Reliquary Installed in Church
What is a relic? Relics are physical objects that have a direct association with the saints or with Our Lord. They are usually broken down into three classes: First class relics are the body or fragments of the body of a saint, such as pieces of bone or flesh. Second class relics are something that a saint personally owned. Third class relics are those items that a saint touched or that have been touched to a first, second, or another third-class relic of a saint. Relics are not “magic items” to be used in a superstitious way.
The teaching of the Catholic Church with regard to the veneration of relics is summed up in a decree of the Council of Trent (Session XXV) which teaches that “the holy bodies of holy martyrs and of others now living with Christ—which bodies were the living members of Christ and ‘the temple of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 6:19) and which are by Him to be raised to eternal life and to be glorified are to be venerated by the faithful, for through these [bodies] many benefits are bestowed by God on men…”
Relics are kept in a reliquary. The large reliquary holds all the relics; sometimes small reliquaries are used to house relics of individual saints. Each relic also has to be authenticated, and special certificates of authenticity for the relics shown in the reliquary on display in church are kept in the parish offices. The new reliquary at St. Ignatius is located near the St. Joseph statue on the side closest to the parish office. A list of the included saints is posted for reference. Father Fernandes has donated these to St. Ignatius Parish in the hopes that the lives of the saints will inspire the whole parish to holiness in imitation of the saints who followed Christ and spent their lives in his service. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (828) says, “The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church’s history. Indeed, holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal.”