Thursday, June 14, 2007

Relics of John Paul II

I heard from the Office of the Postulation for the Cause of John Paul II today that some people are sending back the holy cards of Pope John Paul II with the relic "ex indumentis," saying, "This is just a holy card. Where is the relic I asked for?"

Some have even sent the Catholic News Service article on the relics along with their complaint, underlining the fact that it clearly says one will receive "a small piece of one of the white cassocks worn by Pope John Paul [II]."

So, in case anyone out there feels that the Office of the Postulation for the Cause of John Paul II has hoodwinked you, let's take a closer look at the holy cards that they send out

To the left, one will see the front of the holy card.

Notice in the lower right hand corner a small circle where something white is visible. To the right, one will see the back of the holy card with a paper seal corresponding to the small circle on the front of the holy card.

Here is a closeup for a better look.

Notice that the small circle on the front of the holy card (see above left) clearly contains a piece of white fabric. Also notice that on the back, the seal (see right) clearly has the papal crest of John Paul II with the words "EX INDUMENTIS S.D. IOANNIS PAULI PP. II" circling the crest. These words mean "From the clothing of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II." ("S.D." is an abbreviation for "Servant of God" in Latin and "PP." is a Latin abbreviation for "Pope."). This is the "piece of one of the white cassocks worn by Pope John Paul" that everyone has been requesting. I guess some people were expecting a reliquary or a full blown "relic" like they see in Church.

Which brings up another point, the Office of the Postulation has on a number of occasions asked that people keep in mind that these "relics" are simply momentos for private devotion and not fully "relics" that one could use in public devotion (which can only be for those already proclaimed "Blessed" or "Saint" by the Holy See). Prudence and patience are needed, and one must not presume the judgement of the Holy See.


fmn said...

I've always wondered about this type of relic. I have dozens of them from Padre Pio, given to me by Father Joseph, and American who was the editor of the Voice of Padre Pio magazine. I still have them stashed somewhere in my house because I don't have anyone to give them to. But I think Padre Pio's clothes should be completely gone by now. How do they keep this type of relic going for so many years?

Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

FMN, thanks for the comment. I have one of Padre Pio right in front of me and you'll notice that it does not say on it "ex indumentis." What they do in the case of Padre Pio, I think, is take a large cloth and either they touched it to his body or to a first class relic (a piece of his body) or to his tomb.

With John Paul II, these "relics" are "ex indumentis," from his clothes, and remember that as Pope he had several cassocks. Imagine taking a cassock and cutting it into tiny little squares. Now multiply that by several cassocks.

fmn said...

That's what I thought br. Chris. Holiness can't be locked into pre-fixed concepts, and a few bits of cloth, whether actually worn or just touched to a true relic are just as holy. That's why when I went to San Giovanni Rotondo a couple weeks ago, I didn't feel up to going to visit St. Pio's tomb because it was super crowded, I'd been to see it before, I'd been to his cell (I mean inside it in 1973,when my dad delivered a book he'd translated for the friars. He received an "indumentis" relic, as opposed to "ex indumentis"; Fr. Alessio Parente pulled one of three woolen gloves out of Padre Pio's top drawer, to thank him for his work. He said there were two left: one had been promised to the bishop and one was for Fr. Alessio himself. He said he would not part with it unless Padre Pio came to him personally and told him to).

I don't think Padre Pio will hold it against me that I prayed to him from the church or as I walked around the sanctuary.

Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

Thanks for the comment and the story FMN. It's great.

"I don't think Padre Pio will hold it against me that I prayed to him from the church or as I walked around the sanctuary."

I don't think so either. In fact, I know for a fact that one doesn't need to be near the tomb of a saint in order for that saint to still here one's prayers. All of my experiences with saints have been way far away from their tomb or a relic of them, etc. It just goes to show that the communion of saints goes beyond the boundaries of space and time.

Peace... Padre Pio, John Paul, pray for us.

stpetersbasilica said...

Thanks for the good information on the relics of Pope John Paul II. I've just created a web page for his tomb on the site

Anonymous said...

Ave María! Peace.

Hello, my name is Susan, I was looking for the word "Ex indumentis" when I found your page.
I like to thank you and to congratulate you for it, it is very good.

I just register myself for a blog so I can write here.
I would like very much be able to make a blog to bring the Mercy of God to people's attention. Please pray for me so that I can get ahead with it. God bless you all. Thank you.

Megan said...

Brother Chris,
Thank you for the information on the relics of Pope John Paul. Can you tell me if it is still possible to write and obtain these relics?

Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

Dear Megan,

It is indeed still possible, but one must understand when one writes that it may take 6 months or more and you will not receive a reply to indicate that your request has been received (because that would delay the process another 6 months to a year). Sorry things are slow, but a diocesan office with a small staff just can't handle the thousands of requests in rapid fashion while still accounting for every donation that arrives.

Megan, Texas said...

Thanks for your response Brother Chris. I really enjoy reading your blogs. They are full of wonderful insights. I will keep you and your work in my prayers.
May Pope John Paul pray for us!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bro Chris

Can you tell me how to go about getting Pope JP II's holy card with the relic ?

God Bless

Arnold said...

Hi Brother Chris,

To whom should I write to if I'm going to request a Padre Pio prayer card with a relic onit?

Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

Dear Janice,

Write the Postulator Msgr. Oder at ...

Postulation of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God John Paul II,
Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano, 6/a,
00184 Rome, Italy

I must advise, though, not to expect a quick reply, though you will receive a reply eventually. It takes 6 months to a year at times. If you make a request, it helps to make a donation as well.

Peace, Br. Chris

Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

Dear Arnold,

Thanks for your question. Honestly I can't tell you who you "should" write to as I am unfamiliar with who would have those. I know several places in the US had prayer cards of Padre Pio with a second class relic from his clothes. You could try writing the postulator of the Capuchins, Fr. Florio Tessari, OFM Cap,
Curia Generalizia Frati Minori Cappuccini,
Via Piemonte, 70,

Peace and Goodness, Br. Chris

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the advertisement at the bottom of your page marking the "countdown to the inauguration of Barack Obama". Do you realize his position on Abortion? I do not believe that this is proper to have on a "Catholic" website.

Thank you for your time.

Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I had no idea that advertisements were even on my site. Now that you point it out, I see it was an advertisement embedded in the Biblical Art gadget, a gadget I added but without knowing that advertisements were sneakily added to the bottom. The gadget has been removed.

But I still ought to take you to task for a couple of things here. Concerning Mr. Obama, how do you jump to the conclusion that an ad counting down to his inauguration necessarily constitutes support for his position on abortion? Is it not possible for one to have a civic interest without necessarily condoning a politician's view-points?

I watched the inauguration. Does it automatically follow that I support all of Mr. Obama's policy positions? And what of those who, in spite of the objectively evil position of supporting abortion, voted for Mr. Obama because, in good conscience, they discerned him to be the candidate who would best promote the common good (not saying this was my opinion, but it could validly be the decision that a conscientious Catholic could come to).

I recommend you check out CCC 2477.
I also recommend you read up on the Church's Social Doctrine (check the Vatican website), specifically the part concerning elections and politics, so that you might not be so quick to condemn others who do not agree with you politically.

Finally, I exhort you to deepen your relationship with Jesus as our morality is only valid in as much as it is a response to His love and never as a prerequisite to it.

rpchurch said...

Br. Chris,

When making a request for a relic, can you recommend a good donation amount to include? I'm by no means wealthy but, at the same time, don't want the Church to have to tow the bill for providing a fine service.

Also, for those of us outside of Europe, should we send an international reply coupon, to cover postage, or is it easier if we just up our donation amount?

Thanks for any advisement you can provide.


Br. Chris Gaffrey, ofm said...

Dear Richard,

I recommend you pray about it and give what you think best. International reply coupons don't necessarily always work for Italian mail or Vatican mail. It's best to simply include a small amount for postage. As to how much for postage, I can't say. I have never received one of these in the mail. Instead it has always been that I got them by visiting the office.


Anonymous said...

Hello from Ireland. I received a Prayer Card "ex indumentis" only this week with a letter from Mgnr. Oder, I was only waiting 4 months :). I am so happy that I finally received it so patience really does pay off AND it is a Blessed John Paul II Card with the little relic in it. Wonderful.
Thank you for your brilliant Blog Br. Chris, I enjoy reading it very much.
Best regards,
Pauline Maher.
Limerick Ireland.

Romel Bituin said...

Good day, Br. Chris Gaffrey, OFM.

I'm Romel, from Philippines. Brother, would it be possible that I will also have a holy card with "ex indumentis" of Bl. John Paul II?

Thanks for any advisement you can provide.

God bless.

seminarian jose martin magnay said...

Hello I m seminarian Jose martin from the do I get a relic.

Raffy alban said...

Can any one here help me how to get even the lowest type of relic of st. John paul II just for my family's devotion?my name is Raffy Alban,,,frim the philippines,,,here is my email account thank u in advance