Obtaining First Class Relics

I was wondering if someone here could describe the procedure for obtaining first class relics. Everyone I’ve spoken to told me to contact officials in Rome, but I’ve also heard that they only dispense relics to parishes for public veneration, not private. Does anyone know if it’s still possible for individuals to obtain first class relics for private veneration? Thanks.

[quote=mcliffor]I was wondering if someone here could describe the procedure for obtaining first class relics. Everyone I’ve spoken to told me to contact officials in Rome, but I’ve also heard that they only dispense relics to parishes for public veneration, not private. Does anyone know if it’s still possible for individuals to obtain first class relics for private veneration? Thanks.
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The only time I obtained a first class relic was upon a visit to the shrine of St Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg MD.

Not (yet :wink: ) a saint, but I know for a time the Knights of Columbus were making relics of Fr Michael J McGivney available, while his cause is being persued and miracles are being sought. (I do not know if they are still doing so)

tee

I’m sure you could find someone selling first class relics on EBay. Well, at least claiming to be selling them. . .

[quote=tee_eff_em] . . .
Not (yet :wink: ) a saint, but I know for a time the Knights of Columbus were making relics of Fr Michael J McGivney available, while his cause is being persued and miracles are being sought. (I do not know if they are still doing so)

tee
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The relics distributed in promoting the cause for sainthood are usually third class.

[quote=Joe Kelley]The relics distributed in promoting the cause for sainthood are usually third class.
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Indeed, a third-class relic will be sent to anyone joining the Fr McGivney Guild, but I haven’t seen the availability of first-class relics lately. (They may still be available on a case by case basis)

tee

[quote=mcliffor]Does anyone know if it’s still possible for individuals to obtain first class relics for private veneration? Thanks.
[/quote]

Why would you want have a private relic for the benefit of only one or two, when it could be made available for veneration and the spiritual benefit of a whole community?

I found this answer on the website of the Church of Santa Susanna, the English-speaking Catholic parish in Rome:

**9. My mother has a great devotion to the Little Flower, how can I get a relic of the saint for her birthday?**http://www.santasusanna.org/images/head3.jpgAt one time, it was quite common to find a number of places in Rome that would allow you to acquire a relic. A relic can never be purchased because it is a holy object, but you would make an offering for the metal case in which it came. The largest collection of relics in Rome belongs to the Vatican and it kept at the Lateran. Actually they are kept at a small convent nearby. The practice of making relics available to the public ended more than ten years ago at the insistence of the Vatican. Today you can apply to this Reliquarium for a specific relic only with a Nihil Obstat or a letter of permission from your local bishop. You must also state that the relic is to be used for a church altar or other public religious purpose. The private ownership of relics is highly discouraged.

[quote=Nan S]Why would you want have a private relic for the benefit of only one or two, when it could be made available for veneration and the spiritual benefit of a whole community?
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If it were possible to go to my parish church and venerate a first class relic, I would do that, but first class relics are few and far between. The only place I know of where one can actually pray before a relic is at the cathedral. I’m sure certain churches have reliquaries in their sacristies, but they rarely bring them out. Besides, it’s not like I’d be taking a relic off of an altar. Relics given out for private veneration are not relics which would otherwise be used for public veneration.

[quote=tee_eff_em]Indeed, a third-class relic will be sent to anyone joining the Fr McGivney Guild, but I haven’t seen the availability of first-class relics lately. (They may still be available on a case by case basis)
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My mistake.

By happy coincidence, I was cleaning out some old papers and found a 5-year-old edition of the McGivney Guild newsletter, which explains that they were distributing reliquaries containing second-class relics (fragments of the cassock Fr McGivney was wearing at the time of his burial), not first-class.

I repeat that I have not seen such offered in recent newsletters.

(And I presume that new guild members still receive a third-class relic – I know I did)

tee

I think you need to understand the terminology of a relic. A relic is a piece of the body, clothing, or material that a Saint used during their life on earth. Being that the saint used them makes them holy. By a decree by the Council of Trent it is sacreligious for relics of the Saints to be sold or bought, but in some cases it is llicit for one to be sold. For example if someone has a relic and is going to preform sacreligious acts with the relic it is licit to buy that relic from the person.

Several years ago I was asked to come and pray with an elderly woman. Knowing I made rosaries for charities as well as mission rosaries, she offered me an old box full of religious articles, including many antique rosaries.

As I was looking through the box later that evening I found an old cross. I had seen this type of cross before when a child. A nun showed me. On the bottom of the small cross was a brass screw. When the screw is removed, the back of the cross opened to reveal a first class relic of a saint.

This particular cross contained a relic of St. Dominic. This relic is on view at every mass and prayer session.

My parish is the Good Shepard Mission in an area known as Whetstone, Arizona. (Southeastern Arizona, about twenty miles west of Tombstone on state highway 82, or a mile west of highway 90.) If you are ever in our area, please join us for Mass every Saturday evening at 6:30 pm local time, and every Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm for adoration.

Frankly a private individual seeking to obtain a first class relic can only be doing so for selfish reasons. These relics should always be in the hands of the Church where they can be venerated by all.

Canon Law:

Can. 1190 §1 It is absolutely wrong to sell sacred relics.

§2 Distinguished relics, and others which are held in great veneration by the people, may not validly be in any way alienated nor transferred on a permanent basis, without the permission of the Apostolic See.

Have you SEEN these? They claim to have some hair of the B.V.Mary, etc. the reliquaries are very old-looking…I wish I could find out who it is and convince them to STOP any way I could!

Until only recently, according to numerous posts on EWTN Q&A, an individual could obtain a 1st class relic…the prohibition was for sizeable relics that fit the requirements for the altar…a recognizable part of the saint, not just any little speck…

Dear McCliffor -

I noticed one poster replied with a link for a Church of Santa Anna in Rome. I’m not sure which Church it is but prior to a trip to Italy years ago, I’d learned about a Church in Rome where you could get relics. (So sorry that I can’t recall the name of the Church.)

I went - and obtained (for a donation - the amount of which I can’t recall) a number of first-class relics of saints, (St. Gemma being the only one who comes to mind at this moment…hence, I’m in agreement that perhaps we should leave these to the Churches for veneration. Mine remain boxed in a drawer. I used to take them out on All Saints’ Day.) All were accompanied by certificates authenticating them. One was a tiny portion of Our Lady’s veil. I was also told I could obtain a Relic of the True Cross but that would have to be mailed to me - which it was. Again, I believe all have certificates. The Relic of the True Cross is just a splinter.

I have a relic of (now) St. John Neumann (Philadelphia) who was at the time “Blessed”, so I think it’s easier to obtain these relics before canonization. I also obtained a tiny piece of (now) St. Padre Pio’s glove - wool - I think I got it in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy - but before he was even beatified to my recollection. Story, as I understood it, was that those who used to wash his bloodstained gloves would sometimes keep some - and perhaps, that’s how these tiny fragments were obtained/available. (???)

if it is a religious, then contact their order. if it is someone else contact rome.

hit that complain button and tell ebay they were selling body parts and then explain how it needs to stop. thats what i did

Have you seen the site where Bl.Seelos relics (of the three classes), www.seelos.org/relics_info.html. It only has a donation of about $27 plus $3 postage.

“I noticed one poster replied with a link for a Church of Santa Anna in Rome. I’m not sure which Church it is but prior to a trip to Italy years ago, I’d learned about a Church in Rome where you could get relics. (So sorry that I can’t recall the name of the Church.)”

Is it the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs) at Rome ?, beside it is the shop of the Passionist Fathers, where you can have relics for a donation, I knew it because you were telling me that you got a multi- reliquary. But, they don’t distribute pieces of the True Cross, Our Lady’s Veil etc. They only distribute relics of Passionist Saints and Blessed.

Blessings,

 I have a First Class Relic of Our Beloved Blessed Dominic Barberi.  You can read about this priest by clicking on this site  [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Barberi](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Barberi) .  This is how I obtained the First Class Relic which is a chip of bone from Blessed Dominic Barberi.

 Back in the 1960's when my brother was going to enter the seminary, a priest from Rome gave him a relic in a small case enclosed velvet gold round display.  The priest told my brother to always keep this with him as he study to become a priest.  A few years later my brother decided to change what he wanted to do with his life.  During the mean time he kept the relic in a case.  Now,  35 years later as I the youngest felt the call to become a Franciscan Friar.  My brother knowing this gave me the relic to keep with me when I entered the monastery.  As I took my test it turned out that due to my health I could not be accepted.  As of today, I'm 53 and still have the relic in my procession.  A First Class Relic is something you cannot buy no matter what you hear or have been told.  Some say, Oh, you can get one off of Ebay.  This is NOT true.  So many that are sold on Ebay are fakes.  Unless you know of a priest or parish that is willing to give you a First Class Relic is to enter the order and give your life to God.  The relic I hold will be sent to Rome in the event of my death.  Also, the relic is kept in a safe deposit box at the bank and not in my home where break in's etc can occur.  The only time I take the relic out is to celebrate Christmas and Easter Mass which I hold in my hand during mass.  I do however sell Third Class Relics which means a item that has been touched to a First Class Relic.  I do this NOT during bidding but after the item has been won and just before it is shipped.  So now you know that First Class Relics cannot be purchased as if it were a car or boat.  It's an item from a person that God has chosen to do his work in this world.  I hope you do not continue your search for one for in the end you will only be disappointed and out of so much money for a item that really isn't.  I recommend that you learn more about this from your Priest or higher up.  Seek the Third Class relics that will help bring you Peace in the world.  Pax et Bonum

Actually, some Postulators automatically send relics, example after sending an email. Some needed the recommendation letters from a Priest, and some needed the permission of the Local Ordinary…

Example:

When I asked for a relic of Bl. Fr. Sopocko, the Archdiocese of Bialystok told me to send a recommendation letter, and I sent it.

Sometimes thecas needed to be paid (a minimum of $50) needed to be paid.

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