Relics-how do you obtain one?

I am asking this question as the result of a discussion among a group of very knowledgeable people who gathered after a funeral service tonight for a woman who died suddenly following minor surgery. Each of these people is very active in their parishes in RCIA, CCD, ACTS retreats, lay ministry, and no one had an answer.

One often hears of the family of a sick person gathering to pray, and bringing the relic of a saint to ask for that saint’s intercession on behalf of the patient. Where do you get a relic for that purpose? I was in the hospital visiting a colleague last year, and another mutual friend was in the next room with her mother. Her sister came, with other relatives, bringing relic of a saint so they could pray together, and her mother did get well, and they ascribe it to the intercession of the saint. So if my MIL gets sick and I want a relic so I can ask a saint to intercede, where do I get a relic?

Most churches carry relics of course - not all that many would be in the possession of private individuals. And it mightn’t be the sort of thing you’d advertise if you did have one. So your local church or Cathedral might be the best first port of call.

Of course you haven’t specified what type of relics we’re talking about - one can pray just as well with a second or third class relic of a saint as a first-class one.

Third class relics, of the sort attached to prayer cards, rosaries etc, are incredibly easy to come by - most any religious store would have some, but assuming you’re after a specific saint you might try the online suppliers or ebay.

I thought it was against Church law to buy and sell relics

I have a third class relic of Padre Pio…

so how did you obtain it?

bought it from a store online that sells religious items.

Well, the loophole is that the cards, rosaries etc are usually exactly the same price as those without relics attached. Thus technically it’s not the relic itself being sold at all.

I am not an expert but I repeat, I thought we just had some lengthy discussions here to the effect that it is wrong to buy and sell relics. I eagerly await correction (since the stuff I am wrong about far outweighs the stuff I am right about).

So throughout history, whenever a loved one has fallen ill, Catholics have rushed to e-bay to purchase relics. I doubt it.

I obtained a couple of 1st class relics of St Elizabeth Ann Seton (in exchange for the requested donation for the enclosing reliquaries) when I visited her shrine in Emmitsburg MD some years ago.

Often(?), relics can be obtained from those organizations promoting a candidate for sainthood. The Knights of Columbus had been distributing relics (either 1st or 2nd class) of their founder, Fr Michael J McGivney, to those seeking miracles through his intercession, but I believe they have ceased that practice. (One may still obtain a 3rd class relic by joining the Father Michael J McGivney Guild, or probably even by asking for one)


Hold your horses. :slight_smile: They probably would’ve gone to the local priest and the local church, shrine, monastery or convent for relics. I said something to that effect in my first post :hmmm:

Unless they knew members of the nobility or royalty who tended to collect relics too. Of course a lot of ill people then, as now, lived and died without benefit of such relics.

As to the sale issue, think of it this way. A priest can’t charge money to perform a wedding. That’s simony. Yet funnily enough money often comes into his hands at such a time anyway. Why? Well, nothing prevents him charging for use of the church, for the time or materials he provides in pre-marital instruction etc etc etc.

Neither can the Pope charge to bless rosaries. Yet many a rosary, advertised as having been blessed by one or other Pope, ends up on ebay. They are sold at the normal market rate that would be charged for a similar unblessed Rosary. This means it’s not the blessing itself that is the subject of the transaction.

Same principle with these third-class relics. This is WHY they’re usually sold attached to rosaries or prayer cards. And at the standard prices that you’d pay for ANY rosary or prayer card with or without relic attached.

I just ran across a recent newsletter, and see that one may still obtain a reliquary containing a 2nd class relic for a reasonable donation.


Our parish priest claims to have a splinter from the true cross of Jesus. It was given to him by another priest decades ago.

never thought of this but it makes sense, but doesn’t an archdiocese begin a cause? of course it makes sense that the religious order they founded or other group like KofC would also promote the cause. thanks this sounds very logical.

:slight_smile: I have a friend that got one from a friend and she wears it around her neck, and blesses people with it says a certain prayer.
Do relics maintain their power of grace forever? She also has a cross made from wood from Jerusalem and I figure that most items should be blessed by clergy anyways. A nun lent me a kerchief from a Saint to pray for a member of my family, and it is well I did nothing happened yet but that relative moved far away and she remembers us praying in this manner and will continue to pray. Dessert

Tees site did not work for me but you can go to the wiki and to the K of C and get to the sites.
The knights are wonderful they are so giving and protecting and they are real men in the sense of the word. They remind me of the true deacons spoke of in the bible as the seven I believe.
They have a womens group I think the daughters of Isabella which when I hav time i will check out and get into later.

that makes sense, so you are actually paying for the reliquary, not the relic, whether that is an elaborate gold case, or a laminated holy card, or inset in a medal or rosary.

I can’t imagine why I have never seen these for sale, probably because I have never been looking for them.

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