The Place of Holy Relics in the Orthodox Church

Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Far Caves, Founder of Monasticism in Russia

Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Far Caves, Founder of Monasticism in Russia

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,


By Saint Justin Popovich

Without doubt, matter is represented in the human body in a manner which is most puzzling, most mysterious and most complete. The brain: What wondrous mysteries pass between its physical and spiritual parts! How vast is the experience of the human race. In no manner can one ever fully comprehend or grasp these mysteries. Indeed, little of this is accessible to the human senses or intellectual investigation. So it is also with the heart of man, formed as it is entirely and solely from cosmic mysteries. So formed, too, are every cell, every molecule, every atom. Everyone and all are set on their mystical path toward God, toward the God-Man. Inasmuch as it was created by God, the Logos/Word, matter possesses this same theocentricity. Moreover, by His advent into our earthly world, by His All-embracing condescension as God and Man for the redemption of the world, the Lord Christ clearly demonstrated that not only the soul, but matter also was created by God and for God, and that He is God and Man; and for it, matter. He is all and everything in the same manner as for the soul. Being created by God, the Logos/Word, matter is, in its innermost core, God-longing and Christ-longing.

The most obvious proof of this is the fact that God the Logos/Word has become Incarnate, has become man (St. John 1:14). By His Incarnation, matter has been magnified with Divine glory and has entered into the grace-and virtue-bestowing, ascetic aim of deification (theosis), or union with Christ. God has become flesh, has become human, so that the entire man, the entire body, might be filled with God and with His miracle-working forces and powers. In the God-Man, the Lord Christ, and His Body, all matter has been set on a path toward Christ--the path of deification (theosis), transfiguration, sanctification, resurrection, and ascent to an eternal glory surpassing that of the Cherubim. And all of this takes place and will continue to take place through the Divine and human Body of the Church, which is truly the God-Man Christ in the total fullness of His Divine and Human Person, the fullness "that fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:23). Through its Divine and human existence in the Church, the human body, as matter, as substance, is sanctified by the Holy Spirit and in this way participates in the life of the Holy Trinity. Matter thus attains its transcendent, divine meaning and goal, its eternal blessedness and its immortal joy in the God-Man.

The holiness of the Saints--both the holiness of their souls and of their bodies--derives from their zealous grace--and virtue--bestowing lives in the Body of the Church of Christ, of the God-Man. In this sense, holiness completely envelopes the human person--the entire soul and body and all that enter into the mystical composition of the human body. The holiness of the Saints does not hold forth only in their souls, but it is necessarily extends to their bodies so it is that both the body and soul of a saint are sanctified. Thus we, in piously venerating the saints, also venerate the entire person, in the manner not separating the holy soul from the holy body. Our pious veneration of the Saints' relics is a natural part of our pious respect for and prayerful entreaty to the Saints. All of this constitutes one indivisible ascetic act, just as the soul and body constitute the single, indivisible person of the Saint. Clearly, during his life on the earth, the Saint, by a continuous and singular grace-and-virtue-bestowing synergy of soul and body, attain to the sanctification of his person, filling both the soul and body with the grace of the Holy Spirit and so transforming them into vessels of the Holy Mysteries and Holy Virtues. It is completely natural, again, to show pious reverence both to the former and to the latter, both to soul and body, both of them holy vessels of God's grace. When the charismatic power of Christ issues forth, it makes Grace-filled all the all the constituent parts of the human person and the person in his entirety. By unceasing enactment of the ascetic efforts set forth in the Gospels. Saints gradually fill themselves with the Holy Spirit, so that their sacred bodies, according to the word of the holy Apostle, become temples of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19, 3:17) and by fruitful love also fulfilling the dwelling by faith in their hearts (Ephesians 3:17) and by fruitful love also fulfilling the Commandments of God the Father themselves in the Holy Spirit through grace-bestowing ascetic labors, the Saints participate in the life of the Holy Trinity, becoming sons of the Holy Trinity, temples of the Living God (2 Corinthians 6:16); their whole lives thus flow from the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. By piously venerating the holy relics of the Saints, the Church reveres them as temples of the Holy Spirit, temples of the Living God, in which God dwells by Grace even after the earthly death of the Saints. And by His most wise and good Will, God creates miracles in and through these holy relics. Moreover, the miracles which derive from the holy relics witness also to the fact that their pious veneration by the Orthodox Christians is pleasing to God. 

+(To be continued)


Please note: It is most important to understand from the Orthodox Christian point of view how sacred are both the soul and body together. No true Orthodox Christian believer can ever show disrespect for either one of them. The Only transformation which we speak of in our Christian Faith is the spiritual transformation of both and body, theosis (deification) and nothing else. To attempt to temper or modify the sacred body in any way is to desecrate it. The body "is the temple of the Holy Spirit" and it is perfect the way Our Creator made it. It does not need improvement or alteration. The Almighty God does not make mistakes! There Are only two genders, male and female. There are no other genders. Our secular world and society is making a very strong effort to indoctrinate and convince the human race that Christ is wrong, that the Christian Church is wrong, and to instead accept their false premise of numerous and a variety of genders.

By reading the inspired article "The Place of Holy Relics in the Orthodox Church" by Saint Justin Popovich, we learn the true nature of man according to our Holy Orthodox Christian Faith; the sacred soul and sacred body. The Orthodox Christian must not listen to anyone outside the Orthodox Church. The absolute truth is what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has taught us. There is no other truth!

Those who wish to remain Orthodox Christians must adhere and be obedient to the Holy Dogma, Holy Tradition and to the Holy Canons of the Orthodox Church.  



Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom


With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George