LIVING RELICS: FROM OBJECT TO BEINGRelics in Human HistoryFrom time immemorial, human beings havetreasured various kinds of objects as remindersof persons and events possessing a deeppersonal and/or historical significance. Thepropensity to hold on to reminders of those welove or revere is a distinctively humaninclination transcending culture and religion.
These tokens, often enshrined in special places inhomes or even worn on one‟s person, inevitablycome to partake of the significance and power ofthe person or event with which they areassociated.Christianity, especially Catholicism, places apremium on venerating persons whose words,deeds and influence exude and inspire sanctity,hence the veneration of saints and their sacredrelics.
Veneration of Holy Relics “The word ‘relics’ comes from the Latin reliquiae ( an object or part of the body whichserves as a memorial of a departed saint).
A BIT OF HISTORY ON CHRISTIAN RELICS• One of the earliest sources that purports to show the efficacy of relics is found in 2 Kings 13:20-21:• 20 Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the mans body into Elishas tomb. When the body touched Elishas bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. (NIV)• These verses are cited to claim that the Holy Spirits indwelling also affects the physical body, that God can do miracles through the bodies of His servants, or both.
Relics have beentreasured andvenerated in everycorner of the world.This practice is deeprooted in aninstinctive desire toconnect withhistorical personswhose extraordinarylives became inspiringtemplates for ordinaryindividuals to imitate.
First Class:Anything belong to the body of venerated person such as bone, hair, or blood.
Second Class:Any object touched by the venerated person or touched directly to a part of his or her body such as clothing, personal possessions, or rosary.
Third Class:Any object touched to a first or second – class relic such as pieces of cloth, the tomb, or original home
To be clear, veneration is profoundlydifferent from the adoration and worship thatare reserved for God alone. The Merriam –Webster Online dictionary definesveneration as“ respect or awe inspired by the dignity,wisdom, dedication, or talent of a person.”
“ To venerate the relics of the saints is a profession of belief in several doctrines of the Catholic faith:1. The belief in everlasting life for those who have obediently witnessed to Christ c King and His Holy Gospel here on earth;2. The truth of the resurrection of the body for all persons on the last day;3. The doctrine of the splendour of the human body and the respect which all should show toward the bodies of both the living and the deceased;4. The belief in the special intercessory power which the saints enjoy in heaven because of their intimate relationship with Christ the King; and5. The truth of our closeness to the saints because of our connection in the communion of saints – we as members of the Church militant or pilgrim Church, they as members of the Church triumphant.
The veneration of relics is licit and useful. This embodies an article of faith. The 7th Ecumenical Council (A.D. 787) - condemned "those who dare to reject any one of the things which are entrusted to the Church, the Gospel, or the sign of the cross, or any pictorial representation, or the holy relics of a martyr". The Council of Trent - enjoins bishops and pastors to instruct their flocks that "the holy bodies of saintly martyrs and others now living with Christ - which bodies were the living members of Christ and the temple of the Holy Ghost and which are by Him to be raised unto eternal life and glorified - are to be venerated by the faithful, for through these (bodies) many benefits are bestowed by God on men.
Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on theChurch, perhaps articulated every Catholicbeliever‟s desire in venerating saints and their relicswhen it said, “ It is supremely fitting, therefore, thatwe love those friends and coheirs of Jesus Christ,who are also our brothers and extraordinarybenefactors, that we render due thanks to God forthem and „suppliantly invoke them and haverecourse to their prayers, their power and help inobtaining benefits from God through His Son, JesusChrist, who is our Redeemer and Saviour.‟‟‟ (LG50).
Is There Proof In The Sacred Scriptures? Old Testament and New Testament Cfr. Ex. XIII, 19 4 Kings XIII, 21 Ecclus. XLIX, 18 2 Kings, 13:20-21 Matt. IX, 20 Acts V, 15-16 Acts XIX, 11 Acts 19:11-12
The Journey of the Holy RelicsSaint John Baptist de La Salle, Patron ofTeachers, was born in Rheims, France on 30April 1651.De La Salle and the first Brothers took up thecause of providing the human and Christianeducation needs of the youth, especially thepoor, to the point that they vowed to be faithfulto their mission for the rest of their lives, even ifthey had to beg and live on bread alone.
Such was De La Salle’s reputation for Holiness that almost the whole city of Rouen, France mourned his death on 30 April 1719
Founder’s Relics: A Gift to the Filipino PeopleIn the years leading to theCentennial Year of the LasallianPresence in the Philippines, theSuperior General, Br. AlvaroRodriguez, FSC gifted thePhilippine Lasallian Family witha sizeable bone fragment ofSaint John Baptist De La Sallenot only for the intendedpilgrimage to the country’sschools but also for permanentenshrinement in the country.
The RELICof St. John Baptist De La SallePatron of all Teachers of Youth has arrived in BACOLOD
These relics then remind us that de La Salle wasa real person with both gifts and frailties whobecame holy by choosing to cooperate with thework of God in his life.Being Lasallian means making him real and alivein our midst, linking others, especially the youth-at-risk, to the historical person, to his values, tohis dreams for young people, and to his God.
May we always remember that we are inthe Holy presence of God. May we alwaysdo all our actions for the love of God. MayJesus live in our hearts forever. Mabuhay si San Juan Bautista de La Salle! Mabuhay ang tunay na Lasalyano!
Centennial Prayer of the Lasallian Family God of Love, source of every good, in every day and age you raise up Women and Men to lead, teach and inspire your people. We thank you for the gift of St. John Baptist de La Salle.He has left us the wonderful legacy of a Gospel-based education whichchallenges us to live meaningful lives of humble service in favor of the last, the lost and the least.
Centennial Prayer of the Lasallian Family As we celebrate 100 yearsof Lasallian presence in the Philippines,we commit ourselves to continue yourwork by integrating the Lasallian values of Faith, Zeal for Service, and Communion in Mission in our personal lives and in all our undertakings. May this bring about the change we want to see in ourselves, in our society and in our world.
Centennial Prayer of the Lasallian Family We make this prayer in your Most Holy Name. Amen.St. John Baptist de La Salle: Pray for us. Live Jesus in our hearts: Forever!
Schedule of ActivitiesOct 1, 2011 – ARRIVAL at Silay Airport 12:15 MASS in Honor of the Relic @ San Sebastian Cathedral PUBLIC VENERATION of the RELIC until 8:00 PM will followOct 2 – 12, 2011 – RELIC will be at the St. Joseph School Lasalle, VillamonteOct 12, 2011 – WELCOME CEREMONY for the Arrival of the RELIC in USLS Daily Prayer Vigil & Veneration of the RELIC OF JBDLS from 730 AM to 730 PM, venue: MAIN CHAPELOct 22, 2011 – SEND OFF CEREMONY