A recent post about the veneration of the relic of St. Mary Magdalene, which is currently in the US (a fairly large portion of her leg bone, I believe, from an article I saw), has inspire me to raise a question I’ve long had.
What do you think about relics – first class from the body of a saint, as opposed to those which are of things the saint touched or which are associated with the saint?
Part of me is in awe of these physical remnants of the faithful. And part of me is a little squeamish at the idea of, well, what is usually seen as desecration of a body. Chopping up the remains of the faithful, especially the saintly, and spreading them around the world even appears a little heretical. After all, we are admonished not to separate and spread the ashes of the dead, but to maintain the integrity of the corpus.
Your thoughts, please – especially those with church teaching to back them up? I don’t really have a formed opinion; just a fair number of conflicting emotions.