«The honor paid to sacred images is a ‘respectful veneration,’ not the adoration due to God alone: Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.» (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2131-2132)
«The relics direct us towards God himself: it is he who, by the power of his grace, grants to weak human beings the courage to bear witness to him before the world. By inviting us to venerate the mortal remains of the martyrs and saints, the Church does not forget that, in the end, these are indeed just human bones, but they are bones that belonged to individuals touched by the living power of God. The relics of the saints are traces of that invisible but real presence which sheds light upon the shadows of the world and reveals the Kingdom of Heaven in our midst.» (Benedict XVI, Address Welcoming the Young People to World Youth Day, Cologne, August 18, 2005)
The Office of the Postulator General is tasked with the custody and distribution of the relics of the blesseds and saints who are members of the Order and relics belonging to the order. To request relics, the following norms must be kept in mind:
- It is the competence of the Office of the Postulator General to evaluate the requests received and grant the relics, accompanied with a certificate of authenticity and sealed with the seal of the Office of the Postulator General.
- Every petition must be delivered to the Office of the Postulator General by means of correspondence on letterhead with the signature of the responsible officer and the seal of the office. The request must be accompanied by the original "nihil obstat" of the Ordinary of the location; requests by telephone, email, or fax are not considered.
- Normally, only petitions from parish pastors or superiors of religious community are accepted. They must always specify that the relics are for public veneration by the faithful and must clearly indicate the place within the church or public chapel where the relic will be placed for veneration by the faithful.
- Requests by laity (seminarians included) will not be considered except in exceptional cases. Requests by relic collectors will not be considered. Only one relic of a particular saint or blessed will be given.
- Requests are accepted for places where there is an existing veneration or where it is desired to increase devotion (for example, through a catechetical formation program, on the occasion of the exposition of a new image of saint or blessed, a pilgrimage, etc.).
For the consecration of altars, requests may be made for “outstanding” relics that the Office of the Postulator will consider on a case-by-case basis. The request must always carry its "nihil obstat" of the Ordinary of the location and specify for which church the request is being made.
B)If the request is approved, the relic will only be mailed or personally delivered after receiving an original letter from the Bishop to the Office of the Postulator General. The address is:
Postulator General OCD
Corso d'Italia 38
00198 Rome, Italy