LIVING RELICS: FROM OBJECT TO BEING Relics in Human History From time immemorial, human beings have treasured various kinds of objects as reminders of persons and events possessing a deep personal and/or historical significance. The propensity to hold on to reminders of those we love or revere is a distinctively human inclination transcending culture and religion.
These tokens, often enshrined in special places in homes or even worn on one’s person, inevitably come to partake of the significance and power of the person or event with which they are associated. Christianity, especially Catholicism, places a premium on venerating persons whose words, deeds and influence exude and inspire sanctity, hence the veneration of saints and their sacred relics.
Veneration of Holy Relics “The word ‘relics’ comes from the Latin reliquiae ( an object or part of the body which serves 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 man's body into Elisha's tomb. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. (NIV) These verses are cited to claim that the Holy Spirit's indwelling also affects the physical body, that God can do miracles through the bodies of His servants, or both.
Relics have been treasured and venerated in every corner of the world. This practice is deep rooted in an instinctive desire to connect with historical persons whose extraordinary lives became inspiring templates for ordinary individuals 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 profoundly different from the adoration and worship that are reserved for God alone. The Merriam – Webster Online dictionary defines veneration 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: c King The belief in everlasting life for those who have obediently witnessed to Christ and His Holy Gospel here on earth; The truth of the resurrection of the body for all persons on the last day; 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; The belief in the special intercessory power which the saints enjoy in heaven because of their intimate relationship with Christ the King; and 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 the Church, perhaps articulated every Catholic believer’s desire in venerating saints and their relics when it said, “ It is supremely fitting, therefore, that we love those friends and coheirs of Jesus Christ, who are also our brothers and extraordinary benefactors, that we render due thanks to God for them and ‘suppliantly invoke them and have recourse to their prayers, their power and help in obtaining benefits from God through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is our Redeemer and Saviour.’’’ (LG 50).
Is There Proof In The Sacred Scriptures? Old Testament and New Testament Cfr. Ex. XIII, 194 Kings XIII, 21Ecclus. XLIX, 182 Kings, 13:20-21 Matt. IX, 20Acts V, 15-16Acts XIX, 11Acts 19:11-12
The Journey of the Holy Relics Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Patron of Teachers, was born in Rheims, France on 30 April 1651. De La Salle and the first Brothers took up the cause of providing the human and Christian education needs of the youth, especially the poor, to the point that they vowed to be faithful to their mission for the rest of their lives, even if they 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 People In the years leading to the Centennial Year of the Lasallian Presence in the Philippines, the Superior General, Br. Alvaro Rodriguez, FSC gifted the Philippine Lasallian Family with a sizeable bone fragment of Saint John Baptist De La Salle not only for the intended pilgrimage to the country’s schools but also for permanent enshrinement in the country.
The RELIC of St. John Baptist De La Salle Patron of all Teachers of Youth has arrived in BACOLOD
These relics then remind us that de La Salle was a real person with both gifts and frailties who became holy by choosing to cooperate with the work of God in his life. Being Lasallian means making him real and alive in our midst, linking others, especially the youth-at-risk, to the historical person, to his values, to his dreams for young people, and to his God.
May we always remember that we are in the Holy presence of God. May we always do all our actions for the love of God. May Jesus live in our hearts forever. Mabuhay si San Juan Bautista de La Salle! Mabuhay angtunaynaLasalyano!
Centennial Prayer of the LasallianFamily 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 which challenges us to live meaningful lives of humble service in favor of the last, the lost and the least.
Centennial Prayer of the LasallianFamily As we celebrate 100 years of Lasallian presence in the Philippines, we commit ourselves to continue your work 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 LasallianFamily We make this prayer in your Most Holy Name.
St. John Baptist de La Salle: Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts: Forever!
Schedule of Activities Oct 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 follow Oct 2 – 12, 2011 – RELIC will be at the St. Joseph School Lasalle, Villamonte Oct 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 CHAPEL Oct 22, 2011 – SEND OFF CEREMONY