Sunday, 1 July 2012

Veneration of relics

of the Holy Eastern Church 
John Brownlie
"The veneration of saints and relics took its rise on the overthrow of paganism at the time of Constantine. It was very natural that those who had suffered martyrdom at the hands of pagan persecutors should at that time be remembered; and so it came to pass that churches were considered honoured above all others which contained the relics of those martyrs. The bones of Christ's witnesses were removed from their lonely graves, where they had lain long neglected, and were deposited under Christian altars. Saint's days were appointed upon which their deeds were rehearsed and their lives commemorated. From a veneration of the saints it was a short step to their invocation, and what helped the Church to take that step was the difficulty felt by men in regarding Jesus Christ as being at once God, and the Mediator between God and man".

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