RELIC

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RELIC s; the remains or supposed remains of holy persons, saints (q. v.), or martyrs, or some objects belonging to them, or in some way connected with them. These relics were multiplied particularly after the crusades. Thus in some places are shown the shroud in which the body of Christ was laid, pieces of the cross, of objects surrounding the sepulchre, and relics of Mary, Joseph, and the holy men of the early Christian church. At first, these objects were only held in high esteem; but eventually superstition ascribed to such relics miraculous powers, and a system o? fraud was countenanced by the Roman clergy for their profit: honors, little short of divine, were paid to these objects, and more virtue was attributed to a splinter of the cross than to the word of the Savior.