Monday, July 26, 2010

Feast of Joachim and Anne

I've always been rather circumspect concerning purported relics from the Holy Land, given the long period of time between the time of Jesus and when they were "found" by European pilgrims hundreds of years later. Of course, it is entirely possible that the faithful in the Holy Land did maintain the authentic relics and the ones brought to Europe are genuine.

Of interest, and one that causes one to stop and give serious reflection to, is the purported relic of St. Anne that is at the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls. This is a picture I took the last time I was in Rome, in 2006. The caption says "Ossa di S. Anna" (bone of St. Anne).

Is it authentic? Is it really the arm of the mother of the Blessed Virgin?

I don't know. Although at the Basilica built over the grave of St. Paul, the relic is kept in a relic room that has no special signs or indication of the solemnity of these precious relics. Many people walk past, or merely pop their heads in for a moment before moving on, without ever realizing what it is they are looking at. Certainly it is not a room that is befitting the grandmother of our Lord. Still . . .

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