How does the Church get the relics of the saints? They all passed away a long time before they became saints.
Fr. Francis' answer:
When we talk about “relics”, literally “remains”, of the saints, we are talking about several kinds of objects, namely:
- actual parts of the body like bones, teeth, preserved blood, blood stain, or hair
- clothes or objects the saint used habitually
- objects the saints had touched.
Normally, during the lifetime of the saints, people close to them would have already recognized something saintly in them. In fact, that would be a requirement for them to be later recognized by the Church. Even for martyrs who had been isolated for a long time before martyrdom, at least some people must have known them for them to be named and remembered.