I have inherited a first class relic. Are there any norms for what I should do or not do with the relic?
Other than a brief mention in Canon 1170 forbidding the sale of relics, there are surprisingly few directions on the care of relics.
Certainly, they are meant to be reverently kept, and ought not be simply cast in a drawer or some forgotten place. Ideally they are put in an ostensiorium, a display vessel easily purchased in most Catholic bookstores, shrine shops or catalogues. Relics ought to be displayed in a suitable place of prayer in one's house. Ideally the place should be uncluttered with other more worldly things like souvenirs, collectibles etc. If the possession of relics is not conducive to one's spiritual life, they ought to be given to another who might benefit or placed in the care of the local parish.
Relics are meant to remind us of the Saints, their stories, and what God can do even with weak human flesh. They should summon us to prayer and trust. But they ought not to be regarded superstitiously as if their mere presence could ward off all suffering or work independently of the will of God. The great wish and prayer of any Saint is that we know and love God and be conformed to His will and plan for us.
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