Exodus 13:19 "And Moses took Joseph's bones with him: because he had adjured the children of Israel,
saying: God shall visit you, carry out my bones from hence with you."
4 Kings 13:20-21 "And Eliseus died, and they
buried him. And the rovers from Moab came into the land the same year. And some that were burying a man, saw the rovers, and
cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus. And when it had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life and stood
upon his feet."
Matthew 9:20-22 "And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind
him, and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself: If I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed.
But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: Be of good heart, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made
whole from that hour."
Acts 19:11-12 "And God wrought by the hand of Paul more than common miracles. So that even there
were brought from his body to the sick, handkerchiefs and aprons: and the diseases departed from them: and the wicked spirits
went out of them."
The earliest Christians saw things in the same way as the ancient Israelites and those in the New Testament
accounts. St. Augustine (A.D. 354 - 430) wrote in City of God:
If a father's coat or ring, or anything else of that
kind, is so much more cherished by his children, as love for one's parents is greater, in no way are the bodies themselves
to be despised, which are much more intimately and closely united to us than any garment; for they belong to man's very nature,
St. Jerome (ca. A.D. 340 - 420) clarified Catholic
belief in his Ad Riparium:
We do not adore, I will not say the relics of the
martyrs, but either the sun or the moon or even the angels -- that is to say, with the worship of "latria"...But we honor
the martyrs' relics, so that thereby we give honor to Him Whose [witness] they are: we honor the servants, that the honor
shown to them may reflect on their Master... Consequently, by honoring the martyrs' relics we do not fall into the error of
the Gentiles, who gave the worship of "latria" to dead men.
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