Last night, my wife and I had the privilege to attend a ministry of evangelization known as Sacred Relics: Treasures of the Church at Saint Timothy’s Catholic Church in Mesa, Arizona. Currently, this exposition is making its way through parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix. If you reside in the Diocese of Phoenix and would like to view these relics, you still have time since Fr. Carlos Martins (Companions of the Cross), the caretaker and presenter of these relics will be here until next week.
The Treasures of the Church Relics exposition is made up of 166 First Class Relics and 6 Second Class Relics. When you first view the list, it is a bit daunting to see so many relics present in the exposition. Below are pictures (which are permitted) of the some of the relics we ended up holding and praying with together. The relics that are part of this exposition are either parts of a saints body or the saints clothing. To learn more about relics, please click here.
Although I had seen this large exposition of relics in the past, it was the first time my wife experienced it. Together we sat in the nave of the church and listened to some rather amazing stories told to us by Fr. Carlos about the Lives of the Saints, particularly, the fortitude and strength of Saint Helen, the incorruptible body of Saint Bernadette, and the forgiveness of Saint Maria Goretti. He also shared a few stories of healing that came about from people praying and touching the different relics.
After the presentation, my wife and I were able to pray together holding the relics in our hands. One of the best parts for me was when we held our wedding bands to the relics of Pope Saint John Paul II, Saint Therese of Lisieux, and Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guerin (parents of St. Therese). Fr. Carlos suggested doing this during his presentation. Our wedding bands are now 3rd Class Relics.
Although praying in front of the relics of these saints, who we ask to intercede for us often, the greatest part of the night was to kneel together in front of a relic of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Veil of Mary), a relic of St. Joseph (I put my wedding band on this relic), relics of the 12 Apostles, as well as a piece of the lance that stabbed Our Lord on the Cross, a piece of the Crown of Thorns, and large piece of the Cross of Christ. The stories behind how the Church acquired these relics is part of the presentation.
Along with these relics, we saw many others. We also prayed together and individually with relics from Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Saint Gerard Majella, Saint Maximillian Kolbe, Fr. Michael J. McGivney (founder of the Knights of Columbus, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and Saint Mary Magdalene. I can’t emphasize the importance of seeing these amazing relics of so many great and powerful saints of the Catholic Church.
In order for Fr. Carlos to come to a particular region, he needs at least 8 requests from parishes. I know this because we have stayed in touch since I met him in 2013. It was great to see him last night, chat a little bit before his presentation, and to introduce him to my wife. He is great man and a very holy priest. You can contact Fr. Carlos Martins by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To request the exposition to come to your parish and/or diocese, you can do that here via the website.
This ministry of evangelization will impact your spiritual life for years to come. Since I first saw it in 2013, I have been wanting to view them again because I remember how it changed my relationship with the Saints. It is something that could change your life forever.