This is a tiny relic of Saint Thomas Aquinas who died in 1274.

One thing that I like about the Catholic religion is that it is full of points of contact, such as statues, candles and relics. Catholics do not worship these items, but they help to bring them into a closer presence with God. The technical name for them is “sacramentals.”

While we know what statues and candles are, most people don’t understand the significance of relics.

A relic is something that was a part of or in the possession of a saint. It could be a tiny bone, a scrap of fabric from an item of a saint’s clothing or even something touched by a saint’s clothing. And, although this may sound a bit superstitious or controversial, relics have also been associated with miracles.

In fact, the Bible states in Acts 19:11-12:

“And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.”

You cannot buy relics, however, because you can easily see where that could take you.

“The relics of the saints and their veneration is just another in the long line of treasures which Jesus Christ has given to His chaste bride, the Church. These relics summon us to appreciate more profoundly not only the heroic men and women, boys and girls who have served the Master so selflessly and generously, but especially the love and mercy of the Almighty who called these His followers to the bliss of unending life in His eternal kingdom.” 

[Excerpted from Catholic Education Resources Center – Church Teaching on Relics at]