An Item Which Touched in a 3rd Class Relic


Is an item (for example, a rosary) which touched a 3rd class relic counts as a relic or it has no sacramental importance? Also, can I sell my 3rd class relic? and do I need a reliquary?



Relics are not to be sold.

You might find this link of interest.

  1. Touching an item to a third class relic does not create a new relic. You would need to touch something to a first class relic with the intent to create a third class relic of the touched item.

  2. Relics should not be sold. If a third class relic (usually a little piece of cloth) is attached to a prayer card, a medal, a rosary etc then it is possible to sell the card, medal, or rosary for the value of the card, medal or rosary, and the relic just gets included for free.

  3. You do not need a reliquary, but you should treat relics with respect.


What do you mean by “to treat relics with respect”? Is there any proper way to treat them? My relic is a card with the image of St Mother Teresa of Calcutta with a piece of cloth in it, that touched her relics in Rome.

It means you don’t just toss it at the bottom of a drawer with junk and ignore it. You might want to put it in a special box or on a shelf with your Mary statue, that sort of thing.
It is meant to help you in prayer so you should say a little prayer when you see it.


Thank you!

My relics (three first-class ones, St Maria Goretti, St John Neumann, and St Elizabeth Ann Seton) are in a proper storage container, along with other religious items, in my garage-become-surrogate-basement, due to crowded living conditions and a family situation that doesn’t permit their proper display just at the moment. When this situation resolves, they will once again grace our home prayer corner.

To the OP’s question, you can’t sell relics of any kind. When relics are “sold”, you are actually buying the reliquary, and the relic itself is free. That is a sort of legal fiction, but is made necessary by traditional Catholic practice, probably canon law, and just the natural reverence that is due to the saints and their mortal remains.

Well, this is not necessarily fiction, try to imagine something that does not relate to religion, I will give you an example: when my grandmother died, I took some of her handcraft tools (a yarn and some fabrics) and all of my childhood I truly believed that my grandmother protects me through these fabrics. Of course, I was a young dumb kid, but this is the root of the belief in third-class relics.

Not to derail, but how does one obtain a first class relic (aside from being a church or religious order)?


As much as I know, an individual cannot get any first class relics. Only churches and religious orders allowed to get that.

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Yes, I was about to ask the same. I can see maybe having one (there are people who have a piece of St. Pio’s mitten for example because he went through many bloodstained mittens, many of which seem to have ended up in the hands of devout Italian-Americans) but three? And not from saints like St. Pio who went through dozens of mittens.

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Maybe he is a priest? I do not know…

No; those of us who’ve been around the forums for a while know a little bit about one another and almost always know who the clergy members are.

No, I’m not a priest. Think about it — “HomeschoolDad”? :upside_down_face: :family_man_boy:

I got all of these relics in the 1980s. At that time, if you visited the shrine of a saint, you might be able to get a first-class relic, with a certificate of authentication, for a small donation (around $10 IIRC). That is how I got my relics of St John Neumann and St Elizabeth Ann Seton. A friend had been to Italy and got me the St Maria Goretti relic, presumably under the same circumstances. I have heard this is not done anymore.


Boo! :sob:

Which body parts are these relics you have? Bone fragments?

They look to be bone fragments. One or two of them (don’t recall which) are ex corpore which, I suppose, could be desiccated tissue as well as bone. All three are about about half the size of an apple seed, if that large, no more than 2-3 mm.

You know that we, as Catholics, totally “weird out” the rest of the world, Orthodox being a likely exception, by using bodily relics in the first place. Not that it matters, just stating the fact.

Third class relics are easy, as they are sort of “mass-produced;” but first (and second) are usually, but not exclusively, only given to churches, clergy, Religious.

I do have a first class relic of St. Conrad of Piacenza, who was a Franciscan from Italy.

But, it was given to me by a holy Nun, whose Order has hundreds of relics.

Like lots of stuff in the Church, it’s who you know, here’s a neat example of that:

When our newly-built Newman Center needed a relic of Pope St. John Paul II, who the church is named for, the archbishop called the former Pope’s secretary (now a Cardinal), who sent us the shirt he was wearing when he was shot, it has quite a bit of the Pope’s blood on it.

Deacon Christopher

Thanks for addressing this. I’ve heard from time to time that people have these just as you do, but I never knew how they were acquired. I would cherish a couple of particular Saints’ 1st or 2nd class relics, but I also know I’m not likely to come to possess those these days. I’ll have to be satisfied with the 3rd class relics I do have.

Incidentally, the first one given to me is of St. John Paul II. I would have more had I known how “simple” it is to create one, but alas, I may never have the opportunity to return to some of those hallowed places again.

One can often get second-class relics these days from shrines associated with saints, if it’s a relatively recently canonized saint or one who is at the beatification stage.

I have gotten second-class relics of St. John Neumann (piece of casket), Blessed Miguel Pro (several pieces of casket, I think they keep transferring his remains in order to have new caskets to distribute in pieces :slight_smile: and Ven. Fulton Sheen (actual piece of vestment, it’s purple) in this way.

I usually like to make my own relics by visiting the saint’s tomb and touching something to it. Some places will not let you touch the tomb though.

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