Video: Saints among us (literally)

Walking with the Saints - a display of 1st class relics


Mila Glodava didn’t settle for a regular college term project. With the help of her pastor, Father Andrew Kemberling, she decided to put on a display of relics for the whole archdiocese in her parish, St. Vincent de Paul in Denver.

Glodava just received her Master’s of Arts in Theology last May. For her final class, Church and Modernity, she was required to do a project showcasing all that she had learned throughout her course of study. She decided to use the lives of various saints to illustrate Church history. She approached her pastor about the project, since he helped her develop her devotion to relics and saints. Together, they created a display of relics and hagiographies that walked viewers through the history of the Church. The display took place Nov. 7-9 at St. Vincent de Paul parish.

DENVER, CO, NOVEMBER 2015: St. Francis Cabrini Relic on Display at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

A relic and picture of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

“Because my course was about Church history, I decided to feature the saints during their time in history,” Glodava said. “It is so amazing to learn about how the Church started, the challenges it faced from persecutions of the early Christians and their subsequent martyrdom.”

DENVER, CO, NOVEMBER 2015: St Gemma Galgani Relic on Display at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

A relic and photos of St. Gemma Galgani

The display also included modern favorites, such as St. Gemma Galgani and Glodava’s personal favorite, St. Therese of Lisieux. She said she hoped the display would encourage others to have devotions to the saints.

“I hope people will learn from saints on how to be holy. They are a great model for us to imitate,” Glodava said.

DENVER, CO, NOVEMBER 2015: Fr. Andrew Kemberling stands near St Polycarp relic on Display at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

Fr. Andrew Kemberling with a relic and picture of St. Polycarp

It was fitting that Glodava was able to work with Father Kemberling, as he helped her begin her devotion to relics when he was at St. Thomas More in  Englewood. Father Kemberling managed to collect nearly 60 first class relics. He continued collecting at St. Vincent de Paul. In fact, Father Kemberling has made rescuing relics something of a personal apostolate.

“My whole approach has been to rescue relics that are in danger of being profaned,” Father Kemberling said. “This is one of those prayers that we as Catholics think is important: To venerate the saints.”

Relics glossary

DENVER, CO, NOVEMBER 2015: S. Ambrosii Ep Relic on Display at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. (Photo by Andrew Wright)

A first class relic of St. Ambrose

Relic: A physical object to increase devotion to a Holy person or place.

First class: An actual piece of the person or place (ie, a bone fragment of a saint or a fragment of the True Cross)

Second class: Something that was important to the saint and that they touched (usually frequently). This can include clothes, rosaries, etc.

Third class: Something that has touched a first or second class relic, or has touched the shrine of the saint.

Reliquary: A beautiful display for a relic. These are often made out of precious metals and artfully wrought. They resemble a tiny monstrance (the thing that holds the Eucharist in Adoration).

Hagiography: A writing on the life of the saint.


Special: Click here to see a flip book explaining the lives of all the saints in the display!


COMING UP: Lebanese priest: ‘We need your prayers’ after Beirut explosions

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A Lebanese Catholic priest has asked believers around the world to pray for the people of his country, after two explosions in Beirut injured hundreds of people and are reported to have left at least 10 people dead.

“We ask your nation to carry Lebanon in its hearts at this difficult stage and we place great trust in you and in your prayers, and that the Lord will protect Lebanon from evil through your prayers,” Fr. Miled el-Skayyem of the Chapel of St. John Paul II in Keserwan, Lebanon, said in a statement to EWTN News Aug. 4.

“We are currently going through a difficult phase in Lebanon, as you can see on TV and on the news,” the priest added.

Raymond Nader, a Maronite Catholic living in Lebanon, echoed the priest’s call.

“I just ask for prayers now from everyone around the world. We badly need prayers,” Nader told CNA Tuesday.

Explosions in the port area of Lebanon’s capital overturned cars, shattered windows, set fires, and damaged buildings across Beirut, a city of more than 350,000, with a metro area of more than 2 million people.

“It was a huge disaster over here and the whole city was almost ruined because of this explosion and they’re saying it’s kind of a combination of elements that made this explosion,” Antoine Tannous, a Lebanese journalist, told CNA Tuesday.

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the explosions, but investigators believe they may have started with a fire in a warehouse that stored explosive materials. Lebanon’s security service warned against speculations of terrorism before investigators could assess the situation.

According to Lebanon’s state-run media, hundreds of injured people have flooded hospital emergency rooms in the city.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab has declared that Wednesday will be a national day of mourning. The country is almost evenly divided between Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and Chrsitians, most of whom are Maronite Catholics. Lebanon also has a small Jewish population, as well as Druze and other religious communities.

Featured image: A picture shows the scene of an explosion near the port in the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4, 2020. – Two huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. Lebanese media carried images of people trapped under rubble, some bloodied, after the massive explosions, the cause of which was not immediately known. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)