Modern History Sourcebook:
A Modern Relic Certificate, 1952
Although relics (parts of, or objects associated with, the bodies of saints) are
often considered "medieval", they are still widely used as objects of devotion
in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churces. In fact, it is possible to obtain a relic (if
you have a letter from Catholic priest) from a "relic bank" in Rome. It is
illegal under church law to charge for a relic, but there is a charge for the required
relic case. In most cases the relci acquired is a very small peice of bone or skin. Such
relics are placed in a reliquary, and sealed. Each is accompanied by a certificate of
authenticity. Translated here is a sample modern certificate for relics from St. George.
|CLEMENS MISERATIONE DIVINA EPISCOPUS VELITERNUS
S.R.E. CARD. MICARA SS.MI. D.NI N.RI PAPAE VICARIUS GENERALIS ROMANAE CURIAE EIUSQUE
DISTRICTUS IUDEX ORDINARIUS ETC.
||CLEMENTE MICARA, BY THE MERCY OF GOD BISHOP OF VOLTURNO,
CARDINAL OF THE HOLY ROMAN CHURCH, VICAR GENERAL OF OUR MOST HOLY LORD THE POPE, ORDINARY
JUDGE OF THE ROMAN CURIA AND OF ITS DISTRICT ETC.
Universis et singulis praesentes litteras inspecturis
fidem facimus ac testamur, quod Nos ad maiorem Omnipotentis Dei gloriam suorumque
Sanctorum venerationem recognovimus sacras particulas Ex Ossibus S. Georgii Mil. M. quas ex authenticis locis extractas reverenter collocavimus in theca metallica
rotundae formae crystallo munita, bene clausa et funiculo serico coloris rubri
colligata, ac sigillo nostro signata, easque tradidimus cum facultate apud se retinendi,
extra Urbem transmittendi et publicae fidelium venerationi exponendi.
To all and each who will see these present letters we give
our faithful assurance and we attest that, to the greater glory of Almighty God and the
veneration of His Saints, we have recognized the sacred particles "From the bones
of Saint George, Soldier [or Knight], Martyr" which, taken out of their
authentic places, we have gathered in a "metal chest of round shape," decorated
with crystal, tightly closed and tied with a silk cord of red color, marked with our seal;
and we have sent them with permission to keep them, to send them out of the City, and to
expose them to the public veneration of the faithful.
Monemus autem fideles in quorum manus hae sacrae
reliquiae nunc vel in posterum venturae sunt, nullo modo licere eas vendere, neque cum iis
rebus quae mercimonii speciem praeseferant [prae seferant], commutare.
But we warn the faithful into whose hands these sacred
relics shall come now or later, that they are in no way permitted to sell them nor to
exchange them with such things as show the appearance of marketing.
In quorum fidem has litteras testimoniales a Nobis seu ab
Exc.mo Vicesgerente subscrptas [subscriptas] nostroque sigillo firmatas per infrascriptum
Sacrarm [Sacrarum] Reliquiarum Custodem expediri mandavimus
Romae ex Aedibus nostris die *V* mensis *Martii* Anni MCMLII.
In witness of those things we have ordered these
testimonial letters, signed by us or by our Most Excellent Substitute, and sealed with our
seal, to be sent by the undersigned Keeper of Sacred Relics.
At Rome, from our palace, 5 March 1952
The translation is by Daniel Williman <email@example.com>
of the Hagiomail list [firstname.lastname@example.org]
This text is part of the Internet
Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and
copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998