About the Pilgrim Relics of St. Thérèse
Relics are material remains of a saint or holy person after death, as well as objects sanctified by contact with his/her body. The Catholic Church employs the word to distinguish the body or whatever remains of a holy person after death,, as well as objects that had an actual contact with the saint’s body during his lifetime.
Relics are divided into three classifications
A first class relic is a body part of a saint, such as bone, blood, or flesh. Second class relics are possessions that a saint owned, and third class relics are objects that have been touched to a first or second class relic or the saint has touched him or herself.
Why venerate relics?
The saints belong to Christ; they are sons and daughters of God and His friends and, as consequence, serve as intercessors with God for the living. Every relic is thus a record of the saint. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica)
The veneration of the relics must be seen in the way men and women of all ages and cultures venerate the dead and pray in front of their mortal remains. The relics of the saints are mediations of their presence and memorials of their historical existence. They evoke their humanity – the way they lived, worked, suffered and prayed. Through their relics, God manifests His presence and shows forth His might and glory.
About the Reliquary of St. Thérèse
The Reliquary that travels around the world (Pilgrim Relics) is originally called the “Centennial Reliquary,” as this was made during the Centenary of her Death in 1997. It is made from precious tropical scented Jacaranda hardwood (Jacaranda mimosifolia) from South America. A solid silver case, dipped in gold containing some of the precious remains of St. Therese is inside this Reliquary.
The Reliquary’s wooden base is 3 1/10 inches thick. There are eight metal hands – three on each side and one at each end of the wooden base; there are also two retractable poles at each end of the wooden base, all to faciliatate handling and carrying.