MANILA—Several replicas and relics associated with the last days of Jesus Christ are currently on exhibit at the Holy Family Parish in Novaliches for the Holy Week.
The most popular is the replica of the Shroud of Turin, a cloth that bears the image of a man believed to be Jesus. The original shroud was supposedly use to wrap the Christ’s body after crucifixion.
Also exhibited at the parish are stones from the Holy Sepulchre (Christ’s tomb), a chip of the Pillar of the Scourging, a splinter of wood from the Holy Cross and replicas of the Holy Face of Manopello and a nail of the crucifixion.
Among those we were admiring the exhibit on Thursday was 21-year-old Joanna Gagarin, who went to the parish just to see the relics. “It’s my first time to see an actual relic. It’s overwhelming,” she told ABS-CBN.
She said she only saw relics on television. “It’s nice because we are able to see part of history during the time of Jesus Christ,” she said.
Gagarin said her favorite among the exhibits is the replica of the Shroud of Turin because you can supposedly see the whole body of Christ imprinted on the cloth.
Parish vicars said it is important to exhibit relics because Filipinos like “visuals.” They said it shows that the faith of Catholics “is based on the truth.”
“Jesus Christ is not a figment of imagination. Relics of his Passion prove that the events we are commemorating during Holy Week really happened,” the priests said.
Paulo Fuentes, a volunteer at the Holy Family Parish, said the relics “are concrete reminders of what the Lord has done for us.”
Meanwhile, Leandro Tesorero, coordinator of the volunteer group Work of the Saints, said the replicas and the relics come from different places. Some were donated by priests from abroad. The chip of the Pillar of the Scourging was given by a monastery in Rome.
Work of the Saints, a volunteer group under the Diocese of Parañaque, serves as the custodian of more than 500 relics and replicas.
Tesorero said they want to abide by the reminder of Pope Francis to “bring good news to the peripheries.” Tesorero said since most Filipino Catholics cannot go to the Holy Land, they are given the chance to see relics up close through exhibits like this.
Because they are all volunteers, they use their own money for the upkeep of the relics, as well as their transfer to different parishes.
“These (relics) are tangible things. These will encourage people to become more active, more involved,” Tesorero said, adding that relics also show that Christ was really crucified.
The replica of the Shroud of Turin was previously exhibited at the ABS-CBN Chapel.
The relics will will be on exhibit at the Holy Family Parish in Novaliches until 7 p.m. on Good Friday.