Relics according to the church is an object connected with our Lord or a saint. Throughout biblical and church history, Relics have been venerated and have often demonstrated a capacity to convey the power of God through miracles, especially miracles of healing.
After the Prophet Elisha died, he was buried in a cave. After many years, another man died and was cast into the same cave hastily so as to prevent a band of marauders. When this dead man’s body came in contact with the bones of Elisha, he came back to life and rose to his feet. (2 Kings 13: 20-21).
The above story provides a biblical example of Relics which is an object connected with the Lord or the Saints.
Throughout biblical and the church history, relics have been venerated and have often demonstrated a capacity to convey the power of God through miracles, especially miracles of healing.
How the church classified Relics
Relics have been divided by the church into three categories. Though they are the same but differs in the contact we make with them. They include:
- First Class Relics
The First-Class relics according to the church, can be explained as a part of a saint body i.e., the dead body of a saint which when we come in physical contact with it, we receive our miracles. The above biblical story of 2 kings 13:20-21, is a typical example of a first-class relics.
- Second Class Relics
Unlike the first-class relics, a second-class relic is something a saint used during his life time on earth such as clothing, staff, mantle etc.
The bible also recorded an example of a second-class relics in the book of 2kings 2:14 when Elisha used the same mantle his master Elijah had used earlier to part the river Jordan as thus: Wielding the mantle which had fallen from Elijah, Elisha struck the water…. When Elisha Struk the water, it divided and he crossed over.
- Third Class Relic
This third-class relic is usually connected to the First-class relics. A third-class relics are objects that have been touched to a first-class relic. In the bible, is also contained an example of a third-class relics and the miracles it worked precisely in the New Testament.
In the Book of Acts of the Apostles 19:11-12, the bible recorded thus, “so extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when face cloths or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them”.
The church teaches and instructs us to keep in mind that the miraculous power conveyed through relics is not the same as magic.
It is simply God’s power acting through material means, analogous to the way he acts through the matter of sacraments and sacramentals or the same way he works miracles through the touch of a saint’s hands long before the saint death.
Is it necessary to venerate relics?
It is important to note that whenever we venerate relics of a saint, we are not worshipping them as God but the affection and honour shown to a relic overflow from the affection and honour shown to the saints themselves, who re dear to us as exemplars of God’s grace, love and holiness.
Happy Sunday and May God bless his words in our heart.