Relic of St Therese


Because of the kind generosity of Dr Richard and Mrs Ruth Ballard we have three first class relics at St Joseph’s Catholic School Chapel. Embedded in the altar is a relic of Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos, in a nice reliquary in front of an icon is a relic of St Elizabeth Ann Seton and attached to the base of a beautiful image of St Therese of Lisieux is another first class relic. This is a photograph of one of our students (Theresa) venerating the relic after Mass today.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05846606746535856454 Chris Osgood

    How can one obtain a relic?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    There are various ways. People give them to you, you seek them out. You rescue them from people who think they're stupid. You contact the postulator of the cause of a newly canonized or beatified. You get in touch with the convent in Rome that keeps them…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16605545304782841038 Swift

    What forms does "veneration" take?I am a fairly catholic-minded Anglican (I know, I know), but this kind of veneration (as opposed to say, intercession of the Saints) I have a viceral reaction against.When you have a minute (because of course the clergy are such gentlemen of leisure…) would you mind terribly explaining this?–I suppose my question is:"How is such veneration Christo-centric?"I know the Word becomes flesh in actual things, and in actual people, but are we really supposed to kiss and otherwise venerate remnants of them after they are dead? (Prayers are eternal, and hence a different kinda thing)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    It is through the passion and resurrection of Christ that we are saved and sanctified. The saint is a living icon of Christ. By God's grace they have become a 'little Christ'. When we venerate the saints we venerate the great work God has done in their lives.Part of this work is physical as you admit. The saints' holiness is not just spiritual. It transforms their body as well. Therefore what remains is a remnant of the complete work of grace in their lives. In venerating their relics we venerate what Christ has done in their lives.But the veneration of relics is not a required devotion. You can be a good Catholic and not bother with it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16605545304782841038 Swift

    Thank you, Father, that was admirably clear.Can I bother you with a follow up?I can understand the Icon of Christ bit. But I'm not sure I understand the link between your two sentences here:"It transforms their body as well. Therefore what remains is a remnant of the complete work of grace in their lives."So the bodily remnants of Therese (et al) convey grace? Or are transformed by, and hence conduits of grace? (like the Eucharist?) or are we harking back to the Bones of Elijah and Peter's shadow? (even though he was alive?)I can see how grace is conveyed in physical things–of course, that's what Sacraments are. But I'm not sure about remnants of dead people, or how the concrete effects of that physical transformation are "reserved" to be made available to us.Where's my Catechism? More digging is obviously in order….Pax (scindo)Swift

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    relics are sacramentals, not sacraments. They are therefore not a means of grace per se, but may be thought of more like channels of grace. By all means check the CCC on this…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16605545304782841038 Swift

    I shall–mustn't bug you past endurance.Thank you very much for your help, and clarifying remarks.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05846606746535856454 Chris Osgood

    How do you get in touch with the convent in Rome?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    You have to go there and you have to be a priest of someone with authority to ensure the relic will be used properly and not desecrated or sold. They have got stricter since relics were being sold on ebay

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16297495295188178264 kiapokspika

    I happen to guard many relics. In this case, I e-mailed some of the postulators, promoters and their congregation. But a word of caution I will give, that they might not properly reply and some needs a recommendation letter from either a priest or a bishop.


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