St. Anthony’s Chapel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania boasts that it has 5000 religious relics, the largest collection of relics in the world outside of Rome. Included in the collection are alleged splinters from Jesus’ cross, a fragment of the column of His flagellation, a stone from the Garden of Gethsemane, a nail that held Christ to the cross, material from Jesus, Mary and Joseph’s clothing, and a piece of bone from each of the twelve apostles.
Read how “father” Suitbert Mollinger amassed the collection in the story below.
The word “relic” comes from the Latin, “reliquus,” meaning “left behind.” The Catholic church teaches “relics do not have power in and of themselves,” but God works miracles in the presence of saints’ bodies/bodyparts or their material possessions or items they came in contact with even after their deaths. Catholics “venerate” relics while praying for physical healings or blessings.
There was considerable traffic in relics throughout Europe in the Middle Ages as churches competed for these highly prized religious souvenirs. Unscrupulous merchants and dealers were more than happy to satisfy the demand. There is certainly no evidence for the authenticity of many Catholic relics including some of the more outlandish ones like those mentioned above as well as claims to the thorns from Jesus’ crown, Mary’s breast milk, Jesus’ umbilical cord and foreskin, and the house Jesus grew up in.
Everyone must accept Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith. Venerating/worshipping material objects is idolatry. If I had the ENTIRE cross that Jesus died on standing in my backyard it would not do me any good.
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” – John 6:63
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:25
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24
For more of my postings on relics see here.
The bizarre tale of 5000 relics finding a home in a Pittsburgh chapel
By Adelaise Mena