by Mike Church
The Catholic Church, having celebrated on November 1st the feast of All Saints and the feast of All Souls, on this day honors all the holy relics of their bodies, which will remain on earth until the day of the last resurrection of the body.
The Council of Trent, Session XXV, declared
“Veneration ought to be shown by the faithful to the bodies of the Martyrs and other Saints, who live with Jesus Christ. For they were his living members and the temples of the Holy Ghost; he will raise them up again to eternal life and glory; and through them God grants many blessings to mankind. Therefore, those who say that the relics of the Saints are not worthy of veneration, that it is useless for the faithful to honor them, that it is vain to visit the memorials or monuments of the Saints in order to obtain their aid, are absolutely to be condemned; and, as they have already been long ago condemned, the Church now condemns them once more.”
Saint Augustine tells us
“Let your charity understand, it is not to Stephen we raise an altar in this place; but of Stephen’s relics we make an altar to God. God loves these altars; and if you ask the reason, Holy David answers:
‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.’
In obedience to God the invisible soul has quitted its visible dwelling. But God preserves this dwelling; he is glorified by the honor we pay to this lifeless flesh; and, clothing it with the might of his divinity, he gives it the power of working miracles.”
Let us honor on this day all those precious relics of our holy ancestors that God has blessed us to venerate personally.