MARIA STEIN — The Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics has acquired new relics which 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. Observers should understand that relics are meant to be honored and venerated, not worshipped. In fact, the saints lead followers to fuller worship of God in spirit and truth. By honoring their memories, bodies and belongings, followeers give thanks to God for the saint’s holy witness.
Relics are physical, tangible, concrete reminders that heaven is obtainable for us, so long as followers recognize what made the saints holy and work to apply those qualities to our lives. When venerating relics people express gratitude to God for those members of their spiritual family. 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.
One of the relics came from Rome and belonged to 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 responsible for the fall of communism. Pope John Paul II was very popular with the youth and travel 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 will also 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 US and was known for his humility and love. Finally, Bl. Solanus Casey, a Franciscan Priest who lived nearby in Indiana, will also be enshrined in Maria Stein. He was a simple priest who is believed to be a healer and mystic.
Other relics have also been collected by the shrine and they too will be added to the collection on Sunday, 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.