The Church teaches that relics are instruments of divine grace, and thus sources of healings and conversions. While devotion to relics may seem strange to non-Catholics, it is in fact a thoroughly biblical practice.
The Church reveres the bodies of saints as members of Christ’s Body and temples of the Holy Spirit (ಸೇಂಟ್ ಪಾಲ್ಸ್ ನೋಡಿ ಕೊರಿಂಥದವರಿಗೆ ಬರೆದ ಮೊದಲ ಪತ್ರ ಅಧ್ಯಾಯ 6:15 ಮತ್ತು 19), and it views relics as proof that God does not forsake our physical nature, but redeems it “from its bondage to decay” (see his ರೋಮನ್ನರು ಪತ್ರ, 8:21).
The veneration of relics, ಮೇಲಾಗಿ, points to the bodily resurrection promised to the followers of Christ (ನೋಡಿ, ಮತ್ತೆ, the Letter to the Romans, 8:21).
This is especially true of the Incorruptibles: those rare instances, inexplicable to science, in which the body of a Saint has resisted decay.1
The Church also teaches that God’s grace may be received through the body of a holy man or woman because it has been consecrated to God, and there is a strong biblical precedent for this. ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗೆ, the Israelites carry the bones of Joseph with them through the wilderness (ನೋಡಿ ವಿಮೋಚನಕಾಂಡ 13:19), and his bones were later buried in sacred ground at Shechem (ನೋಡಿ ಜೋಶುವಾ 24:32). ರಲ್ಲಿ ಕಿಂಗ್ಸ್ ಎರಡನೇ ಪುಸ್ತಕ, a dead man is resurrected when his body comes into contact with the bones of the Prophet Elisha (13:21), and in the New Testament, the followers of Saint John the Baptist come for his body after he is put to death by Herod (ನೋಡಿ ಮ್ಯಾಥ್ಯೂ 14:12).
People are healed by touching the fringe of Jesus’ garment (ಮ್ಯಾಥ್ಯೂ 9:20-22, ಇತರರು.), by Saint Peter’s shadow (ದಿ ಏಸುದೂತರ ಕೃತ್ಯಗಳು 5:15), and cloths that have been pressed to the body of Saint Paul (ಕಾಯಿದೆಗಳು, ಮತ್ತೆ, 19:11-12).
From the historical record, we learn that around the year 156 the Christians in Smyrna gathered up the charred bones of their martyred Bishop, Polycarp, who had been a disciple of the Apostle John. They wrote that they considered the Saint’s bones to be “more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold;” and reserved them in a special place for veneration (ಸೇಂಟ್ Polycarp ಹುತಾತ್ಮರಾದ 18:2-3). This practice has been maintained by the faithful of all generations.
Others often have difficulty with the veneration of relics because of their own view of Creation. From their perspective, the thought of God using material things to convey His grace is utterly appalling. Catholicism, ಆದರೂ, in the likeness of the Lord Jesus, its Founder, is an incarnational religion, i.e, God as man: fully-god, fully-human in every way but sin.
Acknowledging man was created with a body as well as a soul, the Church does not denigrate the physical world, but raises it up to God for renewal (ಪಾಲ್ಸ್ ನೋಡಿ ಕೊರಿಂಥದವರಿಗೆ ಬರೆದ ಮೊದಲ ಪತ್ರ, 6:19-20).
This is especially true of the Sacraments, which are visible signs that convey grace.
Other instances of material things used in Scripture as channels of grace include:
- water: ನೋಡಿ ವಿಮೋಚನಕಾಂಡ 30:17, ದಿ Book of Numbers 8:6; ಜಾನ್ 3:5, ಇತರರು.;
- flesh: ನೋಡಿ ಜೆನೆಸಿಸ್ 4:4; ವಿಮೋಚನಕಾಂಡ 12:8; ಜಾನ್ 6:51-58;
- blood: ನೋಡಿ ವಿಮೋಚನಕಾಂಡ 12:22 & 24:6; ದಿ Book of Leviticus 14:4; ಮ್ಯಾಥ್ಯೂ 26:28; ಜಾನ್ 6:53-56, ಇತರರು.;
- bread and wine: ಜೆನೆಸಿಸ್ ನೋಡಿ 14:18; ವಿಮೋಚನಕಾಂಡ 12:15 & 20; ಮ್ಯಾಥ್ಯೂ 26:26, ಇತರರು.;
- ತೈಲ: ನೋಡಿ ಮಾರ್ಕ್ 6:13;
- ಮಣ್ಣಿನ: ನೋಡಿ ಜಾನ್ 9:6.
- Jesus taught that God “is not God of the dead, ಆದರೆ ಜೀವನ " (ಲ್ಯೂಕ್ 23:43). ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ, the souls of those who have died in friendship with God are not “asleep” in the grave, but rule with Him in heaven. ಸತ್ತು ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ಬೈಬಲ್ನ ಪ್ರಸ್ತಾಪವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ "ನಿದ್ದೆ" (ನೋಡಿ ಮ್ಯಾಥ್ಯೂ 9:24) is simply a way of expressing the transience of death and has to do specifically with the body of the deceased, ಅಲ್ಲ ಆತ್ಮ (ನೋಡಿ ಮ್ಯಾಥ್ಯೂ 27:52). The body remains on earth for a time while the soul enters into eternity. Catholics believe that at the Last Judgment, the body will be resurrected and reunited with the soul. ↩