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In religion, a relic consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration as a tangible memorial.


  • A maṇi-jewel; magical jewel, which manifests whatever one wishes for (Skt. maṇi, cintā-maṇi, cintāmaṇi-ratna). According to one's desires, treasures, clothing and food can be manifested, while sickness and suffering can be removed, water can be purified, etc. It is a metaphor for the teachings and virtues of the Buddha. ... Said to be obtained from the dragon-king of the sea, or the head of the great fish, Makara, or the relics of a Buddha.
  • In the relics of the saints the Lord Christ has provided us with saving fountains which in many ways pour out benefactions and gush with fragrant ointment. And let no one disbelieve. For, if by the will of God water poured out of the precipitous living rock in the desert, and for the thirsty Sampson from the jawbone of an ass, is it unbelievable that fragrant ointment should flow from the relics of the martyrs? Certainly not, at least for such as know the power of God and the honor which the saints have from Him.
  • Alternate translation: Christ gives us the relics of saints as health-giving springs through which flow blessings and healing. This should not be doubted. For if at God’s word water gushed from hard rock in the wilderness-yes, and from an ass’s jawbone when Samson was thirsty -why should it seem incredible that healing medicine should distill from the relics of saints
    • In Relics: The Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, the Blood of Januarius...History, Mysticism, and the Catholic Church, Joan Carroll Cruz, 1984, Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, Indiana, ISBN 0879737018 ISBN 9780879737016 p. 206. [3]
    • In The Incorruptibles, 1974, 1977, Joan Carroll Cruz, St. Benedict Press & TAN Books, Rockford, Illinois, ISBN 0895550660 ISBN 9780895550668 Introduction, p. 37.
  • With great veneration you revere the ashes of Paul, which I do not condemn, if your religion is consistent with your devotion. If you venerate mute and dead ashes and ignore his living image still speaking and breathing, as it were, in his writings, is not your religion utterly absurd? You worship the bones of Paul preserved in a relic casket, but do not worship the mind of Paul hidden away in his writings? You make much of a piece of his body visible through a glass covering, and you do not marvel at the whole mind of Paul shining through his writings?
    • Erasmus, The Handbook of the Christian Soldier (1501), as translated by Charles Fantazzi, in The Erasmus Reader (1990), p. 145
  • Than shewe I forth my longe cristal stones,
    Y-crammed ful of cloutes and of bones;
    Reliks been they, as wenen they echoon.
    Than have I in latoun a sholder-boon
    Which that was of an holy Iewes shepe.
    • Chaucer, "The Pardoner's Prologue"
      • Then I show forth my long crystal boxes crammed full of clouts and bones; they be relics, as each man weeneth. Then I have in latten a shoulder-bone which came from an holy Jew's sheep. (Translated by Percy Mackaye, 1914)

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