Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius ofAntioch, 1st c. A.D

Relics and
the Incorruptibles

Medieval reliquary

Exodus13:19 "And Moses took Joseph's bones with him: because he had adjuredthe children of Israel, saying: God shall visit you, carry out my bonesfrom hence with you."

4 Kings 13:20-21 "And Eliseus died, and they buried him. And the roversfrom Moab came into the land the same year. And some that were buryinga man, saw the rovers, and cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus.And when it had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life andstood upon his feet."

Matthew 9:20-22 "And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue ofblood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of hisgarment. For she said within herself: If I shall touch only hisgarment, I shall be healed. But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: Beof good heart, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the womanwas made whole from that hour."

Acts 19:11-12 "And God wrought by the hand of Paul more than commonmiracles. So that even there were brought from his body to the sick,handkerchiefs and aprons: and the diseases departed from them: and thewicked spirits went out of them."

It's funny to me how a culture that is filled with autograph hounds andthose who clamor to be around those glittered with "star dust" canconsider the Catholic veneration of relics as a joke. A lovely dish isjust a lovely dish, but one owned by your great-grandmother is atreasure. Some stranger's pocketwatch is just a timepiece, but onegiven to you by your grandfather is something you'd literally mournlosing. We pay $20,000 for a $200 jacket worn by Jacqueline Kennedy,faint at Beatles concerts, engage in riotous behavior to get our handson one of Elvis's scarves, but when a relic of St. Catherine ismentioned, people snicker.

As you can see, however, from the verses above, veneration of relics isstrictly scriptural, and the earliest Christians saw things in the sameway as the ancient Israelites and those in the New Testament accounts.St. Augustine (A.D. 354 - 430) wrote in City of God:

Ifa father's coat or ring, or anything else of that kind, is so much morecherished by his children, as love for one's parents is greater, in noway are the bodies themselves to be despised, which are much moreintimately and closely united to us than any garment; for they belongto man's very nature,

St.Jerome (ca. A.D. 340 - 420) clarified Catholic belief in his AdRiparium:

Wedo not adore, I will not say the relics of the martyrs, but either thesun or the moon or even the angels -- that is to say, with the worshipof "latria"...But we honor the martyrs' relics, so that thereby we givehonor to Him Whose [witness] they are: we honor the servants, that thehonor shown to them may reflect on their Master... Consequently, byhonoring the martyrs' relics we do not fall into the error of theGentiles, who gave the worship of "latria" to dead men.

Whenconsidering relics, it is to be remembered that the body and soul areforever one, even when they seem to be separated by death. The body ofthe saved will be resurrected and glorified (the bodies of the damnedwill also be resurrected, for that matter). Forever is there aconnection between the remains and the soul that has departed from them-- and the great souls whose remains are left to us have a powerdescribed well by St. John of Damascus (a.k.a. "John Damascene"), ca.A.D. 676 - 754/87, in his "Exposition of the Orthodox Faith":

These [the bodies of the Saints] are made treasuries and purehabitations of God: For I will dwell in them, said God, and walk inthem, and I will be their God. The divine Scripture likewise saith thatthe souls of the just are in God's hand and death cannot lay hold ofthem. For death is rather the sleep of the saints than their death. Forthey travailed in this life and shall to the end, and Precious in thesight of the Lord is the death of His saints. What then, is moreprecious than to be in the hand of God? For God is Life and Light, andthose who are in God's hand are in life and light.

Further, that God dwelt even in their bodies in spiritual wise, theApostle tells us, saying, Know ye not that your bodies are the templesof the Holy Spirit dwelling in you?, and The Lord is that Spirit, andIf any one destroy the temple of God, him will God destroy. Surely,then, we must ascribe honour to the living temples of God, the livingtabernacles of God. These while they lived stood with confidence beforeGod.

The Master Christ made the remains of the saints to be fountains ofsalvation to us, pouring forth manifold blessings and abounding in oilof sweet fragrance: and let no one disbelieve this. For if water burstin the desert from the steep and solid rock at God's will and from thejaw-bone of an ass to quench Samson's thirst, is it incredible thatfragrant oil [see below] should burst forth from the martyrs' remains?By no means, at least to those who know the power of God and the honourwhich He accords His saints.

In the law every one who toucheth a dead body was considered impure,but these are not dead. For from the time when He that is Himself lifeand the Author of life was reckoned among the dead, we do not callthose dead who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection andin faith on Him. For how could a dead body work miracles? How,therefore, are demons driven off by them, diseases dispelled, sickpersons made well, the blind restored to sight, lepers purified,temptations and troubles overcome, and how does every good gift fromthe Father of lights come down through them to those who pray with surefaith?

Seealso this excerptfrom the Homilies on the Epistle to the Romans, by St. John Chrysostom(A.D. 347 - 407). 


Classes of Relics

1stClass Relic:

apart of the Saint (bone, hair, etc.) and the instruments of Christ'spassion

2ndClass Relic:

somethingowned by the Saint or instruments of torture used against a martyr

3rdClass Relic:

somethingthat has been touched to a 1st or 2nd Class Relic. You can make yourown 3rd Class relics by touching an object to a 1st or 2nd Class Relic,including the tomb of a Saint.

Relicsin churches or chapels are usually kept in one of two places: in acavity ("sepulchre") inside the Altar or in a "reliquary." Reliquarieshave taken on a variety of shapes -- boxes, Noah's Arks, caskets, theshape of an arm, leg, head, etc.. -- and some are exquisite specimensof gold and silversmithing.

The Treatment of relics

CanonLaw 1190
§1 It is absolutely wrong to sell sacred relics.
§2 Distinguished relics, and others which are held in great venerationby the people, may not validly be in any way alienated nor transferredon a permanent basis, without the permission of the Apostolic See.

While selling relics ("simony") is wrong, it ispermissible to buy them if theywill be marketed anyway and buying them would savethem from desecration. This must be done only if the good that comesfrom buying the relic outweighs other uses the money spent could beused for -- and this should never be done at auction because biddingwould only drive up the price, forcing others who simply want to rescuerelics to pay more. This could also increase the likelihood of a marketdeveloping in the sale of relics.

Relics may be legitimately obtained from Church sources, i.e., theVicariate in Rome, the religious Order of the Saint involved, theshrine of the Saint involved, etc. When this is done, a donation isusually expected to cover the cost of the metal container (theca)that contains the relic, but in any case, a profit cannot legitimatelybe made from the sale of relics by anyone.

Particular Relics 

St.Bernadette Soubirous, d. 1879

Blessed Imelda
BlessedImelda Lambertini, d. 1333

St.Vincent de Paul, d. 1660

St. Catherine Laboure
St.Catherine Labouré, d. 1876

St. Maria Mazzarello
St.Maria Mazzarello, d. 1881
St. John Vianney
St.John Vianney, d. 1859

I thought I'd list the locations of some of the major first classrelics here so that you'll know where to find them if you're blessed tomake a pilgrimage to these locations. The sites below house thegreatest part of the given relic, but tinier pieces may be foundthroughout the world, especially in the Altars of Catholic churches.

Note that some of the Saints are marked as "incorrupt"; this refers tothe phenomenon whereby some Saints' bodies do not corrupt after death.An example is St. Bernadette Soubirous, who saw Our Lady at Lourdes andwho now lies in a glass coffin at her convent in Nevers, France. Thoughshe died in A.D. 1879, she is as lovely as she ever was (first pictureat right. For a larger view, click on it; the larger picture will openin a new browser window).

Other examples are those of Blessed ImeldaLambertini, who died in ecstasy during her First Communion in A.D. 1333at age 11 (I am uncertain how accurately the picture at rightrepresents Imelda's state of preservation! This may be a wax figure);of St. Catherine Labouré, who had the vision of Our Lady which led tothe minting of the MiraculousMedal and who died in A.D. 1876; of St. Maria Mazzarello, thefirst Salesian Sister, who died in A.D. 1881; and of St. John Vianney,Curé d'Ars, who died in A.D. 1859 (see pictures at right). There aremany more.

This phenomenon of incorruptibility is often accompanied by a sweetfragrance, known as the "odor of sanctity," which has been described asbeing unlike any known perfume. Another related phehomenon is the flowof a healing liquid, called "oil of saints," which exudes from theSaint's body or tomb. In the case of some Saints who exude this "oil,"the flow of liquid is periodic and not constant (the famous flow of"oil" from the relics of St. Walburga, who is not incorrupt, isperiodic like this).

No one knows why some Saints are preserved from corruption while othersaren't, and incorruptibility is never seen, in itself and by itself, asa proof of holiness. It is a good indicatorof such when the deceased was known for hislife of faith and virtue -- but it's a phenomenon that can be mimickedby science, by the effects of natural conditions, and by the demonic.

A final note on the phenomenon of incorruptibility: don't let anyonetry to tell you that Pope John XXIII (d. 1963) is one of the"incorruptibles." While his body was found to bewell-preserved when he was exhumed in January, 2001, there is nomiracle because he was injected with formalin (a mixture offormaldehyde and methyl alcohol) and other preservatives by Dr. GennaroGoglia -- i.e., he wasembalmed. Then he was sprayed with an anti-bacterial agentand placed in a three layer air-tight coffin which was itself putinside a marble sarcophagus -- all in optimal, dry conditions forpreservation.

Though the Vatican denies any unnatural preservation in his case, onestill hears some Catholics claim that Pope John XXIII is "incorrupt."

Now, on to the list of relics...


Where you canvenerate
some First Class Relics



St. Longinus' Lance (lance of the Roman soldier whopierced Christ's side)
Where: Hofburg Treasure House,Vienna, Austria. The shaft of the lance is at St. Peter's Basilica,Rome.

Relic: St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Where: Convent of St. Elizabeth,Vienna, Austria. Preserved here is St. Elizabeth's skull, crowned withthe crown she wore in life.



St. Boniface of Brussels, Bishop of Lausanne
Where: Notre Dame de laChapelle, Brussels, Belgium


St. Dymphna
Where: Church of St. Dymphna,Gheel (province of Antwerp), Belgium



St. Isaac Jogues, St. Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions
Where: The Martyrs' Shrine,Highway 12, Midland, Ontario, Canada


Kateri Tekakwitha (awaiting canonization)
Where: Saint Francis-XavierMission Church, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada

Relic: St. Anne
Where: Church of Ste. Anne deBeaupré, Ste. Anne de Beaupré, Montmorency county, Quebec, Canada (themajority of St. Anne's relics are in Apt, Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence,France).

Czech Republic


St. Wenceslaus, St. Vitus
Where: Cathedral of St. Vitus,Prague, Czech Republic

Relic: St. Ludmilla
Where: St. George's Basilica,Prague, Czech Republic

Though not a shrine in honor of canonized Saints, also of note in theCzech Republic is "Sedlec Ossuary" ("Kostnice") of the Cistercian AllSaints chapel in Sedlec, a suburb on the outskirts of the town of KutnaHora, about 45 miles East of Prague. In A.D. 1278, the abbot there wenton a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and brought back some soil, which hepoured over the cemetery ground. Christians, then, wanted to be buriedin that soil when they died, but after a time the graveyard became toocrowded, especially in A.D. 1318, when 30,000 people were buried afterdying from the Plague. An ossuary was built so that the older bonescould be dug up and new bodies buried. A woodcarver was later hired todecorate the chapel, and he used the bones decoratively. The ossuarycame to be adorned -- literally -- with the bones of around 40,000Christians. You can see some pictures of this fascinating place at this website, and see thispage for a Quicktime panoramic view of the place. (links willopen in a new browser window)



Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres (incorrupt), and themiraculous image of Our Lady of Good Success
Where: Mother Mariana lies in aglass coffin at the cloistered Convent of the Immaculate Conception inQuito, Ecuador. The miraculous statue can be seen by the public atthese times: during the novena anticipating the Feast of thePurification, from around January 24 to February 2; during the month ofMay; during the month of October.



St. Mark, Evangelist
Where: St. Mark Church inAlexandria, Egypt. (Cenotaph in Church of San Marco Venice, Italy wherehis relics had been taken during the Crusades.)



The Venerable Bede
Where: Galilee Chapel, DurhamCathedral, County Durham, England

Relic: St. Edward the Confessor(incorrupt)
Where: Westminster Abbey, London,England

Relic: St. John Southworth
Where: Westminster Cathedral(Precious Blood Cathedral), London, England. St John was hanged, drawn,and quartered during the Protestant "Reformation" for celebrating theTraditional Mass. The quarters of his body and his head were recoveredafter the execution, reassembled and sent to the Catholic Seminary atDouai, where it was buried during the Napoleonic purges in France. Therelic was re-discovered in the last century during construction work tobuild a new road, and is now contained within a silver effigy, dressedin red Mass Vestments and contained within a glass reliquary in theChapel of Saint George and the English Martyrs.

Relic: St. Thomas More and St.John Fisher
Where: Church of St. Peter adVincula in the Tower of London (St. Thomas More's head, after it wasremoved, was boiled and displayed, after which it was to be thrown intothe Thames River. His daughter rescued it by bribing the guard andallegedly buried it in her husband's family vault).



St. Francis de Sales
Where: Church of the firstMonastery of the Visitation, Annecy, France (his incorrupt heart ispreserved at the Monastery of the Visitation, Treviso, Italy).


St. John Vianney (incorrupt)
Where: Basilica at Ars, France


St. Simon Stock
Where: Carmelite monastery,Bordeaux, France (his skull is preserved at Aylesford, Kent, England)


Where: Abbey of Hautvillers,Champagne, France (diocese of Reims). Her relics were translated herefrom Constantinople in A.D. 849 (Note: it is in this abbey that thepirest, Dom Pierre Perignon, invented Champagne in the 17th century.He, too, is buried here).


St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Where: Chapel of the Convent ofCarmel, Lisieux, France


St. Bernadatte (incorrupt)
Where: Convent of St. Gildard inNevers, France


St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (unsure as to whether ornot she is incorrupt; I've read that her relics are not incorrupt, butare kept in a figurine of her which makes her appear incorrupt)
Where: Shrine of St. MargaretMary Alacoque, Paray-le-Monial, France


St. Genevieve
Where: Saint Etienne-Du-Mont,Paris, France

Relic: Crown of Thorns and apiece of the True Cross
Where: Kept, starting with KingSt. Louis IX, at Ste. Chapelle, Paris, France (on the Ile de la Cité,near Notre Dame) -- a chapel the sainted King built just for theserelics. Removed during the French Revolution and placed in theBibliotheque Nationale. They are now at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris(but visit Ste. Chapelle anyway! It is stunning...).

Relic: St. Catherine Labouré(incorrupt)
Where: Chapel of the Sisters ofCharity Convent, 140 Rue du Bac, Paris, France

Relic: St. Vincent de Paul(incorrupt)
Where: Church of St. Vincent dePaul, Rue de Sevres, Paris, France (his heart is at the Chapel of theMiraculous Medal)

Seine et Marne

St. Fiacre
Where: Cathedrale de Meaux, Seineet Marne, France


St. Louis IX
Where: Basilica of St. Denis, St.Denis, France (now a northern suburb of Paris). You will find herealmost all the remains of French monarchs from Dagobert I on. Duringthe French Revolution, the contents of the tombs were emptied into amass grave, but were later recovered and put into a large ossuaryinside the Basilica.


St. Thomas Aquinas
Where: Basilica of St. Sernin,Toulouse, France


St. Vincent Ferrer
Where: Cathedral of Vannes,Vannes, France



The Three Magi
Where: Discovered in Persia,brought to Constantinople by St. Helena, transferred to Milan in thefifth century and then to the Cathedral of Cologne, Germany in A.D.1163, where they've been ever since.

Relic: St. Ursula
Where: Ursalaplatz (Church of St.Ursula), Cologne, Germany

Relic: St. Albert the Great
Where: Komdienstraße (Church ofSaint Andreas), Cologne, Germany


St. Hildegard von Bingen
Where: Parish church of Eibergen,Eibergen, Germany (originally buried at the graveyard of the convent ofDisibodenberg. Translated to present location in A.D. 1642).


St. Walburga
Where: Church of St. Walburga,Eichstätt, Bavaria, Germany. Her relics exude a healing "oil of Saints"between 12 October and 25 February, her Feast in the BenedictineBreviary.


St. Boniface
Where: Cathedral of Fulda, Fulda,Germany


St. Mundita
Where: Peterskirche (St. Peter'sChurch), Rindermarkt 1 (near the Rathaus), Munich, Germany. I have noidea who this Saint it, but her skeleton is gilded, bejeweled, and keptin a glass case. Fitted with glass eyes, she seems to stare at you fromthe beyond...


Christ's Robe
Where: Cathedral of St. Peter,Trier, Germany. The "tunica Christi" was brought to Trier by St. Helena.



the right hand King Saint Istvan (Stephen) (thisrelic is known as the "Holy Right")
Where: Saint Istvan's Basilica,Buda (the western part of Budapest)



St. Thomas the Apostle
Where: Santhome Cathedral,Chennai, India


St. Francis Xavier (incorrupt)
Where: Basilica Bom Jesus, Goa,India


Ireland(Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland)


SS. Patrick, Brigid, and Columba (a.k.a. "Columcille")
Where: Cathedral of Down,Downpatrick, Northern Ireland


St. Valentine
Where: The Carmelite WhitefriarChurch, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. At least some of the greaterrelics of St. Valentine were retrieved from the Cemetery of StHippolytus, on the Tiburtine Way in Rome, and given to Fr. John Sprattby Pope Gregory XVI in 1836.



St. Andrew, Apostle
Where: Cathedral of Amalfi, Italy


St. Bernardine of Siena
Where: Basilica di S.Bernardino,Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy


St. Francis of Assisi
Where: Lower Church of theBasilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Assisi, Umbria, Italy

Relic: St. Clare of Assisi, St.Agnes of Assisi, and their mother, Blessed Ortolana
Where: Basilica of Santa Chiara,Assisi, Umbria, Italy


St. Nicholas of Myra
Where: Translated from Myra tothe Church of St. Stephen in Bari, Apulia, Italy in A.D. 1087 to savethem from Muslim desecration.


St. Dominic
Where: Church of St. Dominic,Bologna, Italy

Relic: Blessed Imelda Lambertini(incorrupt?)
Where: San Sigismondo Church nearthe University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Blessed Imelda died inecstasy while receiving her First Holy Communion. I am uncertain howaccurately the picture above represents Imelda's state of preservation;this may be a wax figure. The translation of the Latin inscriptionabove her tomb reads:


A virgin of Bologna in ancient Coenobio

St. Mary Magdalene in the Valley of Peter,
Emulating the innocent angel
When, long ago, she desired most passionately
To approach the sacred altar,
But did not reach it because of her tender youth.
Jesus Himself, overcome by her great love,
Four days before the Ides of May in the year 1333
He descending from heaven, restored her in a new miracle with thedivine bread,
Embracing her as a spouse,
He filled her with so much ecstatic joy
That the bonds of her fragile body were broken
And her most innocent spirit flew away from this earth
To the eternal banquet of Christ.

Oh blessed citizen of Bologna
You whose bones protect this place with their religious power,
Watch over the chaste line of children,
And approach the celestial banquets.
Teach them to trample down the earthly delights, like you
And to always hope for immortality.


St. Gerard Majella
Where: Caposele, Italy


St. Rita of Cascia (incorrupt)
Where: Basilica of St Rita inCascia, Italy


Blessed Margaret of Castello (incorrupt)
Where: Church of St. Domenico,Castello, Italy


Eucharist whose accidents had turned also to Flesh inA.D. 700
Where: Church of Lagontial,Lanciano, Italy. A Basilian monk who was offeriing Mass in the churchof St. Legonziano in Lanciano began to doubt the real presence ofChrist under the sacred species after the consecration. At that verymoment, the priest saw how the sacred host was transformed into humanflesh and the wine into blood, which later coagulated. These relics arekept in the cathedral. On Nov. 18, 1970, Dr. Edoardo Linoli analyzedthe remains of "miraculous flesh and blood" and concluded that it washuman myocardial tissue and genuine blood, respectively.


St. Ambrose
Where: Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio,Milan, Italy (crypt open on his Feast Day)

Relic: St. Charles Borromeo
Where: Cathedral of Milan, Italy


St. Veronica's Veil (?)
Where: Carthusian Monastery,Monoppello, Italy. If this is the true Veil of Vernoica, the historygoes like this: the veil had been kept at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome,Italy (there is a niche for it near the statue of St. Veronica there),but was removed from there when St. Peter's was being rebuilt, andtaken to this monastery in A.D. 1608. There is either a copy of theveil at the Vatican today in the aforementioned niche, or the one atthe Vatican is the original (all other copies of the Veil wereprohibited by Pope Paul V in 1616).


St. Januarius (Genarro)
Where: Cathedral of Naples,Naples, Campania, Italy. A vial of St. Genarro's dried blood liquefiesand "boils" when brought near his head 18 times a year.

Monte Cassino

St. Benedict and St. Scholastica
Where: Abbey of Monte Cassino, ona hill overlooking Monte Cassino, Italy


St. Clare of Montefalco (incorrupt)
Where: Church of the Holy Cross,Montefalco, Italy


St. Maria Goretti
Where: Our Lady of Grace, Nettuno,Italy


St. Anthony of Padua
Where: Basilica of St. Anthony,Padua, Italy. When St. Anthony's coffin was opened 30 years after hisdisposition, most of his body was found to have returned to dust butfor his tongue, which remained fresh as a sign of his gift ofpreaching. It is this that is kept at the Basilica.

Relic: St. Luke
Where: Basilica of St. Justina inPadua, Italy


St. Augustine
Where: San Pietro in Ciel D'Oro,in Pavia, Italy


St. Barbara
Where: Cathedral of Rieti, Italy


Titulus Crucis, a Crucifixion nail, relic of the TrueCross, two thorns from the Crown of Thorns, the greater part of thesponge used to give Christ vinegar, a piece of the cross of the goodthief (St. Dismas), finger of St. Thomas the Apostle
Where: Santa Croce in Gerusalemme(Holy Cross in Jerusalem) 12 Piazza di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme,Rome, Italy. The church, whose floor was packed with soil from the HolyLand, was consecrated about A.D. 325, in an older building that wasrebuilt to house the Passion Relics brought to Rome by St. Helena,Constantine's mother. The "Titulus Crucis" is the sign that hung overChrist's Head, naming Him as "King of the Jews."

Relic: St. Agnes
Where: Sant' Agnese fuori le mura(St Agnes Outside the Walls), 364 Via Nomentana, Rome, Italy. Thechurch is built over St. Agnes's tomb. Her head is preserved at theSancta Sanctorum in the area.

Relic: Many Popes, including: St.Peter; St. Leo the Great; St. Gregory the Great; St. Pius X(incorrupt). Many Saints, including St. Gregory Nazianzen.
Where: San Pietro in Vaticano(St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Italy)

Relic: St. Jerome and St. Pius V(incorrupt), part of the manger, the icon Salus Populi Romani
Where: Santa Maria Maggiora (St.Mary Major) 42 Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Italy

Relic: St. Bartholomew, Apostle(?)
Where: St.Bartholomew-in-the-Island, Rome, Italy

Relic: St. Lawrence and St.Stephen
Where: San Lorenzo fuori le Mura(St Lawrence outside the Walls, a.k.a. San Lorenzo in Campo Verano) 3Piazzale del Verano, Rome, Italy. The church is built over the tomb ofSt. Lawrence. St. Stephen was brought from Constantinople by PopePelagius II. Another church, San Lorenzo in Panisperna, was built overthe place of St. Lawrence's martyrdom, and there one can see thegridiron upon which he was put to death.

Relic: St. Paul
Where: Some of St. Paul's relicsare kept at the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls (San PaoloFuori Le Mura). At the Church of the Decapitation (Church of San PaoloAlle Tre Fontane), built over the site he was beheaded, you can see themarble column to which St. Paul was bound, the table on which he died,and three springs that sprang up at the spot where he was killed (thesprings are now operated mechanically).

Relic: SS. Cosmas and Damian
Where: Church of Saints Cosmasand Damian, Rome, Italy

Relic: Hearts of Popes Sixtus V,Urban VII, Gregory XIV, Innocent IX, Clement VIII, Leo XI, Paul V,Gregory XV, Urban VIII, Innocent X, Alexander VII, Clement IX, ClementX, Bl. Innocent XI, Alexander VIII, Innocent XII, Clement XI, InnocentXIII, Benedict XIII, Clement XII, Benedict XIV, Clement XIII, ClementXIV, Pius VII, Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Bl. Pius IX (all thePopes from Sixtus V, who died in 1590, to Pius IX, with the exceptionof Pius VI)
Where: Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio(Church of SS. Vincent and Anastasius), in the Piazza di Trevi, Rome

Relic: Steps of Pilate's housethat Christ ascended for His sentencing (moved from Jerusalem to Romeby St. Helena)
Where: Basilica of St. JohnLateran, Rome, Italy. Also in this basilica is a monument to PopeSylvester II that is said to "cry" before a Pope dies (its marblebecomes moist).

Relic: St. Cecilia
Where: Basilica of St. Cecilia,Rome, Italy. St. Cecilia was originally buried in the Catacombs of St.Callixtus (Catacombe di San Callisto), but in A.D. 821, Pope Paschal Icollected some of the remains of the Saints to preserve them fromraiders. Her relics were lost, though, but the Pope dreamed of wherecould be found. Her incorrupt body was located in what is now the Cryptof St Cecilia in those Catacombs.

Relic: St. Sebastian
Where: Church of St. Sebastian,Rome, Italy. (St. Sebastian's head is at Church of the Four CrownedMartyrs -- "Santi Quattro Incoronati)

Relic: St. Monica
Where: Church of St. Augustine inCampo Marzio, Rome, Italy

Relic: St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Robert Bellarmine
Where: Church of the Gesu, Rome,Italy

Relic:St. Catherine of Siena and Fra Angelico
Where: Altar at the Basilica ofSanta Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome, Italy (St. Catherine's head is in theChurch of San Domenico, Siena, Italy)

Also of interest in Rome are two sites rather like Kostnice in theCzech Republic (see above). The first is the Cimitero dei Capuccini,the Capuchin catacombs near Piazza Barberini. This subterranean cryptunderneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione contains thebones of monks and others arranged in artistic designs. The second isS.Maria dell'Orazione e Morte, located at via Giulia 262. This placecontains the bones of unknown people who died and had no one to burythem, and who were buried by a Confraternity that had charge of suchthings and offered Masses for their souls.

San Giovanni Rotondo

St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)
Where: Padre Pio Shrine, SanGiovanni Rotondo, Italy


St. John Bosco (incorrupt), St. Dominic Savio, St.Maria Mazzarello (incorrupt)
Where: Basilica di MariaAusiliatrice (Mary Help of Christians), Turin, Piedmont, Italy. InValsalice, Piedomont, you can see the room where St. John Bosco died,kept exactly as it was when he went to his Heavenly reward.

Relic: The Holy Shroud
Where: Royal Chapel of the HolyShroud, Cathedral of San Giovanni, Turin, Piedmont, Italy (since A.D.1578). Please learn more about the most fascinating Holy Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo.


St. Lucy
Where: Church of San GeremiaVenice, Italy. Her remains, moved from Syracuse to Constantinople, weretranslated from Constantinople to Venice in A.D. 1204. Her head,however, may be venerated at the Cathedral of Bourges France (it wassent to Louis XII).

Relic: St. Roch
Where: Church of San Rocco,Venice, Italy.


The pillar upon which St. Paul was martyred, Wrist bone of St. Paul
Where: Church of St Paul's Shipwreck, Saint Paul Street,Valletta. The church contains ornate baroque carvings covering almostthe entire surface of the church and ornate statues that are paradedthrough the streets on the appropriate day.

Saint George Preca, various relics including a vial of blood
Where: Where: Blata l-Bajda, close by the mother house of the M.U.S.E.U.M. (Magister Utinam Sequator Evangelium Universus Mundus)Society, a group founded by the saint to promulgate the faith in Maltaand abroad.



St. Martin de Porres
Where: Convent of the HolyRosary, Lima, Peru



SS. Hedwig (Jadwiga) and Stanislaus
Where: Cathedral Basilica of St.Stanislaus and St. Wenceslaus. ("Wawel Cathedral"), Krakow, Poland



Venerable Mary of Agreda (incorrupt)
Convent of the Conception, Agreda, Spain


St. Teresa of Avila (incorrupt)
Where: Convent of St. Teresa,Avila, Spain (St. Teresa's heart is in the Carmelite Convent in Alba deTormes, Spain)


St. James the Greater
Where: Cathedral of Santiago deCompostela, Compostela, Spain


St. John of God
Where: Iglesia de San Juan deDios, Granada, Spain. At the Museo de S. Juan de Dios. CalleConvalescencía, you can see the room in which he died, along with someof his belongings.


Sudarium of Oviedo (the second linen used to coverJesus' Face at His entombment)
Where: Cathedral of Oviedo,Oviedo, Spain. Please learn more about the most fascinating Holy Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo.


St. John of the Cross
Where: Segovia, Spain



St. Birgitta
Where: Vadstena Cloister,Vadstena, Ostergotlands Lan, Sweden

United States

Chicago, Illinois

Over 2000 relics, including some of all 12 Apostlesand 24 of the 33 Doctors of the Church
Where: St. John Cantius Parish,825 North Carpenter Street Chicago, Illinois 60622-5405, Phone:312-243-7373

St. Marys, Kansas

Practically every Saint who's ever lived
Where: At St. Mary's Academy,there's a Relic Chapel that contains an incredible amount of firstclass relics (though no major tombs or shrines). The address is: St.Mary's Academy & College, 200 E. Mission Street, St. Marys, KS66536

Louisville, Kentucky

St. Bonosa and St. Magnus
Where: At St. Martin of Toursparish church, 639 South Shelby Street, Louisville, Kentucky, 40202

Emmitsburg, Maryland

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Where: Seton Shrine Chapel,Emmitsburg, Frederick County, Maryland

Relic: St. Frances Cabrini
Where: St. Frances CabriniShrine, 701 Fort Washington Avenue, New York City, New York

Maria Stein, Ohio

Practically every Saint who's ever lived
Where: Another Relic Chapel likethat of St. Mary's Academy in Kansas (no major tombs or shrines) is theMaria Stein Center. The address is: 2291 St. Johns Road, Maria Stein,Ohio 45860, (419) 925-4532

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

St. John Neumann
Where: National Shrine of SaintJohn Neumann, 1019 North Fifth Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Practically every Saint who's ever lived
Where: Another Relic Chapel --the largest in the United States -- is St. Anthony's Chapel in the MostHoly Name of Jesus parish. The address is: 1700 Harpster St.,Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Troy Hill).

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