Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: reliquaries
- 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