How Can You Still Be Catholic?


“How can you still be Catholic?” Cradle... Read more


$14.95


Buy Now


The Holiest Relics

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Comments

[+] Enlarge Image

Father Anthony Gramlich, MIC, reads a meditation before several relics relating to the Passion at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

[+] Enlarge Image

The Apostolate for Holy Relics brought nine relics for veneration to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

[+] Enlarge Image

The relics included a fragment from the column before which Christ was scourged.

[+] Enlarge Image

A boy kisses fragments of the nails that pinned Jesus to the Cross.

[+] Enlarge Image

A woman touches the relic of the bone of St. Longinus.

[+] Enlarge Image

Another woman kisses a relic of the True Cross.

[+] Enlarge Image

A man touches his crucifix to a relic to make a secondary relic.

By Marc Massery (Mar 17, 2018)
What better way to prepare for Holy Week than touching a piece of the actual Cross on which Jesus hung? On Saturday, March 17, 2018, pilgrims at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, did just that and more. They not only had the chance to kiss a relic of the True Cross, but also a fragment of the crown of thorns, a piece of the table used at the Last Supper, and bits of the very nails that pierced Jesus' flesh.

The Apostolate for Holy Relics (AHR), based in Los Angeles California, brought nine rare relics this weekend in a program named "Call from the Crucified Heart, a program with the Relics of the Passion."

A skeptic might ask how we can know that these are the same holy items remaining from over 2,000 years ago. Then again, a skeptic would not believe a man could rise from the dead. And of course we Catholics believe that. So we should have no trouble believing that the grace of God preserved these holy relics so that today, His children can kiss them, reverence them, and encounter them so that we come closer to Christ. They are also studied and meticulously cataloged by Msgr. Francis Webber, archivist emeritus for the Archdiocese of Los Angelus.

AHR was founded 10 years ago and is now the guardian of more than 1,200 relics organized into special collections. Denise Serafini, the events coordinator of AHR, said, "You could see these relics in the Holy Land, in Rome, and in France. The unique experience is that today they're all together in one spot so you can reflect on the love story of the Father in one place."

In an hour-long program this morning, Denise led a full chapel in prayer and meditation, incorporating each relic with a reflection on the scene of the Passion in which it played a part.

Denise said, "Relics are the bridge between this world and the next, [Jesus and the saints] left parts of themselves here so we can focus on achieving the same level as them and allow them to pull us into the heavenly realm."

Denise travels the country by car relying on good will offerings to break even, offering several meditations and presentations on AHR's many relics. She said that often, people have the tendency to get caught up in the sensationalism of relics and miss the purpose. "People hear the word 'relic' and they go running, but they miss the message," she said. "What we do is focus on the message and complement it with the relics."

After the meditation, each pilgrim had an opportunity to reverence each relic with a kiss, a touch, and a prayer. Denise encouraged pilgrims to touch their Rosaries, wedding rings, scapulars, and any other religious objects to these holy items, thereby making their own relics.

In addition to relics of the nail, crown of thorns, and table from the Last Supper, other relics included a one of the column of flagellation, before which Jesus was scourged. There was a relic of the veil of Veronica, whom Tradition says wiped the face of Jesus on His way to the Cross. There was a piece of bone from St. Longinus, the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus' side with a lance and said, "Truly this was the Son of God." Also present was a relic of the burial shroud, the cover used to wrap the Body of Christ. Finally, there was a relic of all the Holy Apostles, excluding Judas and including the two later additions Matthias and Barnabas.

After the program, Denise said, "I could feel the prayerful connection between the congregation and those relics and it's really not even a connection to the relics but to Jesus [in the monstrance] on the altar."

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Comments

Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Jess - Mar 19, 2018

Hello I know there were more pictures taken. I was actually holding one of the holy relics. Are there anymore pictures on the website? I was hoping one in particular was going to be on the site. Please let me know! Thanks!