
    new church, carried three times around the new structure and then placed in the Holy Table (altar) as part of the consecration service.

  • • Second-class relics: items that the saint owned or frequently used, for example, a crucifix, rosary, book, etc.

  • [18] Some early Christians attributed healing powers to the pulvis (dust) from graves of saints, including Gregory of Tours.

  • The Eastern capital was therefore able to acquire the remains of Saints Timothy, Andrew and Luke, and the division of bodies also began, the 5th century theologian Theodoretus
    declaring that “Grace remains entire with every part”.

  • Many Buddhist temples have stupas and historically, the placement of relics in a stupa often became the initial structure around which the whole temple would be based.

  • Catholic teaching prohibits relics to be divided up into small, unrecognizable parts if they are to be used in liturgy (i.e., as in an altar; see the rubrics listed in Rite
    of Dedication of a Church and an Altar).

  • [46] However, the Catholic Church permitted the sale of third-class relics.

  • In the Orthodox service books, the remains of the departed faithful are referred to as “relics”, and are treated with honour and respect.

  • [10] The 2nd-century geographer Pausanias reported that the bones of Orpheus were kept in a stone vase displayed on a pillar near Dion, his place of death and a major religious
    center.

  • In classical antiquity In ancient Greece, a city or sanctuary might claim to possess, without necessarily displaying, the remains of a venerated hero as a part of a hero cult.

  • [16] Pieces of the True Cross were one of the most highly sought-after of such relics; many churches claimed to possess a piece of it, so many that John Calvin famously remarked
    that there were enough pieces of the True Cross to build a ship from.

  • [citation needed] Christianity History[edit] One of the earliest sources that purports to show the efficacy of relics is found in 2 Kings 13:20–21: And Elisha died, and they
    buried him.

  • Parts of the saint that were significant to that saint’s life are more prized relics.

  • Again, an item more important in the saint’s life is thus a more important relic.

  • [25] After Becket’s death, his successor and the Canterbury chapter quickly used his relics to promote the cult of the as-yet-uncanonized martyr.

  • Many great works of Byzantine enamel are staurothekes, or relics containing fragments of the True Cross.

  • [citation needed] Economic effect[edit] As holy relics attracted pilgrims and these religious tourists needed to be housed, fed, and provided with souvenirs, relics became
    a source of income not only for the destinations that held them, but for the abbeys, churches, and towns en route.

  • [14] With regard to relics that are objects, an often cited passage is Acts 19:11–12, which says that Paul the Apostle’s handkerchiefs were imbued by God with healing power.

  • [41] The Congregation for Saints, as part of the Roman Curia, holds the authority to verify relics in which documentation is lost or missing.

  • [1] It usually consists of the physical remains or personal effects of a saint or other person preserved for the purpose of veneration as a tangible memorial.

  • A number in Europe were either founded or rebuilt specifically to enshrine relics, (such as San Marco in Venice) and to welcome and awe the large crowds of pilgrims who came
    to seek their help.

  • Matthew Brown likens a ninth-century Italian deacon named Deusdona, with access to the Roman catacombs, as crossing the Alps to visit monastic fairs of northern Europe much
    like a contemporary art dealer.

  • Such relics (called contact relics, or secondary relics)[49] were, however, scarce and did not provide most believers with ready access to proximity to the holy.

  • The opening of his tomb during Constantine the Great’s reign yielded no bones, giving rise to the belief that his body was assumed into heaven.

  • As with the relics of Theseus, the bones are sometimes described in literary sources as gigantic, an indication of the hero’s “larger than life” status.

  • [25] Instead of having to travel to be near to a venerated saint, relics of the saint could be venerated locally.

  • In 2017, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints abolished the relics of the third degree, introducing a two-stage scale of classification of relics: significant (insigni)
    and non-significant (non insigni) relics.

  • As with the veneration of icons, the veneration (Greek; dulia) of relics in the Orthodox Church is clearly distinguished from adoration (latria); i.e., that worship which
    is due to God alone.

  • [30] Offerings made at a site of pilgrimage were an important source of revenue for the community who received them on behalf of the saint.

  • Over the course of the Middle Ages, other religious structures acquired relics and became destinations for pilgrimage.

  • Mario Conte, executive editor of the Messenger of St. Anthony magazine in Padua, Italy, said, “Saints’ relics help people overcome the abstract and make a connection with
    the holy … Saints do not perform miracles.

  • [48] • St. Peter’s chains, preserved in San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, a second-class relic • Main Altar of St. Raphael’s Cathedral, Dubuque, Iowa, containing the remains of
    Saint Cessianus, a boy martyred during the Diocletianic Persecution • Relics of St. Demetrius in the cathedral of Thessalonika, Greece • Relic of the True Cross, Decani Monastery, Serbia • Relic of Pope St. John Paul II, declared a saint in
    2014, in the Hong Kong Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Eastern Orthodoxy[edit] Grapevine cross of Saint Nino of Georgia (Sioni Cathedral, Tbilisi, Georgia) Relics of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified in the Catholicon of Mar Saba
    Monastery in the Kidron Valley The importance of relics in the Byzantine world can be seen from the veneration given to the pieces of the True Cross.

  • As a natural outgrowth of the concept in Orthodox theology of theosis, the physical bodies of the saints are considered to be transformed by divine grace—indeed, all Orthodox
    Christians are considered to be sanctified by living the mystical life of the Church, and especially by receiving the Sacred Mysteries (Sacraments).

  • [24] Many tales of miracles and other marvels were attributed to relics beginning in the early centuries of the church.

  • The second includes small fragments of the bodies, as well as objects used by saints and blesseds.

  • [31] According to Patrick Geary, “[t]o the communities fortunate enough to have a saint’s remains in its church, the benefits in terms of revenue and status were enormous,
    and competition to acquire relics and to promote the local saint’s virtues over those of neighboring communities was keen”.

  • [citation needed] Relics play a major role in the consecration of a church.

  • [26][27] By venerating relics through visitation, gifts, and providing services, medieval Christians believed that they would acquire the protection and intercession of the
    sanctified dead.

  • [38][39] Due to the existence of counterfeit relics, the Church began to regulate the use of relics.

  • These relics, a firmly embedded part of veneration by this period, increased the availability of access to the divine but were not infinitely reproducible (an original relic
    was required), and still usually required believers to undertake pilgrimage or have contact with somebody who had.

  • [45] The sale or disposal by other means of “sacred relics” (meaning first and second class) without the permission of the Apostolic See is now strictly forbidden by canon
    1190 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

  • [21][22] The Second Council of Nicaea in 787 drew on the teaching of St. John Damascene[23] that homage or respect is not really paid to an inanimate object, but to the holy
    person, the veneration of a holy person is itself honour paid to God.

  • These miracle tales made relics much sought-after during the period.

  • [19] Relics and pilgrimage[edit] Rome became a major destination for Christian pilgrims as it was easier to access for European pilgrims than the Holy Land.

  • The Buddha’s relics are used to show people that enlightenment is possible, to remind them that the Buddha was a real person, and to also promote good virtue.

  • A year after his death in 1987, his physical body was moved from France and placed in a stupa in one of his monasteries near Boudhanath, Nepal.

  • • Reliquary arms of Saint Thomas the Apostle can be found in churches around the globe.

  • The motivations included the assertion of the Church’s independence against rulers, a desire to have an English (indeed Norman English) saint of European reputation, and the
    desire to promote Canterbury as a destination for pilgrimage.

  • [52] The necessity of provide relics for antimensions in new churches often necessitates continuous division of relics.

  • [2] The bones were not regarded as holding a particular power derived from the hero, with some exceptions, such as the divine shoulder of Pelops held at Olympia.

  • The cult of Martin of Tours was very popular in Merovingian Gaul, and centered at a great church built just outside the walls of Tours.

  • By the Late Middle Ages, the collecting of, and dealing in, relics had reached enormous proportions, and had spread from the church to royalty, and then to the nobility and
    merchant classes.

  • Miracles and healing were not regularly attributed to them;[2] rather, their presence was meant to serve a tutelary function, as the tomb of Oedipus was said to protect Athens.

  • [23] Geary also suggests that the danger of someone murdering an aging holy man in order to acquire his relics was a legitimate concern.

  • Within the Assyrian Church of the East, it is consumed by a couple getting married in the Mystery of Crowning.

  • These places were always outside the walls of the city, but martyriums began to be built over the site of the burial.

  • The veneration of the relics of the saints is of great importance in Orthodoxy, and very often churches will display the relics of saints prominently.

  • Dom Bernardo Cignitti, O.S.B., wrote, “[T]he remains of certain dead are surrounded with special care and veneration.

  • [54] Ivory was widely used in the Middle Ages for reliquaries, its pure white color an indication of the holy status of its contents.

  • He distinguished Gregory’s constant usage of sanctus and virtus, the first with its familiar meaning of “sacred” or “holy”, and the second as “the mystic potency emanating
    from the person or thing that is sacred …

  • Today, many stupas also hold the cremated remains or ringsel of prominent Buddhists.

  • “[15] Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) pointed out that it was natural that people should treasure what is associated with the dead, much like the personal effects of a relative.

  • If a saint travelled often, then the bones of his feet may be prized.

 

Works Cited

[‘o “Definition of relic”. Lexico. Archived from the original on May 6, 2021.
o ^ Jump up to:a b c Gunnel Ekroth, “Heroes and Hero-Cult”, in A Companion to Greek Religion (Blackwell, 2010), pp. 110–111.
o ^ Ruth Fainlight and Robert J. Littman,
The Theban Plays: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), p. xii.
o ^ Susan E. Alcock, “Tomb Cult and the Post-Classical Polis”, American Journal of Archaeology 95 (1991), p. 447.
o ^ Herodotus, Histories
1.46, as cited by Fainlight and Littman, The Theban Plays, p. xii.
o ^ Plutarch, Theseus 36, Bill Thayer’s edition of the Loeb Classical Library translation at LacusCurtius.
o ^ Euripides, Heracleides 1032–1034; Aeschylus, Eumenides 763ff.
o ^
Herodotus, Histories 8.134 and Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes 587–588, as cited by Fainlight and Littman, The Theban Plays, p. xii.
o ^ Plutarch, Demetrius 53 and Phocion 37–38, English translations at LacusCurtius.
o ^ Philostratus, Heroicus
5.3 and Life of Apollonius 4.14; Joseph Falaky Nagy, “Hierarchy, Heroes, and Heads: Indo-European Structures in Greek Myth”, in Approaches to Greek Myth (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), pp. 210–212. Ancient Greek vase paintings also depict
the head of Orpheus prophesying.
o ^ Pausanias 9.30.4–5, as cited and discussed by Nagy, op. cit. pp. 212.
o ^ Dindorf, p. 67.
o ^ 2 Kings 13:20–21
o ^ Jump up to:a b c Head, Thomas. “The Cult of the Saints and Their Relics”, The On-line Reference
Book for Medieval Studies (the ORB), College of Staten Island, City University of New York Archived July 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
o ^ Mangan, Charles. “Church Teaching on Relics”, Catholic Education Resource Center
o ^ Jump up to:a b c
“Relics”. Archived from the original on 2016-03-01.
o ^ “Catholic News – Saints’ Relics Help People Make Connection to the Holy”. American Catholic.
o ^ Jump up to:a b Thurston, Herbert. “Relics”. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York:
Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 13 March 2014
o ^ Jump up to:a b Medieval Sourcebook, Gregory of Tours (539–594), History of the Franks, Books I–X, Introduction by Earnest Brehaut (from his 1916 translation), pp. ix–xxv [Note: Many of Brehaut’s
opinions and prejudices would not be upheld by modern historians. Students should not rely on this Introduction as a guide.]
o ^ Tycner, Marta. “Gregory of Tours, Glory of the Martyrs 49”. Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity. University of Oxford,
University of Warsaw, University of Reading, European Research Council. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
o ^ Yule, Henry (1903). The Book of Ser Marco Polo the Venetian, Concerning the Kingdoms and Marvels of the East. Vol. 2. London: John Murray. p. 356
– via National Institute of Informatics – Digital Silk Road Project, Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books.
o ^ Kochuparampil, Jose (2007). “Theology of ‘Rāzē: The Mysteries of the Church in the East Syriac Tradition”. In Maniyattu, Pauly (ed.).
East Syriac Theology: An Introduction (PDF). MP, India: Ephrem’s Publications. p. 264, 267. Retrieved 5 October 2022 – via Malankara Library.
o ^ Jump up to:a b c Butterfield, Andrew (2011-07-28). “What Remains”. The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583.
Retrieved 2022-04-18.
o ^ “Relics of Saints”, Boston Catholic, Archdiocese of Boston
o ^ Jump up to:a b c “Pilgrimage in Medieval Europe”. Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
o ^ Beardsley, Eleanor. “An Ancient Religious
Pilgrimage That Now Draws The Secular”. NPR.org. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
o ^ “The pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in Pictures”. Camino de Santiago.
o ^ Jump up to:a b Ekelund, Robert B.; Tollison, Robert D.; Anderson, Gary M.; Herbert,
Robert F.; Davidson, Audrey B. (1996). Sacred trust : the medieval church as an economic firm. Robert B. Ekelund. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510337-8. OCLC 34943197.
o ^ Manns, D. (2015-04-13). “The Business of Bones: Relic Trafficking
in the Middle Ages”. Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
o ^ Jump up to:a b Smith, Julia M. H. (2010). Portable Christianity: Relics in the Medieval West (c. 700–1200) (PDF). Proceedings of the British Academy. Vol. 181. Oxford University Press
(published 2012). pp. 143–167. doi:10.5871/bacad/9780197265277.003.0006. ISBN 9780197265277. ISSN 0068-1202. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-02-23. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
o ^ Geary, Patrick J. (2011). Furta Sacra: Thefts of Relics in the
Central Middle Ages (Revised ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1-4008-2020-7.
o ^ Jump up to:a b Geary, Patrick (1986-04-30), Appadurai, Arjun (ed.), “Sacred commodities: the circulation of medieval relics” (PDF), The Social Life of Things
(1 ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 169–192, doi:10.1017/cbo9780511819582.008, ISBN 978-0-521-32351-2, archived from the original on 2014-03-14, retrieved 2022-04-18.
o ^ Brown, Matthew. “Dust to Dust”. www.artnet.com. Archived from the original
on 2022-02-05. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
o ^ Freeman, Charles (2011). Holy Bones, Holy Dust: How Relics Shaped the History of Medieval Europe. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-16659-0.
o ^ “Of the Works of Monks” (St. Augustine): “36…Some hawking
about limbs of martyrs, if indeed of martyrs”
o ^ Calvin, Traité Des Reliques
o ^ de Fleury, Mémoire sur les instruments de la Passion
o ^ Radtsig, N. I. “Traite des reliques” Кальвина, его происхождение и значение / Сборник «Средние века»,
№01 (1942) / Ежегодник РАН / Nauka.
o ^ Philip Schaff. “History of the Christian Church”. Volume VIII: “History Of The Reformation, 1517–1648”. Third Book. The Reformation in French Switzerland, or The Calvinistic Movement. / Chapter XV. Theological
Controversies. / § 122. Against the Worship of Relics. 1543.
o ^ Jump up to:a b “Instruction for Conducting Diocesan or Eparchial Inquiries in the Causes of Saints (Rome 2007) – Authentication”. Vatican Website. Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Retrieved 23 October 2019.
o ^ “AmericanCatholic.Org”. American Catholic. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
o ^ Jerome, Ad Riparium, i, P.L., XXII, 907.
o ^ Lahtinen, Maria (2022). “The High-Status Late Medieval Skull Shaped Relic in Turku Cathedral, Finland
– a study of its origin with oxygen and strontium isotope analyses”. Internet Archaeology (59). doi:10.11141/ia.59.8.
o ^ The Catholic Source Book A Comprehensive Collection of Information about the Catholic Church ISBN 0-15-950653-0
o ^ “Instruction
“Relics in the Church: Authenticity and Conservation” (8 December 2017)”. www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
o ^ “Code of Canon Law”. Holy See. Archived from the original on 2013-03-03. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
o ^ “Catholic Relics: Third Class
Relics”. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
o ^ “Venerating Relics at Mass”.
o ^ Clifton, James (2014). “Conversations in Museums”. In Sally M. Promey (ed.). Sensational Religion: Sensory Cultures in Material Practice. Yale UP. pp. 205–214. ISBN
9780300187359.
o ^ “Sectis corum corporibus, integra et indivisa gratia perseverat” appearing in Sermon on the Martyrs (de Martyribus), ch. 8, in, The Cure of Pagan Maladies (Cure of the Pagan Diseases; Cure for Hellenic Maladies; Cure of Greek
Maladies; Cure of Pagan Ills). [Graecorum affectionum curatio, Graecarum affectionum curatio, Graecarum affect. Curatio, Graec. Aff. cur.], (ante A.D. 449)
o ^ Eduard Syndicus; Early Christian Art; p. 73; Burns & Oates, London, 1962
o ^ Tomov,
Nikola; Dzhangozov, Januarius (Yanko). “Wax Embedding as a Method for Preservation of Body Relics Used by the Orthodox Church” (PDF). Acta Morphologica et Anthropologica. 25 (1–2): 122–125.
o ^ Romansky, Nikolay (Николай Романский), Что такое святые
мощи и как совершается их раздробление [What are holy relics and how their division is carried out]
o ^ “Relics and Reliquaries in Medieval Christianity”. Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
o ^ “Reliquary”.
o ^ “Relics
of St Paul discovered”. Independent Catholic News.
o ^ “The Biblical Archaeologist”. American Schools of Oriental Research. March 7, 1974 – via Google Books.
o ^ Squires, Nick (August 2010). “St John the Baptist’s bones ‘found in Bulgarian monastery'”.
The Telegraph.
o ^ “The Tomb of the Holy Great Martyr George from Lodd, Lydda”. OrthodoxWord. 2010-04-21. Archived from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
o ^ González, Manuel Hernández (2007). Fiestas y creencias en Canarias en
la Edad Moderna. Ediciones IDEA. ISBN 9788483821077.
o ^ Aymard, Orianne (2014). When a Goddess Dies: Worshipping Ma Anandamayi after Her Death. Oxford University Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0199368631.
o ^ Jump up to:a b Josef W. Meri, “Relics of
Piety and Power in Medieval Islam”, Past and Present 103.5, in Relics and Remains (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 97
o ^ Josef W. Meri, “Relics of Piety and Power in Medieval Islam”, Past and Present 103.5, in Relics and Remains (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 98
o ^ Lamb, Christina (2002). The Sewing Circles of Herat. HarperCollins. First Perennial edition (2004), p. 38 and n. ISBN 0-06-050527-3.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kjunstorm/4505921907/’]