- --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Chris Laning
Great post!! I enjoyed this thread and this post in particular! :)
> One type of relic that is very common in modern times, but that IThat reminds me of a small mirror some web merchant sells. You're
> haven't seen a lot of examples of in our period, is a piece of cloth
> that has been *touched* to a relic. One of the relics I have, for
> instance, is a tiny piece of cloth that was touched to a relic of the
> True Cross. Of course, if such a thing did survive from the medieval
> centuries, we wouldn't know what it was unless it was specially
> labeled -- but at least I can say that I haven't seen examples of
> medieval _cases_ for such a "secondary" relic.
suppose to use it to "capture" the reflection of a shrine. But I've
never come across any proper references about this.
- I realize this is not what you're looking for, but I figured I'd
mention it as someone might find it of interest. The Japanese have a
tradition of wearing or carrying amulets of various sorts that dates
from our period and continues today, although the modern version may
take the form of a cell phone charm. (Do a search on o-mamori if you
don't believe me.)
http://www.wodefordhall.com/kake.htm has some information on
adaptation of a pilgrim's amulet case for modern SCA use. Not long
after I made it, I happened to see the movie "Sansho the Bailiff". The
father, going into exile, presents his son with a similar case
containing a small statue of Kannon (known in China as Kwan Yin), the
Buddhist deity of mercy, with a pivotal speech about the importance of
mercy, which figures largely in the film.
Two sen worth,
Saionji no Hanae, sometimes known as Jehanne de Wodeford
- --- "Marianne Perdomo / Leonor (SCA)"
> --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Chris LaningWARNING: Getting technical :) Just FYI for anyone who
> Great post!! I enjoyed this thread and this post in
> particular! :)
> > One type of relic that is very common in modern
> times, but that I
> > haven't seen a lot of examples of in our period,
> is a piece of cloth
> > that has been *touched* to a relic. One of the
> relics I have, for
> > instance, is a tiny piece of cloth that was
> touched to a relic of the
> > True Cross. Of course, if such a thing did survive
> from the medieval
> > centuries, we wouldn't know what it was unless it
> was specially
> > labeled -- but at least I can say that I haven't
> seen examples of
> > medieval _cases_ for such a "secondary" relic.
might care and for deletion by those who don't. :)
In the modern period, in Catholic devotional practice,
there are three levels of 'relics'. A first-level or
'primary' relic is the body part of saint [St.
Januarius' blood, St. Such-and-such's bone, etc.] or a
relic of the Passion [splinter of the 'True Cross',
the Shroud of Turin, etc]. A first-class relic is
required to consecrate an altar - all Catholic altars
have a small piece of a saint in them - not
necessarily the saint the church building is dedicated
A second-class or secondary relic is an item a saint
used regularly or wore regularly [the Virgin's veil,
Padre Pio's gloves that he wore to cover up his
stigmata, Mother Teresa's rosary].
A third-class or tertiary relic is anything that has
been touched to either a first-class or second-class
relic. There are very common modernly - they are often
contained inside rosaries or other devotional items.
There are strict rules about selling relics - and I
know that first and second class relics are forbidden
to be sold without a special dispensation. Third-class
is different but I'm not sure of the specifics.
END TECHNICAL DISCUSSION. :)
- On Aug 8, 2008, at 4:07 PM, Rebecca Klingbeil wrote:
> A third-class or tertiary relic is anything that hasAll quite correct.
> been touched to either a first-class or second-class
> relic. There are very common modernly - they are often
> contained inside rosaries or other devotional items.
> There are strict rules about selling relics - and I
> know that first and second class relics are forbidden
> to be sold without a special dispensation. Third-class
> is different but I'm not sure of the specifics.
> END TECHNICAL DISCUSSION. :)
As I understand it, under current canon (church) law, no relic may be
You can, however, sell a case or something that "just happens" to
have a relic in it -- but you are not allowed to charge extra. You
will see this all the time on eBay -- search on "relic" sometime. At
least half of the sellers will say explicitly in their description
that the price is for the case, "the relic is a gift."
I had never heard that the situation was any different for third-
class relics. But as I've said before, I don't recall hearing very
much about third-class relics in the Middle Ages. Chaucer's fake
Pardoner, for instance, is selling bits of bone IIRC (he claims they
are saint's bones but they are really pig bones) which would be first-
Then again, maybe the reason you don't hear much about third-class
relics is that they weren't especially valuable or rare ;)
I should also add that there are many Catholics today -- usually the
more conservative types -- who believe that not only should you not
sell a relic, you shouldn't sell the container it's in, either.
Apparently canon law specifically forbade that until the early 1900s.
Current canon law doesn't say anything one way or the other.
I actually have a couple of reliquaries, which live with my "teaching
collection" -- they are 19th or 20th century, but even many
practicing modern Catholics have never seen an actual saint's relic,
since they are more or less "out of fashion" these days. I wrote
about them here:
O (Dame) Christian de Holacombe, OL - Shire of Windy Meads
+ Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...>
http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com