Why can you purchase a relic?


Lately when I have been in Catholic stores or on Catholic Websites, I noticed they are selling relics. I thought that was not allowed. Please clarify.

Jillian Rose

You are correct:

Can. 1190 §1. It is absolutely forbidden to sell sacred relics.

However, even when obtaining relics from an “approved source” (unlike some internet sites) there still may be a small cost involved. This cost is not for the relic itself but for the expenses that went into preparing documentation, shipping, and even the vessel which holds the relic.

Obviously there are some unscrupulous individuals who will exaggerate these costs in order to traffic in relics. There’s not much the Church can do about such people other than appeal to their conscience.

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