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Author Topic: Relics in Roman Catholic Churches  (Read 669 times) Average Rating: 0
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William
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« on: August 20, 2011, 06:38:16 PM »

I have an opportunity to go to Italy this summer with a school group. Chances are I won't be going (too expensive), but if I do, would it be appropriate to go to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome or St. Mark's Basilica in Venice to venerate the relics of Sts. Peter and Mark?
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 06:46:44 PM »


I know that in St Albans, UK the relics of the Saint after whom the city is named are still to be found in the Anglican cathedral there. There are pilgrimages of Orthodox faithful organized, and even sometimes Liturgies are served (by Orthodox clergy) at the altar next to the reliquary. But you don't need a formal service to privately venerate relics, so there are always a mix of people there.

The only question is whether you believe the relics stored in St Mark's are authentic. If you believe them to be, then I don't think the location of the relics should hinder your veneration of them.
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2011, 07:55:24 PM »

We venerate the saints and their relics, who owns the building the relics are located in really doesn't negate a saints holiness. God makes them holy, not the building.
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2011, 08:02:12 PM »

I have an opportunity to go to Italy this summer with a school group. Chances are I won't be going (too expensive), but if I do, would it be appropriate to go to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome or St. Mark's Basilica in Venice to venerate the relics of Sts. Peter and Mark?
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2011, 08:11:56 PM »

Get to Bari if you can! The relics of St. Nicholas of Myra are in a Catholic church there. Downstairs there is an Orthodox chapel.
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William
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 07:08:00 PM »

What's the proper way of venerating a saint's relics? Prostrations? Kissing?
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 07:11:09 PM »

Treat them as you would an icon.
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2011, 03:35:24 PM »

What's the proper way of venerating a saint's relics? Prostrations? Kissing?

As an icon, except (I believe) it is traditional to make prostrations before relics, instead of bows. Unless it's Sunday. Then the prostrations become bows.

I pray that God grant you such a remarkable opportunity to visit such holy sites, and venerate our holy fathers. May they pray for us!
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2011, 03:54:59 PM »

Would it be appropriate to prostrate to the relics if non-Orthodox people are present? For example, my mother will probably be with me when I visit all of these shrines. She's Catholic. Would it be showing off or some kind of spiritual arrogance to do prostrations in front of her?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 03:55:25 PM by William » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2011, 03:57:06 PM »

Would it be appropriate to prostrate to the relics if non-Orthodox people are present? For example, my mother will probably be with me when I visit all of these shrines. She's Catholic. Would it be showing off or some kind of spiritual arrogance to do prostrations in front of her?

I personally don't believe so, but if it feels too awkward, just make bows!

EDIT: Having said that, however, I believe prostrations are a beautiful act of eastern piety. Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 04:26:04 PM »

Bump.
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2011, 04:34:28 PM »

As others have said, it's perfectly appropriate to venerate the relics, regardless of where they are housed.

A small bow, crossing oneself, and kissing the relic would be a perfectly appropriate veneration, and shouldn't make your Catholic mother feel uncomfortable. (Heck, she'll probably be venerating them with you!)
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2011, 04:44:29 PM »

i was in dublin just over a year ago, and visited the nearest church to where i was staying, and found they had the relics of saint valentine and saint jude (who wrote the book). i was very excited! i did prostrate (but there was hardly anyone there!) and kiss the glass cask with saint valentine's relic (apparently a bone and a vial with blood) and then there was an evening mass which i attended. and the sermon was very appropriate and helpful for me.
after mass, there was a reliquary with the relic of saint jude that was held up for people to make a line and then kiss, and so i followed the local custom, except adding a low bow before the kiss. i didn't want to freak out the catholics and i felt a bit self-conscious in front of so many people.

so i think if u r quite a bubbly person and normally take the lead, it's good to prostrate, but if it makes u feel really uncomfortable and shy it's not necessary. if u are blushing and mumbling, you won't be in a good position to explain things about orthodoxy to anyone who asks, so i suggest you should be yourself.
hope it helps, and may God bless yr time and use u to bless the people you meet.
 Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2011, 01:16:49 AM »

I say absolutely go do it.  My family waited over 600 years until someone in our family was able to venerate the relics of St. Luke the Evangelist (our family Slava).  Being able to do that is something I will never forget.  Don't miss these opportunities, for any reason. 

As to whether or not they're authentic...that's where faith comes in. 
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2011, 01:27:57 AM »

As to whether or not they're authentic...that's where faith comes in. 

And even if they aren't real, they might as well be. At the very worst, the relics remain an icon. Your veneration in faith is still given reverently to the holy saint.  Smiley
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