Sunday, October 17, 2010

On the veneration of relics

Rorate Caeli blog had this post quoting from the book of the Filipino Liturgist Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB entitled What, Then, Is The Liturgy?: Musings and Memoir.

Fr. Anscar said, "The veneration of bodies or relics of saints is a sad chapter in the history of the liturgy...The great reformer Martin Luther, appalled by aberrations committed on relics, fiercely took issue with the Catholic Church...I can still hear my mentor Adrian Nocent's dismissive remark when he listened to stories of relics, private apparitions, and saccharine devotions: 'It's another religion!"

The twenty fifth session of the Council of Trent (3-4 December, 1563) issued a decree "On the invocation, veneration, and relics of saints, and on sacred images":

"The holy council commands all bishops and others who hold the office of teaching and have charge of the cura animarum, that in accordance with the usage of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, received from the primitive times of the Christian religion, and with the unanimous teaching of the holy Fathers and the decrees of the sacred councils, they above all instruct the faithful diligently in matters relating to intercession and invocation of the saints, the veneration of relics, and the legitimate use of images, teaching them...that the holy bodies of the holy martyrs and of others living in Christ, which were the living members of Christ and the temple of the Holy Ghost, to be awakened by Him to eternal life and to be glorified, are to be venerated by the faithful, through which many benefits are bestowed by God on men, so that those who maintain that their veneration and honor are not due to the relics of the saints, or that these and other memorials are honored by the faithful without profit, and that the places dedicated to the memory of the saints for the purpose of obtaining their aid are visited in vain, are to be utterly condemned, as the Church has already long since condemned and now again condemn them."
My experiences as an exorcist have convinced me that the only ones who are really sad that we have relics of saints to venerate are the devils themselves. It is true that through the veneration of relics, "many benefits are bestowed by God on men." Demons tremble before such objects of veneration!

It's another religion? Maybe theirs is!


  1. For a brilliant man like Fr. Anscar to head down that terrible road...

    The stress of being forced out of San't Anselmo?

  2. The Anglicans when they consecrate churches still place a saint's relic in the altar!