Relics of the Saints

Used for daily Mass and baptisms since the 1930s, the St. Thomas More Chapel is joined with the sanctuary at St. Mary’s Cathedral to offer additional space for quiet prayer. It is also home to a treasury of relics: a wall of glass cases preserves all three classes of relics from saints spanning several centuries of history. Relics from St. Thomas More himself are among them, including a piece of glass and a nail from the courtroom where he was martyred in 1535.

A Fulton Sheen relic—the purificator he used to perform masses—sits on red cloth alongside relics from nearly every saint in Catholic history. Some first-class relics rest in a communal reliquary, such as a gold-cross coffer with the relics of 15 women saints, including St. Mary Magdalene. In keeping with tradition, a vigil light burns constantly to keep watch over the collection. Msgr. Deptula says the relics are a means of appreciation for and deep intimacy with the holy people of the past. “And when we are closer to holy people, we believe those holy people help us to be closer to God.” a&s