QUAERITUR: relics and lost documents: what to do?

From a reader:

I thought you would be just the one to ask…

I have several first class relics without their "papers."

Is there anyway these relics can be authenticated for public veneration?  Perhaps someplace they can be sent to receive the necessary verification and letter?

Most of the time you will find a was seal inside cover of the "teca" or container which houses the relic(s).  I most cases this seal will be unbroken.  Usually the seal will bear the imprint of the entity which prepared the reliquary.  Sometimes this is going to be the Generalate of a religious order, if the relic is of one of their saints and the relic was obtained there.  Otherwise, it could be a diocese or some Roman entity.

If you find and identify the seal, then you would have to go to that entity for a verification and documentation.

It might also be possible to obtain additional help from the Congregation for Causes of Saints.  For issues of official translation and recognition of relics the diocese and Rome must be involved.

Keep in mind that if the reliquary is very old, you might never be able to obtain documents after the fact.  In tha tcase some history of the reliquary, provenance etc, would help if you contact a some to help rehouse or restore what you have.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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