This past Monday, we had the opportunity to attend an Exposition of Sacred Relics at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Everett. Treasures of the Church is a ministry of evangelization of the Catholic Church. It is run by Fr. Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross, and its purpose is to give people an experience of the living God through an encounter with the relics of His saints in the form of an exposition.
The Exposition began with a presentation by Fr. Martins on the Church’s use of relics that is scriptural, catechetical, and devotional. He then concluded with the story of St. Maria Goretti, and how she, in forgiving her attacker, chose to become a saint. She followed God and He in turn used her to be a light for the world. It is amazing, that even at 11, she was willing to die, rather than give into sin. Also, her mother was the only parent in the history of the church to be present at their child’s Canonization.
After the presentation, we went downstairs into the hall, where over 160 relics were being exposed. Among them were relics of:
- St. Agnes.
- St. Anne, mother of the BVM.
- St. Augustine.
- St. Bernadette.
- Both St. Catherines (Labouré and of Siena).
- St. Clare of Assisi.
- St. Dominic Savio.
- St. Edith Stein (Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
- All 4 Evangelists (Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
- St. Faustina Kowalska. (Divine Mercy)
- St. Francis of Assisi.
- St. Francis Xavier.
- St. John Vianney.
- St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
- St. Maria Goretti.
- St. Maximilian Kolbe.
- St. Padre Pio.
- St. Peter the Apostle.
- St. Philomena.
- Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati.
- Pope St. Pius X.
- St. Rose of Lima.
- St. Teresa of Avila.
- Bl. Mother Teresa.
- St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
- St. Thomas More.
- St. Vincent de Paul.
There also was a piece of the Veil of Our Lady, a piece of the Crown of Thorns, a piece of the lance that pierced Our Lord’s side, and one of the largest remaining pieces of the True Cross.
A complete list of the relics that were there can be found here.
It was very cool to be there, as it was, as Gigi pointed out, “Heaven on Earth.” 🙂
We were able to pick up the relics of the saints, and were able to touch all of them; It was a very awe-inspiring experience, being able to touch, pick up, and bless ourselves with relics of the saints, people that have lived and died for Christ, and who are now with Him in heaven. The people who are watching us here on earth from above, who went through the same struggles in life that we go through, and made it out on successfully and victoriously.
One of the reasons Father said we were there was to find “our” saint. What he meant was that as we picked up the Reliquaries (the gold monstrance-like containers holding the relics), we should be meditative and notice any “sign” that that saint wanted to be our special friend in heaven. For example, when I picked up the relic of St. Edith Stein (also known as Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), I could smell incense. I took this as a sign that she wanted to be “my” saint. It was an amazing thing, that she chose me.
Overall, the experience was very awesome. It just reminds me of one of the reasons why I love being a Catholic kid: We have saints that intercede for us, and who are our spiritual role models, and we can attend an Exposition of Sacred Relics, and literally be in their presence.