How to Get a Relic of a Catholic Saint

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In the Catholic Church, the word "relic" refers to the physical remains or the personal effects of a saint. Relics are classified as first-class (parts of a saint's body, usually very small), second-class (something the saint owned or wore, sometimes soil from the saint's grave or, in the case of the Virgin Mary, water from a spring associated with a vision) and third-class (objects, often pieces of cloth, touched to a first-class relic). The veneration of relics is found in many religions, not simply Catholicism. It helps practitioners honor their holy dead and stay connected to the heroes of their faith.

Do a little research, then go straight to the source. Write to the head of the Capuchin order if you are trying to get a relic of a Capuchin friar. Write to the Church of St. Susanna in Rome if you're looking for a relic of St. Susanna. Ask the right people and you'll be more like to have success finding a relic.

Call your local Catholic bookstore. Often, bookstore owners know of religious orders and shrines willing to help people acquire certain relics.

Make a trip to a shrine. If the saint's body is interred on the grounds, you may be able acquire a third-class or even second-class relic.