Monday, March 15, 2010

Holy Relics

Many solemn worshipers around the world are devoted to Holy Relics such as The Holy Shroud of Turin. The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Here are a few of my favorites. All are actual true relics recognized by Catholics! ---------------------------------------------- The Holy Girdle Alongside Baby Jesus’ swaddling clothes (and the Virgin Mary’s shroud), Jesus’s loincloth is still prayed over in the Cathedral of Aachen. But the Tuscan town of Prato has its own sartorial prize: the Holy Girdle, housed in the Pisano-designed Cathedral and in a chapel partially designed by Renaissance master Lorenzo Ghiberti. The Holy Girdle is said to have made its way to Prato thanks to one of the many booty-loaded Crusaders who made their way back to Europe from the Holy Land. The green girdle is displayed five times a year on major Catholic holidays. Shrine of the Virgin Mary (1238), contains the cloak of the Blessed Virgin, the swaddling-clothes of the Infant Jesus, the loin-cloth worn by Christ on the Cross, and the cloth on which lay the head of St. John the Babtist after his beheading, Aachen Cathedral, Aachen, Germany ------------------------------------------------------ The Holy Foreskin
Circumcision of Christ, Preobrazhenski Monastery, Bulgaria.
As Catholic scholar James Bentley wrote of Holy Family curios: “None, however, ranks,,, with the cult of…the Holy Foreskin.” There’s only one reference to Jesus’ circumcision in the Bible — in Luke 2:21: “And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” But as Jean Calvin said: “They couldn’t let Christ go without keeping a little piece of him.” The foreskin of Jesus has loomed on the periphery of many historical epics and movements, from the Carolingian legend to the Papal Schism to the Reformation to 19th-century Romanticism. Though there were at least a dozen claimants to the Holy Foreskin, the papal-approved version was stolen during the 1527 Sack of Rome and ended up in the hill town of Calcata, 30 miles north of the Eternal City. By the end of the 19th century, the relic fell out of favor with the church, highlighted by a papal decree in 1900 threatening excommunication to anyone who writes or speaks about the miraculous membrane. Still, the relic remained in Calcata until 1983 when it was stolen under mysterious circumstances, leaving the villagers of Calcata with wild theories on its disappearance: that neo-Nazis, Satanists, and/or even the Vatican itself was to blame. -------------------------------------------------------- Holy Breast Milk
"Madonna with Four Saints," Rogier van der Weyden.
Throughout the centuries, the cult of the Virgin Mary has rivaled that of her son’s. And so have her relics. Like Jesus, Mary ascended bodily into heaven. But that hasn’t stopped creative devotees from unearthing bodily relics of the Virgin. The most outrageous is her breast milk, which French scholar Nicole Hermann-Mascard traced to 69 sanctuaries, 46 of which were in France. The part of a pilgrimage route that traveled through the English village of Walsingham was known as the Milky Way because of its fame for possessing a drop of the beloved latte. “Had the Virgin been a cow,” wrote the 16th-century Protestant reformer John Calvin, “she scarcely could not have produced such a quantity.” One lucky relic collector boasted the two-for-one relic: the Holy Bib, which contained stains of Mary’s breast milk. Calvin later added: “I would fain to know how that milk . . . was collected .... We do not read of any person who had the curiosity to undertake the task.”

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