You are not signed in as a Premium user; you are viewing the free version of this program. Premium users have access to full-length programs with limited commercials and receive a 10% discount in the store! Sign up for only one day for the low cost of $1.99. Click the button below.

A Banquet of Relics

Full display of one parish's collection

March 23, 2023  0


A Detroit parish is displaying its rich collection of relics and resurrecting a Catholic tradition.

In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb takes us to the only church in the world named Sweetest Heart of Mary.

Patricia Stephanoff, relic curator, Sweetest Heart of Mary: "There were so many relics. In fact, we kept finding more and more relics in boxes, even cigar boxes — first-class relics."

When relic curator Patricia Stephanoff accepted the job of organizing the parish's relics, she found an embarrassment of riches: more than 100 authenticated first-class relics.

Stephanoff: "You really can't display these relics without an authentic paper. And they're actually called 'authentics.' So they bear a seal; they're signed by a bishop or a cardinal. They have information on the authentic of who the saint is and what body part the relic came from."

There are three classes of relics: first class, second class and third class.

Stephanoff: "A first-class relic is always a body part of the saint. It has to be from their body. So we've classified all these relics, we've cataloged them, including what makes them a first-class relic. It's usually bone but it's also ashes; it's hair, flesh and just a few other categories like that."

Stephanoff went on to explain that any relic related to Jesus or Mary is also considered a first-class relic.

One of the parish's most valuable relics in the display is the flagellation pillar.

Stephanoff: "The holy manger, the Cross, the flagellation pillar that we have up there — those were all brought from Jerusalem by St. Helen, the mother of Constantine, back to Rome."

Touching any devotional item, such as a Rosary or a medal, to a first-class or second-class relic creates a third-class relic.

According to Fr. Paul Kalchik: "As many men and women have found solace and consolation from visiting the graves of much-loved deceased family members, many Christians have found inspiration and spiritual aid from visiting deceased saints and venerating their remains or other relics."

Stephanoff reminds people that we are not worshipping the saints or their relics. "We don't worship them; we don't adore them, but we venerate them. And that's what we're doing today. And who knows? We hope that, through the will of God, we have a lot of miracles happen."

The biblical woman with the issue of blood believed that merely touching the fringe of Jesus' garment could heal her. And she was right!

If you're interested in venerating the crown of thorns, visit it at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on the first Friday of every month and every Friday during Lent.

Comments are available for Premium members only - please login or sign up. Please see terms and conditions for commenting.

Never miss a Vortex!

Search The Site

Previous Episode
Catholic Mother Resists
Gender ideology in rural Oregon
March 21, 2023
Subscribe to the Vortex audio podcast

Latest Shows

rome dispatch
90 Clerics & Scholars Appeal to End Same-Sex Blessings
Group asks Pope Francis, cardinals and bishops to shelve 'Fiducia Supplicans.'
February 2, 2024
The Mystical City of God
12 : Christ's Mother Actually Died
The hidden details of Mary's death, assumption and coronation.
February 29, 2024
The Afterlife Coach
Why You Should Really Care About Eternity
Salvation is only possible if you really want it.
February 1, 2024
The Ellis Insight
Dems Can't Remove Biden
Track the latest political trends with Jim Ellis.
February 16, 2024
Bishop Worried by Empty Confessionals — Feb. 29, 2024
Get briefed on today's top stories with Kyle Kopy.
February 29, 2024