Sacred Heart Church has been blessed with over 250 first-class relics of the saints, and a few second-class relics. A first-class relic comes from the body of a canonized saint or blessed (usually from the bones) while a second-class relic comes from something the saint owned or used during his life on earth (e.g. clothing). In time, we plan to set up a small shrine area in the back of church, where the relics can be displayed for veneration by the faithful. In the meantime, we do expose the relics that we have on the saint’s feast day and offer them to the veneration of the faithful on that day. Present in the collection are all Twelve Apostles, St. Paul the Apostle, and other early martyrs and Fathers of the Church, as well as some more contemporary saints such as St. Pius X, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Maria Goretti.
From the Council of Trent (Session 25):
“…the holy bodies of the holy martyrs and of others living with Christ, which were the living members of Christ and the temple the Holy Ghost, to be awakened by Him to eternal life and to be glorified, are to be venerated by the faithful, through which many benefits are bestowed by God on men, so that those who maintain that veneration and honor are not due to the relics of the saints, or that these and other memorials are honored by the faithful without profit, and that the places dedicated to the memory of the saints for the purpose of obtaining their aid are visited in vain, are to be utterly condemned, as the Church has already long since condemned and now again condemns them.”
Please explore the above list to see if your favorite saint is among those whose relics we have in our custody, and come to Mass on his or her feast day! The relic will be offered for the veneration of the faithful after Mass on the principal feast day of the saint (found in the first list).
Here is an example of an authenticating document, which must accompany any Sacred Relics to be exposed for public veneration: