ʻMemorials of the Saintsʻ - The Biblical Basis for Relics

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, a relic is some object, notably part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint. The Church teaches that relics may be the occasion of God’s miracles, and in this the Church follows Scripture. (From the 25th session of the Council of Trent)

In this Bible Study I go through 4 of the major verses in Scripture that clearly show that Relics are part of not only the Old Testament but of the New Testament Faith. There is a clear continuity between present-day Catholic practice and ancient practice

2 Kgs. 13:20-21“So Eli'sha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Eli'sha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Eli'sha, he revived, and stood on his feet.”

Matt. 9:20-22“And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well." Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well.”

Acts 5:14-16 “And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.”

Acts 19:11-12“And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.”

(The picture is of a Relic from the shrine of Saint Boniface. The bone fragment in middle is from Saint Boniface; the little folded papers on the left and right contain bone fragments of Saint Benedict of Nursia and Bernard of Clairvaux)

image via ʻ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Photo by Broederhugo