Monday, April 07, 2008

"Disturbing Relics Week"

Those awesome folks at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping are have a celebration of "Disturbing Relics Week" going on. Money quote from this great post:
Seriously, though, why are Catholics such packrats when it comes to the bones of the blessed? It's not just a stereotypical sense of the medievally morbid, but because we believe God can work His wonders through things physical--whether it be the sacramental grace of Holy Oil or a sick pilgrim immersed in the waters of Lourdes, or the mud Christ spat in when He cured the blind man, or the shadow of an apostle moving over the sick, or the hem of Jesus's cloak--because we believe the human body is more than just an inconvenient envelope for the soul, but a temple of the Holy Spirit, an integral part of our being that we will get back come the General Resurrection. Relics help us remember that heavenly reality.
And there's nothing like a good shocker to the Puritanically-inclined American Catholic to visit Europe, or just walk around Rome -- the bones at the Capuchin crypt at Immacolata Concezione, or the heart of S. Carlo Borromeo at S. Caro al Corso, or (most of) S. Catherine of Siena under the altar at S. Maria Sopra Minerva, or the arm of S. Francis Xavier at the Gesù ... the saints ( or parts of them) are all there!

I'll have to see if I can get to Goa for the once-in-a-decade exposition of the body of St. Francis Xavier -- the next will be on December 3, 2014. It's a huge event and draws thousands.

And here's a great photo of the bones of none other than St. Ambrose himself, decked out in white pontificals, at the church of S. Ambrogio in Milan. (That's one of the two martyr's he was buried with, next to him.)

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