Identifying Relics


Dear brethren,

I recently went to confession with a priest at a local church, I do this somewhat often, at least weekly. The priest is from Ghana and presides at a tiny parish in honor of St. Gerard. The little parish is a daughter church of my own home parish.

After confession, I noticed a small reliquiary containing two very smal bones (or what I thought were bones). I asked the priest if knew whose relics these were, but he did not know (he has only been the pastor for about a year or so). I look closely at the tiny print under the relic and it said:

“S. Ger. Maj.”

If memory serves that is what I saw. Tommorow I intend to go to confession with the priest, and I also wanted to make a small “pilgrimage” to visit that relic and pray for the saint’s intercession (I will ask the parish members of course later).

However, I was hoping some of my brothers and sisters here could help me to indentify this relic, or at least direct me to some resources or links which explain how relics are contained and identified in reliquiaries.

Thanks in advance.


It probably stands for “St. Gerard Majella” (makes sense, since the parish you mention is St. Gerard). Maybe some of his bones? I don’t know if this helps, but I hope so. God bless.


Ah! That really makes sense!! The priest has a picture of St. Gerard in his rectory which refers to him as “patron of child birth.” When I looked up St. Gerard Majella (thanks to your help) I saw that he was the patron of child birth.

Thank you so much.


Basics of Catholic Relics:

1st class: Piece of saint’s bone, hair, or body that has been incorrupt
2nd class: piece of saint’s clothes, or something they used in their life
3rd class: Something that has been touched to a 1st or 2nd class relic.


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