What is needed to make a third class relic?

I have a question about making third class relics. :smiley: Let’s just say that there is a relic of a saint like a hair relic or bone relic. Does a cloth have to touch the relic itself to be made a third class relic, or can the cloth merely touch the glass that the relic is contained in?

Thanks and God bless!

I think it can touch the glass as the relics generally don’t get touched physically

A 3rd class relic is something that is touched to a 1st or 2nd class relic.

Supposedly the Palliums that the Holy Father gives out to Metropolitan Archbishops are Third Class Relics because they are places around the vicinity of Saint Peter’s relics, and they don’t even look like they are actually touched to the glass, but just placed right in front of the shrine.

I can’t find anything official saying that they are Third Class Relics though. I think what I read was just one blogger’s interpretation.

Christine and PazzoGrande, my thoughts exactly. Since many relics are too precious for the faithful to be physically touching, I was wondering if many third class relics were only touched to the glass, but I knoe of some religious orders who make their third class relics by actually touching a cloth to the saint’s habit without any covering.

Maybe it’s a matter of intent?

Another way they do it is touch cloth to the saints’ tomb. Mother Teresa’s Cause’s website says that’s how they make hers.

Yes, I think it is just touched to the glass, and if even that is impossible, the item is placed before the relic in a shrine or such.

I was once lucky enough to get to actually touch a second class relic of Padre Pio, (part of a robe and a glove), as well as a few other second class relics over the years.

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I have a porcelain replica of the Infant of Prague Statue, and it was blessed wearing actual robes worn by the real infant statue, making the statue a third class relic. The robes I have for my statue were draped over the real infant statue while being blessed, making the robes second class relics.


Relic of what? The real statue is just a statue. Relics are from real, physical bodies of saints.

The Infant of Prague statue has all the merits of a canonized saint. It is not just a statue.


Not always. There was a miracle with an alleged Veil of Veronica in Saint Peter’s in the 19th century, the face on the image appeared alive. In commemoration of that, the Vatican had copies of the Veil made and touched to the original, and those copies are considered Second Class Relics.

Also as I understand it, stones from the cave where Saint Michael appeared are also Second Class Relics.

I do think the same exception could have been made for the Prague statue.

Unfortunately, the Church does not have any documentation stating what constitutes a third class relic which is why you have all sorts of opinion on this.
Traditionally a third class relic is an item touched only to a first class relic (not a second class) but as more people are clambering for relics its becoming watered down to point of almost being meaningless.

Acts 19:11-12

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