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Ask Fr. Francis: How does the Church get the relics of the saints?

The following is an excerpt from askfrfrancis.org. Fr. Francis Ching, CC answers tough questions about the Catholic faith.

Question: 

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.

Check out Fr. Carlos' relic ministry Treasures of the Church!

Read the full answer here!

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