For those who may be desirous of obtaining a relic...
First port of call, as always, is your priest.
There is usually a stock of relics in each archdiocese, if only for the production of the antimension :-)
You just may be allowed to have a tiny fragment of a relic, if you are lucky.
Equally, your priest may not feel it is appropriate for you to have a relic at this time.
For Western saints, you may need to follow one of these routes, as historically many pre-Schism Western saints may not have been widely known in the East......
check out antique shops.
There have been very many thousands of relics distributed by the RC church over the years, and when families are clearing out after a relative has reposed, they may not be interested or even know what the relics are, and pass them onto an antique or second-hand shop. The owners of these shops may not know exactly what they are, either !!
Caveat emptor !!!
There are some wonderful relics on EBay, but I would advise only buying from a well-established trader with at least 99% positive feedback.
Be prepared to pay quite high prices. Having said that, last year I bought a tiny relic of St Lucy the Martyr for 40 dollars. Sometimes, you can strike lucky if there have been a few relics of a saint in quick succession and the market has been satiated..........
The fierce bidding on relics of Christ can be amazing. Personally, I would not think of bidding for these...after all, we receive Christ Himself in the Holy Mysteries..........
You need to look for relics which have their wax seals and threads intact, to show they have not been tampered with.
Relics with documents of authenticity from the ecclesiastical issuer of the relic always sell for more than those without documents. Always check that the wax seal of the relic is identical to that of the documentation.
You need to look for saints which are obviously Orthodox. Any before 1000AD would be likely to be a safe bet, with the exception of the later popes. An awful lot of relics on EBay are for very recent RC saints.
Having said that, I do have reservations about buying relics. Many of the relics were freely given by the RC Church, with the owner receiving documentation and only paying a *very* small sum for the cost of producing the metal case for the relic. Many relics now are changing hands for very large sums of money, which does not seem right to me.
It is still possible to obtain relics from the RC Church, if you are a priest. Although this obviously applies to RC priests, I would imagine that if there is good communication between the Orthodox and RC church in your area, there may be a chance that a RC bishop would agree to vouch for you, or your parish priest on your behalf, and forward a request for a particular pre-Schism relic to the Vatican.
All pre-schism saints` relics no longer are issued with authentication, by the way. Only if you purchase an antique intact relic case issued before Vatican 2 would you get documents.
Bear in mind that Vatican 2 decided to stop officially commemorating quite a few saints, including St Christopher.
For those interested, there is a good RC web site devoted to information about relics at
I hope this satisfies your curiosity, folks !
I will try to post pictures of our relics tomorrow.