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Relics

 

A few years before her going home to the Lord, Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited one of her many convents for the Sisters of Charity, this one in Norristown, PA. It seems that during her visit, she was in need of a haircut and asked one of the sisters if she would be kind enough to accommodate. After the haircut and when Mother Teresa had left the room, every precious strand of her hair regardless of size, was collected and saved. In this incident we see the veneration, which her fellow Sisters of Charity have for their founder.

The practice of venerating relics is both reasonable and profitable.

In the strict sense relics are the bodies or parts of the bodies of the saints, which are preserved and honored in order to remind us of their virtues and their holy lives. Relics include things belonging to the saints and things, which the saints used, like books, rosaries, religious habits or other pieces of clothing. We also consider as relics things, which have touched the bodies of God's heroes, and the instruments used to torture them or put them to death.

It is most important to make clear that we Catholics do not honor these material objects for their own sakes, as having any particular value in themselves; least of all are we to associate any magical powers to them. We do honor relics, however, as relating to those holy individuals whom we venerate. Relics are somewhat like souvenirs of sanctity, memorials of some remarkable member of the Church, reminders of real people who really served God in a heroic way.

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