Notre Dame Parish in Cresco, Iowa showed an exposition of Sacred Relics Thursday night. The exposition was entitled Treasures of the Church, and was meant to be a way for people to become acquainted with the stories of these people of God.
"So, this is a Vatican exhibit of relics," explains Treasures of the Church Director Father Carlos Martins, "And relics in the Church have a place whereby they are, what we believe, is the touchstone or the guarantee of eternal life. Whereby, the souls of these saints, which are now in Heaven, are equally present now to their remains."
These relics, all of which are connected to a Saint, have traveled around the United States before making a stop in Cresco. The relics might be something as simple as a fingernail, a piece of hair, or even a sliver of bone. Some of the relics date back to the origins of the Christian faith.
"When that person dies, it is Catholic belief that as a canonized saint, they have a special connection with the Lord in Heaven," says Father Dennis Cain of Notre Dame Parish, "And so from the earliest centuries of the church, it was the custom that grew up through the centuries, of keep what’s called a relic."
People in attendance were able to examine each relic. Members of the church say the presence of these relics is so important to them, feelings they feel about the presence of the Relics is indescribable.
"I would say grace-filled," says Father Cain, describing sentiments of people in the church, "in the sense that we just discovered that they were in the Midwest or close by. About two months ago, and just sent an email to Father Martins and he had an opening on this date. And normally, parishes are waiting two or more years to get this display to their particular church. So, very fortunate indeed."
Many important names were part of the exposition. St. Thomas Aquinas, the Apostles, and even Mother Theresa were represented by Relics, which only visited Cresco for an evening before traveling to Missouri.