Collecting Relics - A devout practice?

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What is everyone’s opinion on collecting relics? I know the ‘auctioning’ and sale of relics is discouraged, however I know several people, including on priest, that have amassed large collections of relics and display them in their homes.

Is this practice okay, or does it cheapen the relic by making it a collectable akin to baseball cards or Hummels?

What do you think?:ehh:
The veneration of relics is a very old and pious practice, dating back (at least) to the first century as recorded in The Martyrdom of Polycarp. Relics are also required to be in every Catholic Church, either under or within the altar. As far as people “collecting” them, there are many things that Catholics collect: rosaries, holy cards, etc. The addition of relics of the Holy Saints is laudable in my opinion, so long as one does not hold superstitious beliefs in them.
When one is in the presence of a relic that is treated with respect, it can be a moving experience. In the past two years I have benefited from seeing a relic of Our Lady of Guadalupe (a tiny piece of the tilma) that was on a limited tour the US, and relics of St. Gianna Beretta Mola (gloves, and a piece of her wedding dress turned into a chasuble), which are on a perpetual tour. (To schedule a visit to your parish go to )

However, both were second-class relics, things touched by the saint, rather than pieces of the saint, so that may have made it more reverent.

On the other hand, how many people can visit the tomb of an actual saint? Philadelphia has two, St. Katherine Drexel and St. John Neumann, and that’s extraordinary. There are only a handful of cannonized saints in the whole country.

Several years ago I happened to be in Pittsburgh PA and visited St. Anthony’s Chapel. It has the largest collection of relics outside the Vatican. Some are obviously fakes (e.g. a bone from the Blessed Mother) but a good number must be authentic, given the sheer number on display. I left feeling rather indifferent. Perhaps there were too many, and it didn’t seem as if they were receiving the proper respect.

For more info on St. Anthony’s:
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