Relics display to return to Denver for Lenten veneration
By Julie Filby
"TREASURES OF THE CHURCH" SCHEDULE
An encounter with relics
March 26, 6:30 p.m.
March 27, 6:30 p.m.
March 28, 6:30 p.m.
March 29, 6:30 p.m.
March 30, 7 p.m.
March 31, 7 p.m.
April 1, 1:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Companions of the Cross Father Carlos Martins will return to the Archdiocese of Denver March 25-April 1 to share an exposition of 150 saint relics and a message of evangelization and healing.
Father Martins, who visited seven parishes in the archdiocese last December to standing-room-only crowds, was invited to return by Bishop James Conley, apostolic administrator.
“Relics connect us to our forefathers in faith, the holy men and women who’ve lived in Jesus Christ, and now live with him in heaven,” said Bishop Conley. “When we venerate relics, we remember to ask the saints for their prayers—we’re connected to the mystical body of Christ on earth and in heaven.”
Since converting to Catholicism 14 years ago, Father Martins has amassed a collection of relics numbering several thousand through his ministry Treasures of the Church. He tours the world with the collection that includes St. Maria Goretti, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Faustina Kowalska. It is highlighted by one of the largest relics of the True Cross and a piece of the veil that, according to sanctioned tradition, is believed to have belonged to the Blessed Mother.
Praying with saint relics can be a grace-filled experience during one’s Lenten journey.
“Lent reminds us of our mortality—but we (also) remember though we will die we can live in Jesus Christ forever,” said Bishop Conley. “Relics call us on and inspire us to holiness … (and) the prayers of the saints help us to become more like Jesus Christ.”
He described Father Martins’ ministry as a beautiful way to understand the connection between one’s life on earth and heaven itself.
“The saints, who were real people, now live in heaven and pray for us,” he said. “This display makes me eager for the beatific vision!”
Father Martins begins each exposition with a 60-minute presentation that provides the catechetical and spiritual basis for the “Walk with the Saints” (time of veneration) that follows.
Last December, St. Peter Parish in Greeley was one of the parishes that hosted the exhibit.
“The display of relics and its effect on our parishioners was inspiring,” said Father Matthew Hartley, parish administrator. “There were over 550 people in attendance, some waited close to an hour to get into the room to venerate the relics.”
He heard many people say the display made the communion of saints “more real to them.”
“God worked many healings that night,” Father Hartley added.
Father Martins is grateful for the opportunity to visit the archdiocese again.
“(Last December) the crowds were enormous and spoke of the desire the people have for formation in true and proper devotion to the saints,” he said. “It was edifying to see people’s hunger for God and for connection with his holy ones.”
Treasures of the Church will visit several sites in the archdiocese (see box for details). Additional presentations may be added. There is no charge for the event.
For more information, call the host organization or visit www.treasuresofthechurch.com.