Relic of the True Cross

Does that refer to an actual particle from the Cross on which Jesus hung and died?

How were these pieces of the true cross preserved?

Do most parishes have a relic of the True Cross?

The True Cross refers to the cross that our savior died on. It was discovered by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. However, in the years that followed so many churches claimed parts of the True Cross that John Calvin quipped:

if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it.

But, it doesn’t really matter whether these relics are really the True Cross. All that matters is the Cross is real and Christ died on it. If these relics can help us approach that mystery than they are good.

How interesting!

However, in the years that followed so many churches claimed parts of the True Cross that John Calvin quipped:

But, it doesn’t really matter whether these relics are really the True Cross. All that matters is the Cross is real and Christ died on it. If these relics can help us approach that mystery than they are good.

But shouldn’t it matter if there is veneration of it? I’m speaking of the practice of kissing the relic.

Not sure why a Catholic would use the famous Calvin quote, but the fact of the matter is that if all the known pieces of the True Cross are added together, it barely amounts to one-third of the actual cross.

This is what I’ve actually heard. I heard that Calvin quote once but then I heard this almost right afterward, which is interesting. All these relics of the True Cross are tiny, miniscule, and a cross was a very large object.

One has to remember that Protestants purposely destroyed relics during the Reformation so there are fewer relics of the True Cross today than at the time of the Reformation.

That’s sad. What kind of relics were destroyed?

Everything they could get their hands on. The Reformers linked relics closely to the sale of indulgences and were driven to get rid of them.

Barely made a dent in it. There were plenty of Catholic countries. Still don’t know why a Catholic is pressing this issue, by using Calvinist quote.

What’s horrible is Protestant governments would often force whole towns to turn out and witness the relics being publicly desecrated. For many Catholics witnessing such acts simply shattered their faith.

I wish this was true, but at the high point of the Reformation basically every country in Europe save Spain had huge Protestant movements. People forget that at one point the Catholic Church had more or less ceased to exist in Poland. And that Protestantism had made major in-roads in France as well.

Well, there were a lot of fake relics around during the Middle Ages, so perhaps Calvin can be excused for his skepticism.

I read about two churches in France which both claimed to have the head of St. John the Baptist. In fact, it came to the attention of the Pope, who sent an ambassador to check out the situation.

The ambassador visited the first church, whose pastor told him, “The other church is the one with the fake - WE and we alone have the true head of the great St. John the Baptist, which was cut off by the evil Herod!”

The ambassador then went to the pastor of the second church, and told him what the first pastor had said. The second pastor, totally unfazed, said, “Well, yes, they have St. John’s head as an adult, but WE have his head from when he was a child!” :smiley:

I do not see anything wrong with her quoting Calvin. I think it is good that combative protestants, such as Calvin, challenge our faith with such clever one liners. It forces us to seriously delve further into history to truly understand and defend the one true faith with confidence and intelligence. Don’t you think Doubting Thomas would have heard that quote from Calvin and quickly loaded Google to prove it wrong?

The Church has not declared these relics as genuine.

Extract from Catholic Encyclopedia article doctrine regading relics:

“it is certain that the Church, with, regard to the veneration of relics, has defined nothing more than what was stated above. Neither has the Church ever pronounced that any particular relic, not even that commonly venerated as the wood of the Cross, is authentic; but she approves of honor being paid to those relics which with reasonable probability are believed to be genuine, and which are invested with due ecclesiastical sanctions.”

This is one of the many reasons why I love my Beloved Church. She does not micro-manage every emotion and belief of Her children.

She states clearly what must be believed but allows our hearts to soar on matters of love and devotion.

It’s one thing to manage emotions but I think it should be clear whether something is genuine or not.

I assume if a parish tells me something is a relic, that it is. But now I see that is not necessarily the case.

If you want a “certificate of authenticity” go to the Franklin Mint.

Yea, never assume that. The Church really doesn’t claim (to my knowledge) that any of the more anciently declared relics are authentic, esp those associated with the Holy Land. The ones brought back my St Helen (she lived late 3rd, early 4th century) have really no way of being authenticated.

They are more part of the Church’s “small t” traditions, not “big T” Traditions. They are not part of the deposit of faith as it were.

Not to mention during the Medieval time the selling of relics was a very big industry, so much so that fraud was a big problem

Why don’t you go for me?

Thanks for the info Marie. It’s a topic I don’t know much about but there was a veneration at my parish and I did go up assuming somehow these are tracked.

I learn new things everyday on this board from those who are helpful.

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