Categories: News and Events

Holy Relics

Dear friends,

It is with great joy that I announce our reception of the relics of three Holy Saints from May 25th – 27th, 2019. The holy relics of St. Rafael Guizar, Mexican Martyr, St. Charles Garnier, North American Martyr, and St. Junípero Serra, Apostle of California will be made available to as many people as possible to venerate after all Masses.

After the relics have toured some of the Catholic Churches in Orange County, they will be enshrined in the new altar of our soon to be dedicated Christ Cathedral. This is a great opportunity to celebrate our heroes of the faith and personally connect us to our new Cathedral. Additional details will be forthcoming, but please mark your calendars for May 25th – 27th.

What are Relics?

When someone you love dies, do you ever feel that by wearing their clothing or sitting in their favorite chair, you feel closer to them? Perhaps visiting their grave helps you remember them and think of how they would want you to live. A relic can be something a saint touched, or even a part of their body, something to bring us closer to someone who devoted their life to doing God’s will. Many miracles have been recorded from venerating (honoring) relics, which is why this has become such a popular practice throughout the Church. First Class relics are actual body parts of a canonized saint. A Second Class relic would be something the saint wore or owned. A Third class relic is something that has been touched to a First or Second Class relic, usually cloth or oil. Every Catholic altar has a First Class relic placed in it, and some have multiple relics. Christ Cathedral’s stone altar will be home to the relics of martyrs and saints who reflect the diversity of the Diocese of Orange, and we at St. Angela’s have the opportunity to pray with the relics of three of those saints before they are placed in the altar!

St. Junípero Serra

  • The “Apostle of California”, Junípero was born in Spain to a farming family.
  • His intelligence promised a great career in Spain, but he dreamed of traveling to lands where no one had heard of Jesus, even if it should lead to martyrdom.
  • Once he received permission to leave his post as a university professor to travel to California, he founded nine missions personally, confirming 5,309 people during his time as President of Missions in Baja California.
  • Favorite treats: snuff and chocolate

St. Charles Garnier

  • Born to a powerful family in France, Charles became a Jesuit priest in 1635. His father initially refused to let him travel to North America, due to the danger of martyrdom, but eventually, he was given permission.
  • The Huron tribe gave him the name Ouracha – “Rain-giver”, as he brought with him a drought-ending rain. They also called him “lamb”, because he was so gentle and loving.
  • He was martyred while giving absolution to a dying Huron convert in the midst of an attack on his village by a neighboring tribe. He died on the eve of the Feast of Immaculate Conception – a favored devotion of his.

St. Rafael Guízar y Valencia

  • Rafael was born in Michoacán in 1876, ordained in 1901.
  • During the Mexican Revolution, persecution of the Catholic Church became severe. Rafael was outspoken in his defense of the Church, and had to go underground as a junk dealer to continue serving as a priest.
  • When the government ordered that he be shot on site, Rafael escaped to the US, then Cuba, where he was made a bishop. As bishop, he founded a clandestine seminary to train future priests.
  • He was known as the “Bishop of the poor”, and when his body was exhumed 12 years after his death, witnesses noted that his body had not decayed, except for his left eye! Those who knew him remembered that he’d once said he’d offered that eye for a particular sinner.