[quote="coolduude, post:1, topic:309758"]
I have a question about what to make of small first class relics. By "small" I mean relics that are so tiny they are indistinguishable; one cannot tell what body part it is. In fact, one cannot tell what it is at all. If it wasn't in the reliquary I would have mistaken it for a piece of glue or dust. What's the rule of thumb on relics this small? I do not doubt that a relic is a relic no matter how small, just as Jesus is present in the Eucharist no matter how small. But for a relic as small and indistinguishable as the one described, are the faithful to believe the tradition behind the relic and the authority of the Church in validating it, or can the faithful take a contrary view and not believe in the relic (like private revelation)?
Here's a relic comparable to the one I'm describing.
Ok, so I understand what you are saying about relics being like super small. But, they are validated as relics on the fact that they still come with a certificate of authenticity and are hand placed in thecae by the faithful serving the relics. I think that most relics in distribution that are first class nowadays are about the size of the one you posted. Now, if someone came up to you on a street and said something was a relic of some saint and it didn't come with a certificate of authenticity written in Latin and was sealed into something like a theca, I wouldn't believe them.
I personally have under my custody three first class relics of St. Gertrude Comensoli, Bl. James Alberione, and Bl. Mary Teresa of St. Joseph. These relics are about the size as the one in your photo and are all in thecae. Two of them are ex ossibum (from the bone) and one is ex cappilum, I believe, which means from the hair. These are all sealed in thecae and, written in Latin. Thanks to almost four years of Latin, I was able to translate what they said :) .
I hope this has helped and, if you have any more questions on relics I would be pleased to help you if you want to PM or e-mail me.