Ateneans to honor saints in relic exhibit

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“The most travelled relic” belongs to St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The photo is of her reliquary containing her remains. It was taken inside the Cathedral-Parish of St. Andrew in Parañaque City when it was displayed there in April 2013. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

QUEZON City, Feb. 21, 2014—The Ateneo College Ministry Group (ACMG) and the Ateneo School of Humanities Dean’s Office are inviting the public to the week-long relic exhibit it is organizing. 

“This relic exhibit aims to promote awareness of the perfect models of faith and service which is in line with the organization’s vision to introduce Ignatian values and spirituality through the true models of Jesuit faith,” ACMG explained. 

It adds that they are doing this “in honor of the saints whose stories serve as models of Christian life”. 

ACMG also said that this event will be the first of its kind in the Ateneo community. 

The exhibit will be featuring mostly relics of Jesuit saints like those of Society of Jesus (SJ) founder St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Apostle to the Indies” St. Francis Xavier, and Blessed Bernardo de Hoyos.

Event organizer Meynard Espinosa explained that it will also be including relics of the four evangelists and other popular saints. 

But what is a relic exactly? 

The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions that the word relic derives from the Latin reliquiae. 

It adds that the word was already used in its modern sense even before the spread of Christianity. 

A relic specifically refers to “part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint”. 

But the veneration of relics is not unique to Christianity. Other religious systems also practice it. 

A decree of the Council of Trent sums up the Catholic Church’s teaching on the veneration of relics. 

The decree enjoins bishops and other pastors to instruct their flocks that “the holy bodies of holy martyrs and of others now living with Christ” are to be venerated by the faithful. It says that God bestows many benefits on people through these relics. 

Aside from relics, religious icons and statuaries will also be on display, Espinosa added. 

The exhibit will be held from February 24 to 28 at the Peter Faber Hall Function Room within the Loyola Schools grounds of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) in Quezon City. 

ADMU president Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin of the Society of Jesus will be leading the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon during the opening of the exhibit on February 24 (Monday) at nine in the morning. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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