January 28, 2004 at 4:33 pm #638
I wrote an article recently for About Catholics on praying to saints[/url:2hk2xkkk]. It’s kind of a mock news article to be a little more creative about how Catholic doctrine is presented to people. ” title=”Cool” />
Anyway, what’s not really noted there is the history of this practice. Early Christians prayed to saints more or less because they thought of God as so powerful that they were almost afraid to approach him directly. In simple terms they figured that if there was someone in heaven who could advocate for them then it was a lot easier than asking God directly.
Many communities had local saints – the relics were kept and believed to have special powers as well. So they generally prayed to the saint from their community for their causes because maybe God would be a little more sympathetic to someone who already made it to heaven than to someone still sinning on Earth.January 31, 2004 at 6:35 am #2391
I have actually seen some traveling relics of St. Therese of Lisieux at a chapel near my home town. Actually, I mention this in my faith story! [url:2doc67le]http://www.aboutcatholics.com/viewpage.php?story=7009[/url:2doc67le].
It was a powerful experience for me, and I can see how it could have been an important part of these early Christians’ faith lives.January 31, 2004 at 6:12 pm #2396
Why was it so powerful?January 31, 2004 at 11:00 pm #2398
It was powerful because I saw so many other people there to venerate her relics. So many other people also saw that her life was devoted to God and came to see her relics with the hope that one day, they could be holy as she was.
The relics were some tangible evidence that sainthood is not impossible for even us and that we can strive to meet St. Therese in heaven one day.February 3, 2004 at 3:36 am #2400
[quote:2rbomowl]So many other people also saw that her life was devoted to God and came to see her relics with the hope that one day, they could be holy as she was.[/quote:2rbomowl]
How can you see how holy someone is by looking at their bones or hair?February 6, 2004 at 7:45 pm #2415
You can’t see how holy somebody is by looking at their bones or hair. You have to know more about them or about their lives first.
It is kind of like having a picture of your grandma; to somebody else, all they see is an elderly woman, but you yourself know who your grandma is and you know her life, thus, the picture has more meaning.
Of course how much the person means to you is worth more than the actual photograph. It is in the same sense that the fact I understood that she was holy meant more than seeing her relics.
In my last post, I used the word “saw” to mean that they recognized that she lived a holy life (she was canonized a saint), [u:3bqwbtda]and then [/u:3bqwbtda] came to see her relics.
I probably should have said that in the first place. ” title=”Smile” />February 13, 2004 at 7:57 am #2442
Perhaps a little off topic, but…
I have a rosary from the Vatican. The emblem directly above the Crux has a relic from a saint sealed inside it. I believe it is simply a piece of her clothes. Unfortunately I only discovered the rosary a week ago. It’s my mother’s and she told me the name of the saint, but I have forgotten ” title=”Smile” />
As such the relic holds no value to me. Perhaps if I knew more of the person’s life I could make a better connection while praying the rosary.
So I would agree that the importance/power of a relic is relative to how you relate to the person it remembers.
jayFebruary 13, 2004 at 8:38 pm #2445
[quote:1g8e5x1e]So I would agree that the importance/power of a relic is relative to how you relate to the person it remembers.[/quote:1g8e5x1e]
Which kind of goes back to my original post. Those early Christians had a “friend” in heaven and could relate to that person very well because that person was from their community. Today it seems somewhat of an obscure practice because of the shift of the view of God as approachable and our friend and also that not everyone has a saint from his or her community.
I don’t know of any saints from the Twin Cities and if I did I probably would not know the person. But, for example, at least I could identify with that person because I know of the challenges of living here and could see how that person lived so holy even [i:1g8e5x1e]with[/i:1g8e5x1e] those challenges.
^let me know if that doesn’t make sense.
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