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Early Relics - Essay Example

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Early Relics

It is like preserving the belongings of the saint in an attempt to keep his/her memories alive forever. The concept emerges from the anxiety of separation. The concept of relics finds origin in the religious literature. According to the New Testament, an old woman who had been suffering from hemorrhage for quite a while found a way out. “Seeing Jesus in the crowds, she told herself "I only need to touch the hem of his garment, then I will be healed" and Jesus, who felt the power leave from him, turned to the woman and told her that her faith had healed her” (“The origin of relics”). Relics are present in almost every religion. Christians, Muslims and Hindus have their own relics that have huge significance in the historic literatures of these religions. Muslims consider the Holy Water of Zam Zam as sacred. It is also considered as an antidepressant. Hindus bathe in the River of Ganges because they believe that doing so would make them free of their sins and would purify their souls. People believe relics to be solutions for their problems as human beings. Relics are considered as the blessings of God Almighty. They are not just objects, but are actually means of spiritual revival and enlightenment. For example, the Holy Water is thought to have many positive effects upon the people who drink it. The veneration of relics People have a huge regard for the relics as they are the belongings or in some way connected to the people they revere. People who possess relics show respect for them in many ways, which include placing the relic at an elevated place in the house and decorating the relic in beautiful and costly frames. Most people feel honored and blessed to have a relic while others are ready to pay any cost to attain one. The veneration of relics has sustained through history as a custom, which originally encouraged people to visit the martyrs’ graves in the reign of the apostles. It was and is still believed that God shows miracles related to the relics. “In all, relics remind us of the holiness of a saint and his cooperation in God’s work; at the same time, relics inspire us to ask for the prayers of that saint and to beg the grace of God to live the same kind a faith-filled life” (Saunders cited in “What is a Relic?”). However, some people go so ahead in their veneration for a relic that they overlook the significance of the Creator, whose obedience gave the saint the status that his relics are being preserved by people, and give the relic more importance. This makes it rather a sin. Types of relics First class relics First class relics are composed of a saint’s physical body. It could also be the physical body of any individual whose sainthood cause is meant to be fostered. First class relics can be a range of features in the physical body that include but are not limited to a hair, fragment of a bone or dust collected from the coffin of the saint or the individual. The relic is held in place with the help of melted wax. “Any relic related to Our Lord is also considered first class. A splinter of the True Cross upon which Our Lord died is an example. The Eucharist is considered the highest first class relic but it is never housed in a theca” (“First, Second, & Third”). Rather it is offered as Holy Communion to the people who practice religion. Second class relics Second class relics are mainly the possessions of the saint or t ...Show more


7 February 2012. Relics Introduction to relics The term “relic” is assigned different means depending upon the context and situation. In everyday language as well as according to the modern connotation, people commonly use this term in the figurative sense when they mean that somebody is old or antiquated…
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Early Relics Essay
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