Ben (travel_theworld) wrote in catholic_heresy,

Veneration of Relics

Hello everyone! A question from me, just to clear it up:

I understand that as Catholics, a way of honoring the saints is through venerating their relics. I realize that through honoring the saints, honor is also given to God who created them. But just a few questions;

When we venerate a relic, is it the saint who is honored and not the relic?

And when miracles are attributed to a saint's relics, does that mean that the actual relic healed them or God's power worked through a saint's relic and healed that person(s)?

Thanks to all who answer. I'm just a teen Catholic trying to learn more about my faith so I can understand it more and really know about my faith when I receive Confirmation next year.

Thanks again!
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This is a great question!

The veneration of relics dates back to the very earliest Christian martyrs. It was believed that the body of a martyr could still be used by the martyr from heaven to grant favours to the living Church. It was further believed that all the power of the saint resided in any part of his or her body, so if you venerated a saint *through* his or her relic, even if it was just a single bone, it was as if you had visited the whole body.

It could be said that God worked through the saint (who is of course interceding for us in Heaven) interact with the saint through the relic.

Ann Ball has written a volume on relics, full of interesting stories and photographs. You can check out her work (she specializes in saints and legends, with a special emphasis on modern ones) at
This is one of my major points of large disagreement and why I left the RC. What about relics of Christ too? The bottom question is how can you know they're real? And if they are, why should they have power?
For example, how many of Christ's nails on the cross are there in the world? And recall the quote from Martin Luther "There are so many pieces of the True Cross in all of Germany that the Vatican could use them to construct their new basilica". A lot of it borders on ludicris too. Breast milk from Mary? Ever heard of the Holy Prepuce either? There's just too much wrong with the doctrine of relics.

and for a good example that comes to mind, think of the Holy Grail. The cup from the 1st Eucharist. It's said to have great healing powers, etc. Well, as I would have understood it as a Catholic, the healing power doesn't come from the vessel, but from what was in it, the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord. If anything, the "Holy Grail" just detracts from other Catholic teachings!
Well, I think that with the relics of Christ, it's very difficult. I'm sure there are fakes out there, whether it's of the Nails of Christ, Crown of Thorns, Holy Grail, etc.

The Shroud of Turin is a relic that is debatable to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We can only hope and pray that God can lead us to finding the true relics of His Son, and for some, it's all about a personal matter of faith, like with the Shroud of Turin.
The cup from the Last Supper has never been found, so that example is moot. Most relics from Christ's body have been taken out of service for the examples you give. The Church does reform itself, and that was one of the things that happened when it did at Trent.

And the word is "ludicrous". "Ludicris" is a rapper.