Friday 25 June 2021
Photo IC / Laura Vallejo
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Among the relics brought to Utah on June 19 during the âTreasures of the Churchâ exhibit were those of Saint John Paul II. The relics were installed in the gymnasium of the Madeleine choir school.
SALT LAKE CITY – An exhibition which involved more than 150 relics, including those of Saint ThÃ©rÃ¨se of Lisieux (the “Little Flower”) and Saint Francis of Assisi, was presented at the Cathedral of the Madeleine on June 19th.
Among the highlights of the exhibition was a piece of wood, the largest in the world of those that were part of the True Cross of Jesus Christ, and a piece of the veil that would have belonged to Our Lady.
Hundreds of Catholic faithful from across the Diocese of Salt Lake City flooded the Cathedral of the Magdalen to listen to Father Carlos Martins’ presentation of the Companions of the Cross. After the presentation, those present had the opportunity to venerate the relics, which were placed on tables at the Madeleine Choir School, which is located in front of the cathedral.
âThe relics are physical objects that have a direct association with the saints or with Our Lord,â said Father Martins.
Relics are generally divided into three classes, he added.
âFirst-class relics are the body or fragments of the body of a saint, such as pieces of bone or flesh. Second-class relics are something that a saint personally possessed, such as a shirt or a book, or fragments of these objects; and third class relics are objects that a saint has touched or that have been touched on a relic of a saint of the first, second or third class, âhe said.
Explaining how the scriptures teach that God works through relics, Fr. Martins shared some examples. 2 Kings 13 relates that a man came to life when his body was touched to the bones of the prophet Elisha, and Acts 5 relates that âThe signs and wonders performed by the apostles were so great that the people fulfilled the streets of sick people. so that when Peter walked by, at least his shadow could touch them, âhe said. âIn each of these cases, God brought about healing using a material object. The vehicle of healing was the touch of this object. It is very important to note, however, that the cause of healing is God; relics are a means by which he acts, âFr Martins said. âIn other words, relics are not magic. They do not contain a power of their own, a power separate from God. Any good that results from a relic is the work of God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church “teaches that the fact that God chooses to use the relics of the saints to work healings and miracles tells us that he wants to draw our attention to the saints as models and intercessors”, he added.
Many people who have attended the relic exhibit in the past have reported exceptional blessings and conversions, some even reporting healings, he said.
Some of those who attended the worship at school brought rosaries, holy cards and pictures of sick friends / family members to touch on the relics as a means of intercessory prayer.
Michael Bulton, a parishioner from St. Andrew, touched the relics one by one with a family photo. Last year, Bulton lost his mother to COVID-19, and he said he also wanted to pray for his eternal rest for the well-being of his father, wife and children.
âI wanted to put everything under the intercession of all these saints. â¦ I am amazed and I feel blessed to have all these relics here, âhe said with tears in his eyes.
This feeling was shared by many people who approached in prayer to each relic, kneeling before them, praying in front of them and touching them with their hands or objects and making the sign of the cross.
Mary Hinckleberry arrived with her mother, who cannot walk without the help of a cane. They were both very touched and happy to have had the opportunity to worship all the relics.
âI just feel very blessed to have all these saints here with usâ¦ and to be able to worship the Relic of the True Cross made my heart burst with joy,â she said. “When I prayed in front of him, a feeling of peace and the feeling that all will be well invaded my soul.”
The âTreasures of the Churchâ ministry travels the world by invitation. According to its website, to date the exhibit has been hosted in nearly 200 Catholic dioceses in various countries, but this was its first visit to Utah.