Within the consecrated walls of St. Mary of Victories Church are a rich collection of over 280 relics. As described by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, relics are a form of sacramental.
"Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy." - Paragraph 1667, CCC
Relics are typically bone fragments or other personal possessions of the Saints, which remind us of their sanctity achieved through Christ and of the Ressurection of the Body which we profess and anticipate. Most of the relics at St. Mary of Victories are contained within glass-fronted containers called reliquaries on the High Altar and the side altars within the church. Some are in free-standing ornate brass and gold reliquaries.
Besides sacramental liturgy and sacramentals, catechesis must take into account the forms of piety and popular devotions among the faithful. The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church's sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals,etc. - Paragraph 1674, CCC
St. Mary's collection of relics includes a fragment of the True Cross, contained in a rare reliquary case that resembles a Monstrance. With it are four other relics of Christ's Passion: a thorn from His crown; a particle from the sponge that was lifted to His face during His Crucifixion; a small part of the pillar where He was scourged; and a particle of the stone taken from the Holy Sepulcher, where His body was placed after His death.
Other separte relics from Saints displayed in the statuary or paintings in St. Mary's include - all the Apostles; a fragment of the veil worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary (patroness of the parish); pieces of the mantels of St. Joseph; St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Agnes, and (since 1957) St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Emeric, and St. Margaret. More recently a first-class relic of Blessed Fr. Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R., who gave a parish mission at St. Mary's 150 years ago, was added to the collection.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy On Us! All Holy Men and Women, Pray for Us!