A friend inherited his father's religious items when he passed a few years ago. Boxes and boxes and boxes full of things. He kept them in storage and little by little opened and inventoried each one. Mostly there were books, some quite valuable, but also a very large collection of relics. He finally found and unpacked the bulk of them earlier this year. So when he called to ask for my help in identifying and organizing what he had, I practically tripped over myself getting over there.Read the rest.
When I arrived, my preconceived idea of a little museum of grace was turned on its head. My friend had told me it was disorganized. How right he was. There was almost nothing I could do to help while sitting in his living room with the big pile of holy mess on the table before me. Documents were missing or damaged or undecipherable. Bits of cotton wrapped in tape. Letters, unidentified pieces of cloth. Broken bits of glass and bent metal. Some of the relics were simply nailed to a piece of fiber-board. Some were damaged. Some were empty. Etc. Etc. Etc.
I "selflessly" volunteered (you believe that, right?) to take the whole collection home with me and do it justice. My friend was very happy with the offer as he runs his own business and has a lot on his plate. As we carried the boxes out to my car, he told me that if I found myself drawn to anything in the collection, to take what I wanted... Yes, you read that right LOL So I spent about three weeks researching not only the lives of the saints whose bodies and posessions were destined to be cut up into little bits and placed in thecas and reliquaries and little hand-sewn purses, but also the science, terminology, and phenomenon of relics.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In which Christopher finds himself cataloging a treasure trove of relics: