** Before we jump into this week’s episode, we want to let you know that we’ll be doing a book study this upcoming Advent!!! The book is Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe. Have you read anything by Fr. Philippe yet? He is AMAZING. Such a gentle, yet wise voice… our hope is this study will help us all stay centered this Advent on what (or WHO!) truly matters. You can snag a copy here. First episode/discussion will be on December 1st!! **
And we’re back with Part 2 of our Mini Series on Relics!! We thought it might be good to distinguish between veneration and worship. Besides the fact that relics are pieces of dead people or things that have touched dead people, those unfamiliar with the practice might also take offense at the idea of us giving “worship” to something/someone other than God. But the fact is, we *don’t* Worship relics. We venerate them. In the words of one of our Church Fathers, St. Jerome,
“We do not worship, we do not adore, 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.”
So if you have friends thinking you’re weird for worshiping pieces of dead people, you’ve got your reply right there. It ISN’T worship. Holding, gazing, praying with (not TO) relics can help us feel a stronger connection to the holy people we are asking to pray for us. Relics are a powerful reminder that the Saints are Real People who had Real Bodies. Also: the fact that there are no first class relics of Christ or Our Lady strengthens our belief in the Ascension and the Assumption. Where are their bodies? Not on Earth!
Anyways, this week on the podcast, we’re diving into specific relic stories. Namely the Holy Stairs, the Crown of Thorns, and the Shroud of Turin.
The Holy Stairs were brought to Rome by St. Helena. They are the stairs that Christ ascended to appear before Pilate.
The Crown of Thorns were in the news earlier this year when a fire broke out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It, along with many other relics and the Eucharist were saved from the blaze.
The Shroud of Turin is arguably the most fascinating relic of our Faith. It is the cloth in which Christ was covered and buried in and a ‘negative image’ of His face was left. Studies of the shroud have shown us just how much Christ suffered on Good Friday before dying on the Cross.
Have you visited any of these ‘extreme relics?’ Tell us about it in the comments!
Your sisters in the small things,
Nancy and Katie