MARIA STEIN – The Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics announced it has acquired new relics that will be placed in the Shrine’s Relic Chapel during a formal ceremony in November.
A relic is something that is left over from the life of a saint. Often these are pieces of the saint’s body (first class relics) or from something they used during their life (second class relics). Cloth touch to a first or second class relic make third class relics. Casket pieces, as they have touched the body, fall into this class of relics.
The Maria Stein Shrine said it should be understood that relics are meant to be honored and venerated, not worshipped. In fact, the saints lead people to fuller worship of God in spirit and truth, the Shrine said. By honoring their memories, bodies and belongings, people give thanks to God for the saint’s holy witness, according to the Shrine.
Relics are physical, tangible, concrete reminders that heaven is obtainable, so long as people recognize what made the saints holy and work to apply those qualities to their lives, according to the Maria Stein Shrine. When venerating relics people express gratitude to God for those members of their spiritual family, according to the Shrine. In the presence of the relics people recall their holy lives and pray for the grace to achieve what they’ve achieved, eternity with God in Heaven, according to the Shrine.
One of the most exciting relics came from Rome and is of Pope John Paul II. The reliquary contains a few of his hairs and was sealed by the Vatican. He was the first Polish pontiff the Church ever had and was credited for the fall of communism. Pope John Paul II was very popular with the youth and traveled frequently to engage the faithful he served.
There are a number of American saints and blesseds (those on their way to sainthood) that will be added to the collection at the Shrine. St. Marianne Cope was a German immigrant who became a Sister and spent her life ministering to those inflicted with leprosy in Hawaii. St. Andrea Bassette also will be added. He was a Holy Cross Brother who founded the St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada. Additionally, a small bone piece of Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos will serve as a reminder of the Redemptorist priest who ministered throughout the United State and was known for his humility and love. Finally, Bl. Solanus Casey, a Franciscan Priest who lived nearby in Indiana, also will be enshrined in Maria Stein. He was a simple priest who is believed to be a healer and mystic.
Other relics also have been collected by the shrine and they too will be added to the collection on Nov. 11. After this ceremony, the relics will be on permanent display for the public to venerate and pray with.
The Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics provides faith nourishment and spiritual renewal through opportunities for prayer and pilgrimage and inspiration from the lives of the saints. People from around the world visit the shrine to explore and enjoy this environment rich in holiness and history.
The Shrine is located at 2291 St. John’s Road in Maria Stein. For more event information, visit www.mariasteinshrine.org.