Saints’ relics call Catholics to deeper prayer

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted blesses the reliquarium at St. Timothy Parish Nov. 1 as Fr. Charlie Goraieb, pastor, Fr. John Greb, Deacon Gene Messer and Fr. Oliver Mohan look on. The reliquarium, open seven days a week, allows the faithful to pray among the relics of 65 saints and ask their intercession.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted blesses the reliquarium at St. Timothy Parish Nov. 1 as Fr. Charlie Goraieb, pastor, Fr. John Greb, Deacon Gene Messer and Fr. Oliver Mohan look on. The reliquarium, open seven days a week, allows the faithful to pray among the relics of 65 saints and ask their intercession.

MESA — Though they have passed from this life into eternity, the saints are still with us.

Miracles, healings and a deeper appreciation for the intercession of the saints — that’s what’s expected at a Mesa parish that is now home to 65 first and second-class relics.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix blessed the reliquarium housing the collection after a Nov. 1, All Saints Day Mass.

First class relics are part of a saint’s body such as bone, blood or hair. Second class relics consist of articles touched by the saint or touched directly to part of the saint’s body. The Church has a long history of venerating relics.

Fr. Charles Goraieb, pastor of St. Timothy, hopes that those who visit the reliquarium will have confidence in the power and willingness of the communion of the saints to intercede for those still on earth.

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Visit the Reliquarium:

St. Timothy Parish

1730 W. Guadalupe Road, Mesa

(480) 775-5200

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“I do expect to see miracles attributed to different saints, signs and wonders, prayers answered, as people find their way to one saint or another,” Fr. Goraieb said. And though the faithful can pray at home, there’s something special about the incarnational presence that the relics offer, he said.

“The saints are busier now than they ever were,” Fr. Goraieb said. “They are spending their eternity doing good on earth and until the Lord brings time to an end, our brothers and sisters that are with the Lord are busy helping us.”

Some of those saints whose relics now reside at St. Timothy Parish include the 12 Apostles as well as St. Maria Goretti and St. Charbel. Housed in ornate display cases, they fill a small room adjacent to the entrance to the church. The reliquarium is open for prayer after all Sunday Masses and on other days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Though many parishes have relics — they are often incorporated into the altar at a church’s dedication — no other parish in the Phoenix Diocese possesses and displays dozens for veneration.

Bishop Olmsted said the relics remind us that we have to die to selfishness and pride so as to live with Christ.

“As we look upon a relic, we see what death has done, but then we remember if we die with the Lord we will live with the Lord,” the bishop said. “That’s why the relics point to the resurrection.”

Larry Dorame, director of development at St. Timothy, said parishioners donated funds to establish the reliquarium and another donor provided matching funds.